By Ruth Rowland
Journal: Collage, Gestural Calligraphy and Finetec Metallic Watercolours
Recently I've been practising gestural calligraphy, using a variety of pointed brushes to loosen up and play around with traditional calligraphic line weights, shapes, spacing and momentum.
It's an interesting ongoing journey, which is flexible enough for me to experiment with different media along the way. I've been adding some small papercuts amongst the text, as a foil to the loose, gestural mark-making. These simple floral silhouettes are snipped with scissors from black paper and collaged amongst the graphite lines and brush calligraphy.
My studio practice normally involves creating experimental worksheets, as a way of visually thinking about my subject. I've posted a few here but the process is more involved than any one sheet, so I may start with one idea and end up with something quite different. I normally create a folderful of worksheets along the way, some successful, others not so much, but all equally part of the journey.
Here I'm combining neutral watercolour tones with cooler metallic hues. Moths are a favourite subject of mine and this beautiful Moon Gold in the Finetec Gold Palette seemed appropriate for a shimmering moth flitting about a tangle of gestural calligraphy.
The delicate wings of the moth are cut from soft washi paper and layered with washes of watercolour and metallic gold, leaving small details free to lift up from the page.
Still working with the idea of a tangle of gestural calligraphy, I created this more complex piece with layers of neutral watercolour brush script, laced through with the purple shades of Ravenswing Cow Parsley.
This more intricate metallic moth was cut, collaged and layered with watercolour and metallic textures added from the Finetec Earth Palette and sits on leaves cut from paper saturated with a deep watercolour wash.
The final piece of work in this series combines watercolour grasses with the neutral blue-green tones and spontaneous lines of gestural calligraphy. The metallic moth adds a shimmering highlight to the softer tones.
The beautiful blues and greens of the Finetec Ocean set look different dependant on whether they're painted on light or dark paper. These two pans, I've popped from the palette on the left are worth a mention. The moth is cut from mid-tone brown paper and painted with these two to make a surprisingly vivid hue. I've collaged the moth with wings raised above the paper to capture their shimmering luminescence.
I hope you've enjoyed sharing some of my thoughts on this project, if you'd like to see more of my personal work, you'll find it in my Journal. If you share my love of metallics, then you may enjoy seeing the Someone Came Knocking and The Holly and the Ivy projects or if collage is more your thing take a look at Papercut Folk Art Valentines.
If you have an interest in calligraphy and watercolour, I also have an Instagram page where I post about my ongoing art practice, behind the scenes in my studio.