Calligraphy box breakout

December 6, 2008


This is the companion piece to ‘Enchanted Vessels I’  which appears in a previous post.

Both pieces are based on the following quote from ‘The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life’  by Thomas Moore:

    ‘Enchantment arises whenever we move so deeply into anything we’re doing that its interiority stirs the heart and the imagination’.

They were done in the context of an oil pastel series, so inadvertently solved a problem I’d been having with calligraphy:

As  result of working in the field of calligraphy for most of my adult life, I had become enclosed in a box I couldn’t see my way out of.  That box was ,’ Calligraphy is making beautiful legible letters to express a quote you like’.  When starting a calligraphy piece I would simply reach for my calligraphy materials, and somehow also my calligraphy mindset.

Though I’d done a lot of abstract calligraphy where the emphasis lay on the markmaking and expression, I’d not yet been able to find a satisfying way to respond to the many literary quotes that continually inspired me.  I’d end up ‘doing a piece of calligraphy’, and it was more of the same old same old.

So this piece, saturated with the magic of Moore’s quote, resolved my dilemma. Snatches of the quote are legible, but most importantly the essence of what touched me is expressed in this piece, and only in part by the calligraphy. The colours, the  monoprint, the handwriting and more formal letters, the  collage and drawing and stamps all work together to form a whole.

5 Responses to “Calligraphy box breakout”

  1. mary Says:

    Wow ! great piece I’m glad that you are having these breakthroughs. I can see how calligraphy can become a prision though I still keep the envelope you sent me as it is so exquisite!

    • szoutewelle Says:

      mary, thanks! Oh, I never meant to imply that I reject traditional calligraphy in any way. I adore those commissons where I can use those skills, and I love making pretty envelopes for people to keep! 🙂 But I had gotten into quite a rut with it at one point, so it was nice to find other ways to approach it.

  2. Claudia ;D Says:

    Very beautiful the lines of the calligraphy with the oil pastel, I love the way you combine the two. Keep going!

  3. thewatergypsy Says:

    What a beautiful piece, I see more in it each time I look.

  4. sarah Says:

    thanks watergypsy, it was a watershed piece for me.
    It took several years before I actually grounded that way of working. You can see subsequent pieces in the ones with writing in the ‘Most recent work’ section above, under ‘Pages’.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: