The Seven Virtues
I have this love hate relationship with colour. My work will either be brilliantly colourful or subtly soft. Often I’ll revel in the pure crispness of black and white where my calligraphic soul lies naked for all to see.
At the moment I am going through a “seven” phase in my life’s body of work. This rendition of The Seven Virtues just cried out for colour. How can you have “Hope” without colour, I asked myself.
Here I have used gouache as my medium not because I wanted the background opaque but because the pigment is more vibrant and stronger. The colours were simply laid on a water wash on 300gsm Arches hotpress paper taped to the table with 1” masking tape, brushed on with a chiselled edge and mixed where I wanted the colour to flow and meld.
While the work was wet I gently tooled a calligraphic moving mark into the wetness with a metal stylus. Working steadily, still while the work was wet, I spread layers of aluminium foil across the surface. With my fingers running atop the foil I gently creased and crunched the foil, just a bit, leaving some areas flat. I made sure the sides of the foil were ragged on the surface as well otherwise I would have been left with a straight edge, possibly up through the work. You can do exactly the same technique using kitchen baking paper and cling-wrap. You will get slightly different results leaving you with a myriad of textured marks thereon. Not only can you use gouache but you can use a variety of inks and water colours as well.

Next I allowed these to dry overnight, separated the layers and the results are what you see – backgrounds for calligraphic renditions of the seven virtues written in vivacious versals using Dr. Ph. Martin’s pen-white, drawn with a ¾ Brause with additional support in accompanying words in tiny caps with a ½ Brause.

The leftover backgrounds were handy to cut up and use to add a textured collage supporting the theme of the Virtues scattered throughout our lives.

The Seven Virtues

These postcards are reproductions of a series of artwork I have created for the Art Society of Tasmania members exhibition. They are for sale @ $20 for the set of seven with envelopes or $12 for the set without envelopes. Let me know if you are interested and we can talk EFT, PayPal or other. Please email me The exhibition runs December 2010 & January 2011 at the Lady Franklin Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania.


Gemma Black said…
Thank you CJ you are v. kind! I loved doing them ... now I am on to the Seven Deadly Sins then the Seven Wonders of the World then ...

x gb
Gemma Black said…
There is a spelling mistake in "Faith" but I didn't get to it before it went to print. I have corrected the original (thank goodness I still have it - coming up for exhibition).

If I run to a re-print he he he then the new image for "Faith" will relace the first image ... worth more you know with a mistake in it!!!!!
Jane Farr said…
Beautiful work as usual Gemma; these pieces are stunning! Best wishes for a wonderful exhibit.
Elaine said…
Congratulations, these look stunning!
Grouchy Ray said…
I love this series, Gemma. Wonderful backgrounds, and lovely letters.

Ray Ritchie
Freehold, New Jersey USA

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