Monday, October 4, 2010

Neuland -- Backgrounds -- ChiLife

My great friend Diana Hutchison did this mixed media on canvas, "Chi-Life". Diana was one of my first calligraphy teachers, and continues to inspire me. It is basically a painted collage of Chicago and interprets several of her daughter and granddaughter's most meaningful locations there. Many mediums were incorporated and the photo does not do justice to the color and intricacy of this piece, but I wanted to share it anyway.

This is the starting point for one of the techniques we did in the Judy Melvin workshop this past weekend in Indy. It is lettering with bleach on black paper with an automatic pen. I love the abstract look.

Here is my bleached Neuland piece with pastel pencil embellishment. Instructor Judy has sent me to the internet looking for Russian Women Artists (from the early 20th Century), because she thought it looked like their work. (Look closely at the photo below and you can see the piece before I added pastel pencil.)

End of day sampling of participants' pieces.

I believe this is the work of my seatmate, Patty Bertsch. It represents another technique. The letters were written with an automatic pen dipped in bleach. After they dried, the bleached letters were touched with pastels.

My name in Sumi inked Neuland, embellished with painted-on vinery.

Jace's name lettered in a stylized Neuland and embellished with painted symbols.

Bleach-penned letters on a rich yellow paper.


  1. I've never tried the idea of using bleach. It looks great!

  2. I really like the "Chi-Life", and I love what you did in Judy Melvin's class, how much fun. My favorite piece is "Jake", love the way you did the lettering.

  3. Susan, thanks! Diana's work is amazing, and all the shimmery interference colors and even foil in it don't show up...believe me, even though it looks so good here, it's even nicer in person.

    It's actually Jace, but they sometimes call him Jakie, so that's pretty cool that Jake shows up in there. I didn't see it until you pointed it out. : )

  4. By the way - the bleach reacted differently on different papers. On the various black papers it produced yellow, taupe or creamy strokes. Judy said the new Arches black cover is not the saame as the old and bleach gives salmon colored strokes on it. Sooo - experiment!

  5. What wonderful pieces. I love the idea of writing with bleach and then touching it with pastels. I think I will try that. Thanks for sharing what you did in the workshop. Linda E.

  6. Thanks, Linda. Have fun with it!

  7. Thank you for visiting my blog....and now I have found you! The art work posted is very inspiring!