Calligraphic Storm

Canvas Board, Acrylic Paint, Matte Gel, Ground, Tools:  Deli Paper, Skewers, brushes, toothbrush

“Special Effects” by Sandra Duran Wilson inspired me to try her technique. I was disappointed with my results, but found a way to make sunshine from a piece that might have been shoved into the wastebasket.

I like to paint as well as do calligraphy. I used both of those skills to make this triptych work.

I followed Wilson’s steps of painting Ground and Matte Gel on to a canvas board. Once that was dry, I painted 3 different acrylic colors plus a metallic color on 3/4s of the canvas. I added black with a paint brush on the last section. I placed the deli sheet over the colors and moved the sheet. When I lifted the sheet away, — yuck! — the paint had mixed into a muddy mess. So I started scrapping at the paint, peeling off much of the color and then dabbing more color on with a regular brush, scrapping lines with a skewer into the wet paint, and then brushing on paint with a toothbrush. I let that dry and then wrote across the pieces in black or white acrylic paint, which is why I named the triptych, “Calligraphic Storm.”



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About marthaslavin

Martha Slavin is an artist and writer. Her blog, Postcards in the Air, can be found each Friday at She creates handmade books and collages, paints with watercolors and other water-based media, uses calligraphy, and does letterpress printing and etching. She writes poetry, memoir pieces, and personal essays. She is working on chapbooks that feature both her art and writing.


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