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The Space Between: Watercolour Words and a Homage to Paul Klee

Paul Klee is an amazing artist, a father of abstraction, a master at the Bauhaus and the man who said "drawing is taking a line for a walk." His incredibly varied and imaginative work and his insightful writings are both wonderful, and here is a great article about him:

I came across the painting above about 20 years ago and loved it. . It is one of his only paintings that includes words and it inspired me to rather obsessively start painting the spaces between letters.

"Our business is to be happy" the Dalai Lama

Later, I turned it into an exercise for teaching colour theory. The simple geometric shapes randomly formed between letters create a great opportunity for playing with colour.

Here are some of my students' pieces, and apologies for not having all the artists names.

  1. Live, Love, Laugh.

  2. 2. Hannah, David,Philip, Clare by Clare Marwood

  3. Nemo nisi mors.

  4. Ex corde caritas.

  5. Search and destroy.

  6. Stay home. Help the NHS. Save Lives. by Hilary Toope.

And it's lovely to learn new things from your students. I loved these words in Latin that I got from one of my Bahraini students.

Here is one I think I overdid. and I still hadn't finished.

It is one of my father's favourite poems by W.B. Yeats, "The Cloths of Heaven"....

Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half-light;

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

W. B. Yeats

If you'd like to try one yourself, here is a little video I made this morning for my Sunday class's homework . Go on! Give it a go!

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Seana you are so inspiring one feels compelled to try whatever you suggest! I remember doing words in watercolour in Bahrain in shades of brown (my murky period) and I may still have it. Will try to dig it up. And..Will give it another try!

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