Exploring Calligraphy
Exploring Calligraphy

Dear friends,
Over the last weeks I’ve been once more exploring calligraphy. I love handwriting and the handwritten, it’s like drawing only with words.

These are a few examples of my calligraphic experiments from the last two months. At first I wanted to create beautiful handwritten texts that also work as an image. Soon I found this too boring, and I did what I usually do when I work with colors: I began to add layer oveer layer, and I try to achieve something deep and unusual. At this point I started to like what I did.

Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #16 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #30 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #1 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #7 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #12

I used nibs, Chinese and normal brushes, brush pens, pipettes and different can pens (Make your own!) on any paper I could find. I used inks, watercolors, gouache, bleach and wood stain as writing liquids. When it comes to handwriting, I’m often a traditionalist – I like blue, greyish and black inks best. But! Bleach looks really awesome on colored paper. It creates an impression of written light when I use it, but you have to handle it carefully since it’s pretty hazardous stuff. I also enjoyed unusual colors like orange to accentuate elements.

Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #32 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #33 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #34 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #13 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #3

I’ve always been writing. I loved those learning to write exercises in kindergarten, I loved to write essays in school and I still have two real pen and paper pen pals. I write a diary. I use written words in my paintings as well. Writing comes naturally to me. I just enjoy a writing tool dancing smoothly over a sheet of beautiful paper. I’ve always been playful with words. And yes, I’m a bit geeky about those things.

In calligraphy, you usually look for a nice piece of text, an aphorism or a poem when you start playing with its possibilities. I don’t. I just write down what’s on my mind. Sometimes it’s poetic, sometimes it’s a reflection of the writing process, and sometimes it’s pure nonsense.

Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #15 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #6 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #10 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #24 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #19

These are all experiments, and I’d only call a few pieces „done“, but I much like all of them. I still collect ideas of what I could do next with them. My favorite writings are those with at least three layers of color or words. I like the depth of these images, and I love to discover what’s behind the next layer.

As much as I like the handwritten, I also like hand-lettering and typography. I think this is because I’m genuinely interested in communication, and how to communicate beautifully and well.

These are all preparations for something I don’t know yet. It is important to work on these pieces right now, and I’m pretty curious where this may lead to. I sometimes dream of animated words and I want to incorporate even more words into my paintings and my installations. I let my intuition guide me.

I’m now thinking what I could do with all those little calligraphic experiments. There are not like finished artworks yet, and they’ll probably never be. I could use them within another project as I did before or I could make a book of them, because I like books. I don’t know yet, but I’ll let you know for which option I went.

Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #35 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #31 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy 29 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy 28 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #27

Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #26 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #25 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #23 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #22 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #21

Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #20 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #11 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #14 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #17 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #18

Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #9 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #8 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #5 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #3 Jessica Koppe, calligraphy #2

Which is your favorite?
Much love!
– Jessica