The Other Washington

I’m back! In case you couldn’t figure out by the photo, I was in D.C. last week.

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That’s right, the other Washington. I just got back last night. Can’t you just imagine the sea of people standing here during the inauguration? I’m sure that’s why the grass is so eaten up.

I’m going to spend today catching up on some things, fitting in some needed bonding time with my very missed Kosmo, and then tomorrow I have my first calligraphy class of 2009!

There are so many unforgettable moments of this trip. Too much to share them all, but today I will share one with you that relates well to the subjects of this blog.

One day I went to the National Gallery of Art for a special exhibit, Heaven On Earth, Manuscript Illuminations from the National Gallery of Art.

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It was incredible! I couldn’t believe I was standing in front of so many pieces of beautiful artwork anywhere from the 1100’s to the 1500’s!!! I was in such awe! Most of the work was completed in Italy and seemed to have taken place in the 1400’s. I can’t believe how beautiful the colors still were! They’re so vibrant and very inspiring!

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Most of the painting work was tempera, a process I have yet to try. But there were some gouache techniques used too. The one part that did show some aging was the gilding. Most done in gold looked great, but some flaked away. You could see the adhesive they applied it with, which looked pinkish in color. Most likely it was gum ammoniac, but I’m not positive. There were some pieces gilded in silver and it was very dark due to tarnish through the years. For a great video on how the gilding process works, click here.

Understandably, they wouldn’t let anyone take pictures of the art. However, they have some great images you can view here.

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Filed under calligraphy, color inspiration, watercolor art/paintings

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