Deep Peace to You

Deep Peace flowing air detail

I’ve just uploaded a new gallery for an earlier book of mine now in a private collection. Deep Peace is a paste painted book with calligraphy added in broad, pointed, and folded pens. The pages were painted expressly for this poem. For the smaller inset pages, which carry the verse, I used stencils (or the fancier French term pochoir) both to paint through and to put under the paper and apply the pigmented paste with some pressure, a technique which leaves a nicely subtle design. In both of these photos you can also see the freely done handwriting which follows the outline of the smaller page with my own responses to the peaceful aspects of each element: above, an eastern sunrise in summer; below, animal song.

Deep Peace green lettering detail

The essence of the blessing, “deep peace” runs like a stream across the bottom of every page spread, becoming part of the landscape of the page. In this example, the top of the large word “deep,” made by a stylus in the wet paste, can be seen behind the smaller “deep peace” added with green ink in a folded pen after the paper had dried. This is possibly my favorite part of working with paste paper, when lettering becomes both figure and ground. More about the book’s structure and materials can be found on its page in the Gallery.

Deep peace to you, whatever your trouble may be. The blessings of earth, air, fire and water are everywhere around you.


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