Josie Brown

Josie’s view of calligraphy is that it is a vehicle for expressing feelings, exploring meanings graphically and for conveying a message by painting with words. She has enjoyed the physical action of writing from an early age and realised her ambition later on whilst living in London, when she took an evening class and later attended Reigate School of Art. Before she completed the Diploma, Josie was asked to take over her previous teacher’s classes and so her teaching career began.

Having a family and moving to Gloucestershire went hand in hand, and being in the countryside was both inspiring and motivating. Josie’s commissions often call for traditional techniques in formal works, but she experiments with contemporary applications as well as exploring natural materials and painting mediums. She makes her own paints from locally mined pigments and some of her works feature Maureen Richardson’s hand-made papers which are dyed with pigments from the Forest of Dean.

Josie was lucky enough to attend a unique study week at the Commonwealth Institute where she learned Middle Eastern methods of preparing and laying gold leaf and ancient techniques for making paints. Although time consuming, the gilding effects are incredibly subtle and a far cry from Western, almost patent results – offering a wonderful contrast and alternative to our usual methods for illumination.

Latterly Josie has been developing a personal way of sinking layers of writing below each other, using pastels to create the depth and ambience. This effect is particularly atmospheric, moody even, and suits certain texts well.

Site designed by Marian Mills ©Josie Brown 2010
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