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In praise of cursive:

Whether loops and curlicues

And graceful connectors

Or slashed scrawl

At an uneven tempo

It’s fluid language

With flourishes uniquely our own

As personal as our signature

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"may i be i is the only prayer" (e.e. cummings)

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Barbara Buckles, inveterate dabbler here.

Photography, book arts, painting, collage, encaustic, mixed media….you name it, and chances are I’ve dabbled in it. Most recently I’ve been taking my script — my gestures — to new heights. Using my strokes as the basis for my artwork has pretty much vanquished that empty feeling I used to get when facing a blank canvas or page. If nothing else, I dip a pen or pick up a pencil and just start writing, making marks, letting my mood set the tone. 

Sometimes I opt for a lyric, sometimes I focus on a word or phrase that expresses how I'm feeling, sometimes I use "asemic" or filler text. And yep, sometimes I cuss like a sailor. Whatever I write, it's very often illegible, not meant to be read, although something might appear subliminally.

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Now I have drawers full of pages of script, scribble, and scrawl to choose from to incorporate in paintings, collage, and handmade books. Sometimes magic happens when I find relationships between disparate elements...a pen or brush stroke made one day meets a line on a piece of paper made another day, and a fold or some glue unites them forever more. Other times it’s less obvious…I “marry” what at first glance seem like unsuitable partners. I figure if I like them, there’s an inherent connection—even if I’m the only one that can see it.


(BTW, I am also a writer and have penned a memoir I might try to get published one of these days. Click HERE for a teaser and HERE for a preview.)