Friday, December 2, 2011


The Treasure Valley Artists' Alliance has a show coming up entitled Text Messages.  We (the exhibition committee) set the submission deadline for Dec. 23.  I don't really have any textile artworks with text in them (I have some collages).  But I am planning on entering the show.

I've had some ideas floating around in my head.  But I haven't had any time to work in the studio for weeks.  It's making me a little cranky, that, and the fact that I have been sick for over a week and don't seem to be getting better.  (Yes, I have been to the doctor and she told me to rest.  Right.)

With the deadline fast approaching, I managed to get started on a piece this week.  I wanted to get some text all over my background fabric.  I thought I would hand write the text and have it made into a thermofax screen (by someone that provides that service) and then use that to print all over the surface.

I am using Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken as the text.  I wrote it over and over to try to get it to fit in the dimensions of the screen.  Then I thought that I need to get this done fairly quickly and I don't know how long it would take to have a screen ordered and mailed.

So, I decided to write directly on the fabric.  There are many people that use hand writing as a design element in their work.  Deborah Boschert uses hand writing in most of her pieces.  I like how she can write so that you see the curves and lines, but can't necessarily read what it says.  Here's a post on her blog that you can see the writing toward the bottom of the artwork.

Judi Hurwitt creates "stacked journaling" using paint that when repeated over and over creates patterns that don't even look like writing.

Troy Passey, a local artist here in Boise, also uses hand writing as a simple, effective element in his black and white pieces on paper.

All these artists make the hand writing a graphic element more so than as readable text.  That is what I would like to achieve, but all my practice efforts are still fairly readable as words (not that you can necessarily read my hand writing).  I decided to write on my fabric with colored pencil.  Here is the first layer.

I like how this looks.  Then I tried another layer of large letters with a yellow pencil going perpendicular to the first.

I'm definitely more comfortable writing small.  It is also interesting that the yellow shows up better at different angles.

I am hoping that by the time I finish the stitching on the piece that the words will become more abstract.  I've coated the fabric with some matte medium.  I also have that poem memorized, I think.

I do like the hand written look as opposed to stamping on letters for this piece.  Do you think hand writing is becoming an endangered art form?


Approachable Art said...

this is neat! Thanks for the link love and good luck with your piece!!

Deborah Boschert said...

Thank you so much for mentioning my work, Lisa. You're right I really do LOVE handwriting as a graphic element. Your pieces are looking fantastic. I especially love the color palette you've chosen and the variety of size of the text. Can't wait to see more.