Sunday, 29 March 2015

Mark making or asemic text?

I played the other day with the boundary between unstructured mark making and asemic text (explained here in a previous post) ... if there is one ... and this grid of  small sections was the result.

I took an A2 sheet of cartridge paper, a 2 inch decorator's brush and black acrylic paint and began making large gestural marks suggesting letter forms (W, I and M) and the shapes of bridge structures. I then added some words in a wide black felt tip pen - in particular, I wrote the word communication large.

I then took a cotton bud and made arcing marks in the shape of an open C to suggest the gently curving bridge cables.  The choice of the cotton bud turned out to be a good one as it didn't hold much paint and dried very quickly. It made gentle, dry marks across the page which contrasted well with the thick, firmer brush strokes.

Finally, I placed a 31/2 inch square card window over the sheet of paper and cut out squares that seemed to be most interesting.

 As always tends to happen when I do this kind of exercise, things became increasingly abstract as I worked and I have a small pile of other squares (with very little link to text at all) that I will play with tomorrow.

I'm thinking hard about all this and it's proving unusually difficult to decide on a path, but fortunately I don't have to right now. I have quite a long period of unstructured time that I plan to enjoy and just to see what develops.


  1. This looks like a fruitful exercise for you. Keep going, and don't worry about direction; if it feels right the direction will present itself to you.

    You might like to read Kathleen Loomis' post on her workshop with Dorothy Caldwell:

    1. Thanks for your encouragement. This is fruitful ... and I will keep going! I have more mark making in mind for play later today - perhaps this time involving stitch into the paper ...
      Thank you also for the link to Kathleen Loomis' post. I particularly enjoyed her concertina book of marks. I had not encountered her blog before and will keep looking for a while as you do.

  2. These are such delicious marks!! Reminds me of Dionne Swift's class, wherein marks such as these were translated into fabric using the needle punch machine. (Great class!) So many possibilities...such fun you must be having!!!

    1. I am having fun indeed! I've had in mind Dionne's class all the time as I've been doing these abstractions. I will certainly have go give my needle punch machine (called and embellisher over here for some reason) some exercise soon.


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