Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Letter form painting

One of the major things I learned in Visual Arts this year is that drawing is a form of measuring and rationalizing the world around us. When you're drawing something "out there" you a quite literally measuring the size and proportions of it (either consciously or not). You gain an understanding of what you are studying before you and it becomes a part of your experience.
This concept intrigues me. It's so simple and fundamental. And yet, my mind is racing as to what I can do with this thought. Immediately I think of the grid and how it relates to the picture plane (as you'll see in my latest painting . . . once it's finished lol). Then I think of perspective drawings and think about how it would be interesting to put the "flatness" back into a 3d perspective (flat sculptures? made to look like they are volumous when they aren't?). By day, I'm a graphic designer and I work for a book publisher. I design and layout covers (sometimes illustrating them) but most of my time is spent flowing the interior text, adjusting the spacing so it reads smooth (and looks purdy), and input changes. Letterforms are allready finding their way into my work by means of the abstracting tags . . . why not incorporate the letterforms that are truely geniune to my daily experience: typefaces! More specifically: Adobe Gararmond (our workhorse in the office). Other elements arise with this idea: "reading" a painting (like asian scroll paintings), leading the eye in a structured way (messing with the usual baseline grid of a block of text), letterform as meaning in itself (abstracting in enough so it's not quite a letter but not quite a cool-looking blob), reinforcing the counterform of the letter (the white or negative space around it), and others.
Christopher Wool
John Baldessari
Jasper Johns (of course)
Harland Miller

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