Thursday, January 05, 2006
I had two appointments in the same building, today, half an hour apart. So out came the trusty sketchbook...as it always does when I have a moment or two, or even half an hour! One of the ongoing experiments in my journals and sketchbooks is the use of text in art...mainly about the marks that we see on things, and read as text or what we think is text. I have been using the odd bit of text in my work, but today, I thought...what if you drew with letters instead of lines? What would happen?
So I started with a line drawing, adding words to it. Specifically, the words, 'it is what I say it is'. That was okay, but not startling. What became interesting, was when I started drawing with the words, without the underlying structure of the lines to hold it together. One line of text, however it is shaped, is a line of text. Lines of text combined, however, are much more than simply text. Not only do they form line, they also create texture, and a kind of meaning of their own which somehow seems to incorporate the meanings of the words, and their shape. I experimented by combining different forms of the sentence 'it is what I say it is', getting different results; isisisisisis, for instance, reads isis isis isis as well as the verb to be in the third person. So, overt and hidden meanings, line and pattern. Try it...what have you got to lose?
The picture is a section of my drawing today, a bit out of focus, but that's all to the good in a way...it lets you see the way the text works, without being distracted by the meaning. As you can perhaps see, this has nothing to do with calligraphy. I'm not interested in Making Pretty Letters in this instance, but rather, I want to use the language in a different way. After all, what is writing, and drawing, if it isn't mark making?