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Calligraphic Painting: Words and Image
 

What are the implications of using letterforms as subject matter in painting? Can an image be created that enhances the meaning of the words? Is legibility important? Do the letters have to become words? I've been at this for over 30 years so you'll see a wide variety of subject matter and approaches in this work.

These are the questions I think about when beginning a painting that includes words. Some of these have been abstract, others illustrative. All of them, however, explore the relationship between WORD & IMAGE.

Although not all of these paintings include letterforms, there is a narrative to my work, a story behind the image. Some of these are oil or acrylic on canvas or board, but most of the recent ones are watercolor and gouache

Many of these paintings are in private and public collections, but others may be for sale. I have a booth at Woolworth Walk in downtown Asheville, North Carolina, where you can see some of these and many other paintings.

 

Closeup of structure

The Structure of Language
Pieced paper quilt with texts from Thomas Wolfe's
Look Homeward Angel

Microwave Mammy

Microwave Mammy
acrylic on board

Q's

Upwardly Mobile Q's
watercolor on paper

First Steps

First Steps, acrylic on canvas. This very large painting, 30 x 48", began with the size 3 shoes I found for my daughter at KMart. They had the alphabet cast around the soles, and though she only could wear them for a few months, they were a favorite, memorialized in this painting.  

Red Quilt

Illuminated Quilt. Watercolor, colored pencil and gouache on paper. This is a painting of a tumbling block quilt design and has nearly 400 synonyms for the RED on the diamond shapes, and text about the color red by Josef Albers written around the border. The closeup below right gives you a sense of the detail. Some of the 'synonyms' are a bit far fetched, but that was t he joy in doing t his piece.  

Red

Red Rectangle,
Gouache and watercolor on paper,
with text by Josef Albers

Red quilt closeup

Closeup of Illuminated Quilt

Chicago

Chicago
watercolor on paper

Log Cabin Blues

Log Cabin Blues closeup

Log Cabin Blues
"The quilt is the blues of the American Woman"
This line picked up somewhere in my history became the basis for a series of paintings focusing on quilt patterns and blues singers, from the unrecorded blues queens of the 19th century.
Watercolor, oil pastel, colored pencil and gouache on paper

 

 

Culmone

Scream
Watercolor on paper, pieced

Toxic Garden

Toxic Garden
Watercolor on paper, pieced

Magritte

Ode to René Magritte
watercolor and gouache on paper

Goethe

A Garden
watercolor and gouache on paper

Rock Candy

Rock Candy
watercolor on paper

Weed

And What is a Weed?
Text by Emerson, watercolor and gouache on paper

Anemones and Pansies

Anemones and Pansies
watercolor on paper

Porcelain Berries

Porcelain Berries
watercolor on paper

Peony

Peony, with text by the gardener, Gertrude Jekyll
Watercolor, colored pencil and gouache on paper

Tattersall Blue

Tattersall Blue Bottles
watercolor on paper

Garlic Onions Peppers

Garlic, Onions and Peppers
watercolor on paper

Lilies

Lilies of the Valley
watercolor on paper

Cosmos

Cosmos
watercolor on paper

Best Face Forward
Best Face Forward
watercolor on paper, pieced

LinYuTang
Lin Yu Tang
watercolor on paper

Baptismia

Baptismia
watercolor on paper

Bean Pods

Bean Pods
watercolor on paper

   

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