art with threads

Breath and Beyond

“Breath and Beyond” 12" x 12" acrylic, cloth, threads, and paper on canvas.

“Breath and Beyond” 12" x 12" acrylic, cloth, threads, and paper on canvas.

“Breath and Beyond” was the first painting I worked on and completed after returning from packing up my parent’s home. (We were getting it ready for sale.) Although I returned with several new projects in mind, I decided to get busy with the raw canvas I had prepared before leaving. My first goal was to create a thread filled environment in which to paint.

“Breath and Beyond” in process.

“Breath and Beyond” in process.

I began by sewing lines of stitches in something of a checkerboard pattern, leaving loose threads at the ends of each line. I had already cut five squares into the cloth before the trip.

“Breath and Beyond” didn’t develop as I had originally envisioned. So, I let go, allowing the process to lead me, and I was able to enjoy every step along the way.

I kept adding color, then some text, and then more color. The background canvas became a deep brownish mauve to peek through the openings in the cloth.

The text in the painting is the mantra, So Hum, meaning: "I Am That." It is used in meditation as one focuses on their breath.

“Breath and Beyond” in process.

“Breath and Beyond” in process.

I always have a title in mind by the time a painting is complete… but not this time. The painting had journeyed so far from the original idea and I felt like I was just along for the ride, not knowing where we were going. I had to brainstorm ideas for a name.

When the title, “Breath and Beyond” came to mind, I knew it was right. I could see how the painted cloth had become a tapestry OR a tapestry of life. I had chosen a mantra that represents the breath OR breath of life. And the cutouts had become windows to the beyond.

“Breath and Beyond” in process. Sewing the painted cloth to the back canvas.

“Breath and Beyond” in process. Sewing the painted cloth to the back canvas.

Asemic Writing

I loved creating this work on paper! When I produced this piece a couple of months ago, I felt like I had stumbled onto a wonderfully exciting creative adventure. I guess I was finally giving myself permission to explore an idea I’ve been wanting to play with for quite awhile. The idea was to include non-specific text in my artwork… to write without words. I’ve wanted to create the illusion of text without any specific meaning and then I learned it had a name: asemic writing.

According to Wikipedia and referenced on a number of other sites, asemic means "having no specific semantic content", or "without the smallest unit of meaning."

The use of asemic writing seems to be a natural progression for me after incorporating ancient languages into my paintings over the past few years. This is my first creative experience with asemic writing but definitively not my last. I am looking forward to exploring this further.

“We are all Connected”  6” x 9” mixed media on paper

“We are all Connected” 6” x 9” mixed media on paper