The slow improvisation approach to art

I have always found something soothing about sewing – ornamental sewing, not practical where something needs mending or fixing.

The making of one mark, repeated by others, over a period of time, forming a larger image or pattern – my eye likes this too.

I loved reading and words first, since before I thought about expressing myself with images.
So I’m a sucker for artwork that involves words and letters.
And am especially drawn to “artist alphabets.”

Anne KIngsbury beaded letters

Beaded letters from Anne Kingsbury’s Pataphysical Alphabet.

Recently I had the great pleasure of seeing an exhibit of Anne Kingsbury’s beaded alphabet, accompanying drawings, and unrelated journal entries.
It was like a visual meditation for me, looking at all the tiny beads and imagining the artist sewing each one into the leather backing, over a period of time; then stepping back and synching that thought of one bead followed by another bead and another, comprising the whole image of each fantastical letter.

Beaded bird drawing

Drawing from 2016 “daily bird” series, augmented with beads.

In an interview, Ms. Kingsbury made mention of “slow improvisation” in her approach to making art.
Always conscious of time (how much, how little, what is yet to do within it), I find myself mulling the thought of mark-making over time, whether with ink or thread or beads, to take a longer journey toward the whole.

'Dot' drawing creature

Beginning of “start with one mark” drawing. Begun after seeing Anne Kingsbury’s journals and beaded letters.

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