Before embarking on the word-based experiment that has framed most of my recent posts, I was working on a series of drawings that for a while became a sort of theme-and-variations exercise. Each drawing in the most recent sub-series below is the same size (4"x4")and uses the same basic design framework. I start with the black frame on the outside, draw in the curvy shapes (first the outside perimeter, then the inside, then ink the hard black lines that complete the shape. Then, using a smaller nib, I draw the crosshatching inside each shape sequentially, usually going through three or four iterations. Finally, I brush brown ink in varying dilutions onto certain of the shapes. The effect of the crosshatching and the addition of the ink is to highlight what finally most interests me in this particular series of drawings, which is the interconnected white lines of negative space.
This drawing process in its regularity and deliberateness is somehow very calming to me; it's a kind of meditation practice. But I also find the results pleasing, both individually and as a group. This visual sequence is then what led me to consider what the verbal equivalent would be, which is basically how I got to the 64-word boxes I'm playing with now.