Thursday, November 17, 2016


I am never sure where my inspirations and ideas come from, but I have learned to recognize when one percolates to the top of my consciousness, and to see it as something that has been struggling for my attention for some time. 

This happened to me a few days ago. I suddenly found myself interested in, and wanting to create, graffiti. There are a number things  about graffiti that appeal to me. First, the artist has an 'urgent' message to share, and is willing to take risks to share it. Also, it is usually done in primary, in-your-face colors, to be seen. 

Well, I have some 'urgent' messages to share. But I am not a graffiti artist; I do not really know how to handle a can of spray paint. And I am really not the type to sneak out in the dark to make art on some blank wall. My night vision is not all that great, for one thing.

Besides, I am a tapestry weaver. That is my medium, I know how to 'handle' a bit of yarn. So I have begun a small graffiti 'sample' on my small loom. I have a partial cartoon, of sorts, but haven't chosen color ahead of time, except to gather a basket of primary colored wool to choose from. I am also 'winging it' on the background areas.

The differences between spray can graffiti and woven graffiti are, I am finding, pretty big. The biggest difference is that, if you paint something you don't like, you can just paint over it. So pre-planning is not really a big necessity in traditional graffiti.  Also, weaving as I am on this piece, on a small scale, the necessary outlining and shading to get that distinctive 'graffiti look' is a bit of a challenge on the woven grid.

But I am going to keep going. In my head is a large tapestry of woven graffiti. As I weave this small piece, I am learning the things I will need to know to create the larger work. Because I have some big things to say right now, and I want them to be very visible. 

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