Blog Post


Painting Text

Painting Text

Painting and text go together, like the cave paintings of Lascuax or the clerical scripts of the Zhou dynasty. Akin to these early ancestors and their natural impulses to create I exert my humble skills and placate my gnawing creative urge by pressing brush to surface. This daily practice of painting or mark-making helps channel the unwavering spectral information and the real existential foreboding of climatic environmental karma, to mitigate and filter the chaos into a viable poetic.

Painting is vulnerable in its current tangible state but maintained and supported by a virtuous history. Text is fleeting, ubiquitous, resilient and self-replicating. I believe these contrasting qualities makeup the essential ingredients to interesting painting. The convergence of paintings and texts, their strengths and weaknesses; paintings tactile physicality and its vulnerability, text and its insatiable need for attention, its malleable and viral insertion into all mediums, becomes the central components to a powerful mode of expression and communication.

So it is this union of body (painting) mind (text) and the soul (the viewer) that has led me to creating a system of re-thinking words into images, creating patterns that both echo the content of the text while at the same time challenging the viewer to energize their own understanding of the multiple ways we have of knowing and communicating.

I was influenced early in my adult life by the graphic complexion of Asian cultures, their history of writing systems and the elegant refinement or simplicity that resulted from these enduring practices.

Over time and with much reflection I developed a simple algorithmic / creative process called “Monosyble” (One Unit). The five principles of Monosyble;

  • choose, (2) configure, (3) compress, (4) compose (5) convey

transform most languages into visual and legible (if need be) Characters. This has been the terra firma for me to explore and at times comprehend the fleeting surroundings amid the flickering light within the enduring darkness.

“Inside the chaos, take a position and create a way out.”


JonMarc Edwards

Los Angeles, 2003

close-up Tolstoy]

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