Visual Vocabulary — Picture in Images, Art & from Script — Gualala Arts


Consider yourself invited!

Introduction to Visual Vocabulary Forum
February 6, Tuesday day, ”

Gualala Arts Upstair’s Classroom
$15 fee — Limited attendance

This day forum can facilitate discussion on ideas for adding text on your art and images on your script. Asemic composing, a language comprising the written word nonetheless has no specific semantic content, will be introduced. Included in the afternoon’s forum will probably be writing/art exercises and lots of examples of calligraphy, asemic writing and artwork using text for inspiration.

This forum is going to be facilitated by donnalynn chase, curator of this year’s collective & guild series, Visual Vocabulary. No materials are required; don’t hesitate to make your favorite writing utensil (or 2). This event is sponsored by North Coast Artist Guild (NCAG).

Register using donnalynn chase in dl2makeart@gmail.com or call 408-674-5956.


This exhibit is open call to members of the North Coast Artist Guild (NCAG), Coast Highway Artist Collective (CHAC), Discovery Gallery, and Artist’s Collective in Elk.

Just click here for registration form (word doc). (pdf here).

This exhibit is a chance (or challenge) for artists to incorporate writing in their pictures and authors to incorporate pictures in their writing. The writing may be some language, real or imaginary, or it can be one recognized symbol or entirely asemic.

The artwork isn’t confined to some mediums and can be either two or three dimensional. We’re hoping calligraphers, book artists, and authors will submit their script with (or as) “pictures”, and painters, photographers and ceramists will submit their artwork comprising “text”.

Just click here for the registration form. The deadline to register is March 26, 2018.


Words are symbols or pictures of our language; as composing is a method of representing language within a visual or visual form. All sorts of writing systems use collections of symbols to represent the sounds of language, and such matters as numbers and punctuation. Writing systems aren’t simply practical as a visual way to represent language, but also reflect the civilizations and peoples performing the composing.

Though graphics, graphics, and artwork are rather different than text using a pure language, they are not totally different. Images, pictures and artwork are created to communicate meaning or express a concept, just as language does when composed. In actuality, we frequently draw diagrams to describe textual significance. In ancient times, words had magic and power; some words couldn’t be spoken but weren’t represented by a symbol. It can be contended that a graphic display is fully adequate or superior to your verbal or written description.

Artists are sparing of words, preferring to allow their invention “speak for itself” Yet words can add puzzle or additional meaning to an art piece, offering a narrative, leading the viewer into a certain interpretation of this image — or even not. As a picture can supplement a text, words can compliment an image. Then there is the whole notion of script or text altered abstractly to turn into a piece of artwork, or the text or script fashioned in a picture or picture.

Words are anywhere. Words are on appliances, advertisements, structures, streets, clothing, vehicles, packing, etc .All those words reflects the environment we are living in. How we speak and write, the more language we use, offers insight to the individual we are and also the civilization or people we’re communicating with. Words are crucial and an essential portion of our entire world. With this exhibit we expect to be able to demonstrate a diverse representation of what exactly a Visual Vocabulary looks like.

Images:  Feature image by Angie Flannagan. This page, top image, collage by Jan Fogel. Center image, haiga, by  donnalynn chase. Image, directly, asemic writing by Marcia Brauer.


Further Inspiration:

Per Wikipedia: Asemic composing is a wordless open semantic form of writing. The word asemic means “having no specific semantic content,” or even “without the smallest unit of meaning” Together with the non-specificity of asemic writing there comes a vacuum of significance, which can be left for the reader to fill in and interpret. https://www.google.com/search?q=asemic+drawing&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjyi9KX7ajXAhUE8mMKHSlwDiIQsAQIJw&biw=1304&bih=699

Wosene (Wosene Worke Kosrol) is the first Ethiopian-born painter to change Amharic script to contemporary abstract artwork, and such script-images have become recognized globally because his ‘artistic signature.’ https://wosene.com/

John Stevens believes “Letterforms and example have a lengthy history with musicians. I have always thought of myself as an illustrator… who  only  happens to you personally utilize the medium of letters.   Each  creation with letterforms is  a picture, not merely words on the page.” http://www.johnstevensdesign.com/calligraphic-illustration/

RETNA (Marquis Lewis) is a contemporary artist, mostly famous for graffiti artwork. He developed a distinctive built script that is derived from , Egyptian Hieroglyphics, Arabic, and calligraphy, in addition to more conventional kinds of street-based graffiti. https://www.artsy.net/artist/retna/works

For Hakuin Ekaku (1686-1769), art was a way to teach the dharma. In accordance with Hakuin scholar Katsuhiro Yoshizawa, “Hakuin’s central concern as an artist has been constantly on expressing Mind itself and Dharma itself. But thoughts and dharma are past the world of shape and look. How do you express them directly?” https://www.google.com/search?q=hakuin+ekaku+art&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjMzbyD6KjXAhUQ_WMKHdraBoMQsAQIUQ&biw=1304&bih=699#imgrc=_

An artwork journal is only a journal where art and words are joined to express your self. It’s about self-expression and has a long-standing artistic heritage. Artists throughout the centuries also have kept notebooks where they sketched, practiced, experimented, and recorded themselves. Vincent vanGogh, Picasso, DaVinci, Frieda Kahlo were prolific “artwork journalers”.   Teesha Moore is a contemporary, prolific artwork journalist that inspires and educates a multitude of people.     http://www.teeshamoore.com/gallery/

Iranian artist Nasrollah Afjehei (Alfei) believes “calligraphy offers a universal language that doesn’t need to need to be read to be known.” The energy that encompasses his works are universally communicative and emotive. https://www.google.com/search?q=afjehei&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjtoPC2-6jXAhVC02MKHeZIA_sQ_AUIDCgD&biw=1304&bih=699

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