Many years ago when I was in college at the University of Florida, I needed an extra class credit to complete my degree before the grant money ran out. At the beginning of my final semester the university decided that one of my credits from junior college would not be counted due to some hidden agenda to squeeze more money out of a financially strapped student—they never did give me a good reason why this credit was discounted (I've heard this story before). At the eleventh hour I spoke with one of my professors in the fine arts college about my dilemma and the next morning he cleared the way for me to produce three extra assignments using the letterpress equipment that would fulfill the additional requirements for my degree. This was the beginning of my life-long love affair with typography.
Examples of some large movable type made of wood that I used for many of my assignments in 1984
Most of the large type blocks were wood but the university had a pretty good collection of metal type as well. There is something about large letter forms that excite my imagination for I've used typography extensively in my graphic design practice over the years. What I didn't know at the time was that these letter forms would come full circle and excite me once again in my paintings thirty years later. In January I began to experiment with my botanical images in Photoshop by creating a clipping mask of different arrangements of the word "erosion" thus creating a typographical window through which you would see the botanical forms. Within the painting this was achieved by painting out the background/negative space once the botanical forms were complete to create the characters. I love this new direction and plan to make these character botanicals a regular part of my studio practice.
It's always fascinating to me how everything we do in life has some level of value for the future. There are no true mistakes in a studio for every experimentation of form, color or line within our daily practice always leads to a new twist or direction that enhances our imagery. Once again typography has brought a new character to my work both literally and figuratively.