Experimenting with letters (2)

The last painting I used letters, they meant what they stand for. This time my purpose was to make a painting with letters for their beautiful shape and they shouldn’t mean something. Any way, I tried to not let it mean something.

The background I made with acrylic paint in off’-white/beige, because it had to have the colour of old paper.

The squares I made very bright – my teacher thought too bright haha – and I finished the squares with some random letters in style chest letters (the letters they used to apply on wooden chests to describe what is in it).
Because the molds we had were way too small, I enlarged them.

Then came the most difficult part: cut the paper exactly in the right shape and apply it on the painting. That is why I made the background look like old paper. I did not use just any paper, it was an old bible. I did hesitate a bit to damage the old book, it does have a special meaning for many people. But my teacher, a religious and wise man, used the book also in his work, so I took carefully a few pages from the book Genesis.

You begin to understand, it became more and more difficult to omit the symbolism. When you use an old bible and you have to choose six letters, which letters do you choose? Well, I cheated a little and made this painting an intention for the company I am about to start. The letters CELAB stand for the name, Customer Experience Lab and the letters SBA stand for Sandra Barth-Oosting, my name. The book Genesis, the story of how the world was formed in the beginning, symbolizes the start of my company. In the curling cords behind the letters I have written texts. It seems to be a random text, but the green cord is copied from the book Genesis and the blue cord contains the words I think are important for this era we live in. They are the values my company stands for.


I had to finish this painting very quick, because next saturday there is an exhibition at the Studio of Wim van Veelen. I worked hard in the evenings and it was finished just in time!

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