Thursday, July 1, 2010

#2



Those of us here in the United States have probably used the #2 pencil for most of our lives.  It's the ubiquitous yellow wooden pencil with soft dark lead that we were given in school.  Most of us carried them in our backpacks and pencil boxes, and we bought a new supply every September.  It's the pencil we were required to use for standardized "fill in the box" test forms, and they were required when I took the bar exam.  I have such strong associations triggered by this simple object -- most of them good -- so this piece celebrates the #2 pencil.

(By the way, is it the same in other countries?  Is the yellow pencil the same, called by another name?  Do you have an equivalent writing instrument that you associate with school?)

The background piece is hand-dyed fabric -- the first of the summer season!  The scribbled squares were "art parts" I had from an old project, drawn with acrylic paint and a tjanting tool and then washed with acrylic paint.  The purple just happened to match the background fabric rather perfectly, and they are fused onto the background.  I had fun drawing and painting the pencil shapes on white fabric -- they are fused as well.  I quilted it and faced it with a simple facing.

I didn't have an immediate purple/yellow idea, I must confess, and a lot of time passed while I contemplated the possibilities for this challenge.  Finally, I started thinking about yellow things, and purple things, without dwelling on purple and yellow together.  Once I thought about the #2 pencil, I knew I had my concept.  Re-discovering those scribbled squares in a basket made me very happy!

10 comments:

Deborah Boschert said...

That is the exact right color for a number 2 pencil! I love it. All these elements work so well together. I love that the black rectangles could be doodles created with a pencil. I really like the way you've outlined the pencils too.

Gerrie said...

I was surprised that Kirstin did not use a yellow pencil, but in retrospect it would not have worked as well and then up pops your pencil piece. Deborah is right. You got the color just right. The graphic #2 adds a nice punch. I really love the background.

Terry said...

This is so graphic and filled with energy! I really love this piece, Diane, and I see it as very uniquely yours! The lines you make with the tjanting tool are lovely and free and confident and seem to me, to be a very distinctive element I am seeing in some of your work. If you are still refining your voice, I certainly think this is part of it. Love the hand=drawn quality of the pencils. Just wonderful!

Karen said...

What a great idea this was! The scribbles are wonderful, and the #2 is so terrific. I love using the tjanting tool, I should use it more often if i can get results like you have.

Françoise said...

Beautiful! I especially like the scribbled squares.
Actually, in school, I had to use a pen and blue ink all the time... no pencil allowed.

Terri Stegmiller said...

I never in a million years would have thought to make a quilt featuring a pencil. Love it! I find the background design very intriguing, especially the black rectangle scribbly lines. Perfect for adding lots of interest.

Nikki said...

If only they still made pencils of the same quality. Today's pencils seem to have moved away from the standard yellow, and the leads break every time they are sharpened. I miss the good old standard #2.

Revalani said...

There's a print-shop collective here in Portland called the #2 Printshop, for that very pencilly reason.

Kristin L said...

I bet one could make a whole exhibit based on artist homages to the #2 pencil. It would be GREAT! Your piece is great! I love teh scribbly boxes. They just feel so right. And all the pencils laying about -- they are in a grid, but they still have so much energy. It's kinda like all those pre-test jitters. Well done!

Helen Conway said...

No we do not have the whole No 2 thing going on here yet, transatlantic communication being what it is I know what you are talking about. And those doodles look suspciciously like the ones I do at work...! It is goiving me ideas now about partial frames and hatching designs... anyone got a pencil I can borrow? Kirsten?