Another artist I have taken inspiration from is Christopher Wool, who is a contemporary American painter.


Best known for his paintings with large stenciled letterforms, the bold, black strokes of Wool’s text is contrasted against white backgrounds for maximum visual impact. (Christopher Wool | Artnet).


Christopher Wool, like Bob and Roberta Smith, also includes words and letterforms in his art practice. This quote about his work welcomes the importance of contrast. When people write in their day-to-day lives they normally have white paper with either black or blue ink, as this gives a bold and easy to read piece of writing, due to the contrasts in colours. Christopher Wool’s large scale lettered artworks are made of black bold letters against a white background. In my own practice I have been trying to also get some good contrasts in colours to make sure the writing stands out. I have been recently experimenting with different coloured backgrounds, such as red, blue, purple and pink, and then writing over them using white acrylic. I feel these contrasts work well to get a statement across to the audience as you wouldn’t be able to miss them. I also plan to maybe try the opposite and instead do some similar coloured writing to the background they are on and see what difference it makes and if people are still likely to read them or not. I have also been using contrasting colours in my printmaking to give a nice pleasant overall feel to the prints. I am also trying to keep some light and dark layers to make the words stand out.


Words run together and breaks arrive at the edges of the canvas, bearing often inscrutable phrases such as “SELL THE HOUSE SELL THE CAR SELL THE KIDS”. (Christopher Wool | Artnet).


Another area I have taken inspiration from Christopher Wool is the way he cuts words in half if they reach the edge of a page. I have also found this a successful way to work. It means the letters fill more of the canvas making the piece aesthetically more pleasing and also makes the overall composition better as people may have to look harder to see what the words say.

Christopher Wool uses statements that are often impossible to understand or interpret. I like this way of working because the viewers can then take what they want from it. This is much like my “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE” piece which won’t make sense to anyone other than other students on my course who know what I am doing my work about.


As well as some more abstract screen prints, Christopher Wool also has done some pieces similar to his large scale stenciled paintings of lettering. An example of this is his piece ‘Prankster’. I think the technique of screen printing is effective for this way of working as you can make stencils by hand and then get the design made into a screen. You can then print the design more than once to make multiples. There are also possibilities of adding to the screen and printing layers on top and changing the way it works.

As well as making stencils for screen prints, Christopher has also used spray paint with stencils which is another technique I could try. Wool normally uses capital letters for his stencilled designs, I have been also using capital letters quite a lot recently but because I enjoy calligraphy I also like doing some lower case lettering as you can make the words flow together well.



“Christopher Wool | Artnet”. Artnet.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 2 Apr. 2017.





An artist who I have briefly looked into in my studio practice is Rauschenberg, particularly his pieces made from cardboard. I decided to look at his wall structures made from cardboard when I began to collect and work onto pizza boxes.

The Cardboards are wall sculptures made from found cardboard boxes that have been cut, stapled, bent, and combined by the artist but retain their original history through stains, dents, and tears, in addition to inherent color and labeling. (Cardboard (1971-72)).

Rauschenberg’s cardboard structures are made from materials that he has found and he celebrates the fact that they are not perfect new pieces of cardboard. An example of this is that he names many of his pieces after the branding on the boxes he has used.

Rauschenberg presents his cardboard structures on the wall and because they aren’t framed they then occupy a space from the shape that the cardboard put together creates. I have also been pinning my boxes onto the wall as I think it then takes them from everyday objects to acknowledging that they are pieces of art. I have also been experimenting with turning the pizza boxes inside out to get rid of the advertising on them completely. I have also done this in another way in print making by printing multiple layers on top of the box to mask as much of the advertising as possible. I have made sure not to change the shape of the pizza boxes too much where possible so the original structure is still there. I have also kept any stains in the pizza boxes there and worked on top of them which also links to Rauschenberg’s pieces. I didn’t want to use perfect new boxes as the work wouldn’t then link to the theme of the everyday as well. I also like how the boxes I was documenting my life through, by drawing and writing, were done on the exact pizza boxes I had eaten a pizza out of that day.


Another area of Rauschenbergs artwork I have found interesting is his ‘Combines’. These are pieces again made from found materials. I am interested in the way he presents them on walls and I have been doing similar in my own practice with some signs I have been making through print making.


Collection (1954/1955) is the artist’s first “Combine painting,” an early type of Combine that hangs on the wall like a traditional painting but reaches into three dimensions with various elements attached to the work’s surface. (Robert Rauschenberg, Collection, 1954-55).

I found these pieces from looking at the way he presents his work on walls. His combines are a combination of found materials and painting. With my printmaking I have been finding lots of materials which I can print my lettering onto by using the technique of screen printing, although I have also made a few with acrylic paint and various pens. These include planks of wood, cardboard, clothes and foam board. I plan to add more materials to this list in the near future. Today I have been experimenting with different ways I can present these. I tried a few combinations on the wall in the installation space. I came to the conclusion that the closer together my signs can be the better and I also like when I can overlap them. I need to think about how I am going to put these on the walls for my final degree show as balancing them on nails was not the most effective method but allowed me to have a vision of what my final show could potentially look like.


“Cardboard (1971–72)”. Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.

“Robert Rauschenberg, Collection, 1954/1955”. SFMOMA. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.