As it happens, my Gertrude Stein t-shirt began as something entirely different. A writer friend of mine liked my bleach rib cage t-shirt. We made an art trade. He gave me a few handpicked chapbooks from his great small press, MindMade Books, and I turned two of his t-shirts, one black, one pink, into lorna art.
I bleached the black T per my usual process. It had been a while, though, so I had to get back into the right pen squeeze flow. The line widths document this relearning. I like the orange hue that comes from a single layer of bleach; In the future, I would like to (more purposefully) play around with the hues that vary depending on how long I let it set.Here we’re wearing our matching shirts. Pretty neat. (Note the thicker lines on the front of the shirt.)For the pink shirt, I started with the golden ratio, a layout schema I knew the future pink-shirt-wearer likes. I dabbled in typographic design for the shirt, as well. Thought I’d write upper and lowercase numbers.
In the end (and probably in the beginning), I really wanted to draw a face. I chose Gertrude Stein, an American writer who moved to Paris in 1903 (to live and salon) and write with her own rules. I used Creative Commons images as source material for her portraits.
The bleach I used on the black shirt didn’t remove the pink pigment. This surprised me, because I used bleach on pink shirts for my Affection Gap project, and the lines turned to white. (I couldn’t find a picture of the effect on a pink shirt, but below is an example of the pigment removal on a purple shirt.)Since the bleach didn’t render the lines I wanted on this shirt, I outlined the faint lines that did show. The subsequent design created multiple lines where there once was one. The initial design included two intersecting portraits. A mosaic resulted, to say the least. It got complicated.
On the back of the shirt, I wanted to capture what I feel I lost with the revisions and negative space mazes I made on the front. I used acrylic paint (with mad dilution), sharpee, UV paint pens, and eventually, a black fabric marker to shade in Stein’s features. I drew roses in her vest and wrote about roses on the side of the shirt to connect the front/back designs.I washed the shirt to see what would happen and to clean away my sweat and blood. The contrast depleted a bit. That’s when the I introduced a fabric marker. I think the design will stay with wear.
A shirt is a shirt is a shirt and the art on it might change, but that’s kind of cool, so I’m pretty stoked.
You Can Find Me…
I update my Exhibition Page with events and galleries that feature Lorna Phone art.
Check out the Disclosure Page to see a chronological evolution of my blog and art.
Check out my previous exhibitions here! (It was a busy 2017!)
Otis Books- I’m an editor for this publication based out of the Otis School of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Check out our backlog.