Friday, October 19, 2012

Witness Marks and Gutterart Font


This month's ATC's were more of a process than a finished product. While on a trip recently, I was inspired by what I like to call "Gutter Art." From a long habit gained beach combing on many trips to Mexico, I tend to look down when walking, thinking I might find something interesting to add to my collection of flotsam and jetsam.

I noticed, while walking along the sidewalks of San Francisco, these wonderful, colorful markings of what I thought were purposeful and artistic graffiti. When I finally called them to TOR's attention, he explained that they were spray-painted "Witness Marks." Every time an employee inspects a drain gutter, he/she spray paints a color mark. As the years go by, and different colors are used by different inspectors , the patterns that remain become what to my eyes look like intricate and abstract "paintings."

I was struck by the red curb with stencil wording, next to various shades of cement gray, in combination with the color splotches in bright pinks, oranges, blues, greens, yellows, and reds. 

Using an eye dropper, I combined droplets of acrylic ink in puddles on large sheets of water color paper that I then covered over with another sheet of watercolor paper and used a brayer to mix and flatten the puddles. Finally, I blotted the still wet inks with water color post cards. The resulting patterns were then cut to ATC size (2 1/2" by 3 1/2"). Then I used these ATC's on top of the postcards on which I had made patterns of gray using my new sumi ink and sumi brushes. Here are a few of them on display.


For trading purposes, I made 20 regular ATC's and attached them to the larger post cards so that my friends could see the process. I also used my newly designed True Type Face Gutterartfont to describe the ATCs using a bright orange paper in honor of Halloween. 

NOTE: If anyone has ever wanted to design their own font, I highly recommend using simple tools and grids that can be found at I've added this site on this webblog to my "Links of Interest under the title: Design Your Own Font.

This month's blog is printed using Helvetica type face.