thread paintings

I have been exploring this style of artwork since the fall of 2003. It began as a way to juxtapose two conflicting influences—the ridged, graphic elements of design with the painterly brushwork of Abstract Expressionism. Both influences are equally represented within the series, yet each painting possesses its own personality. Medium, surface, paint application, & color scheme all vary from piece to piece.

The very first Thread Paintings were assigned chronological numbers, so their meaning was left up to the viewer. Thread Paintings are now given a one-word title, which ties together the formal and conceptual qualities of each piece. Bold lines penetrate the surface of the painting and twist into abstract forms, or threads. The thick, ornate threads are likened to trees or roots, while the more tenuous threads resemble chords, lightning, and even wisps of smoke. The movement of the threads divides the background of aggressive paint application, stained colors, and solid forms to create a balance in composition.

Explorations within the medium and surface have yielded a variety of results. Oil paint’s consistency produces texture and vibrancy within the threads. Acrylic and watercolor can stain the surface and overlap background color. Watercolor paper provides an immediacy to paint application, with the threads and background converging across a single layer. Canvas and linen support thicker threads and a greater character of brushwork.

Each Thread Painting must be viewed as a single piece of a larger puzzle. The approach to each work may differ, but the philosophy remains the same. These are all meditative, abstract designs held together by the tightest of threads.

Nick Franco [July 1, 2008]