Asemic Writing

‘It looks like writing, but we can’t quite read it’ 

This comes from a website about this practise that has potential as an intriguing way of adding focus and drama to paintings, drawings and mixed media pieces. 

I started searching for more information about asemic writing after reading an article in Cloth Paper Sissors about using your handwriting in your Art.

The article focused on using big sheets of paper that you cover with big bold letters that you then cut up into pages which are then assembled into journals. 

 Jennifer Coyne the article’s author suggests choosing a word, a feeling to infuse the journal without being obvious and to use colour and stitch on the pages to complement that word. 

This set me off looking for examples of this form of writing with no specific semantic content. I found out Kandinsky used it, the Chinese use it, including the wonderfully named ‘drunk’ monk Hucisu. 

I’ve found some images of drawings and painting that have really wetted my appetite.

  Kitty Sabatier


Kerri Pollo

 Andrew Van Der Merwe.

Flipping brilliant, I love text but often feel uncomfortable writing anything specific in my art work. This offers me a great stepping stone towards adding text and another way to add visual textures.
Here’s a little play I had in my daily journal.

I’ve started gathering more images on Pinterest.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Heather says:

    Oh, what a lovely concept. I always see the guidance on art journal tutorials that says to write then paint over it, but that feels too personal.
    Some of the links you posted reminded me of Joan Miro’s paintings:

    Whilst they’re more pictorial, he had his own coded language in the symbols.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great isn’t it. I can see me doing lots of scribbling and making my own symbols! Perfect for procrastination.


  2. I love your sample Sally. A marvellous concept.


  3. Patricia Daugherty says:

    What is the date, issue of Jennifer Coyne’s article Cloth, Papers, Scissors, please. I have Google it but can’t find it. Thanks


    1. Gosh Patricia I’m not at all sure, I’ll have a dig around and see if I can find out.


  4. Got it – May/June 2015, check Jennifer’s website for more information. Hope that helps 😊


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