Custom-made Bow-Ties!

Fabric options for bespoke bow ties I’ve just posted a new section on for custom made bow-ties. You pick from my collection of >32 vintage and rare textiles (velvets, silks, brocades, geometrics, stripes, solids…) and choose from 7 bow-tie shapes, and I’ll create a special bow-tie for you!

I’ll also be adding more newly-created bow-ties ready to ship.

Spoonflower features my ‘Word Game’ design


Word Game fabric featured on Spoonflower welcome page

My Word Game fabric featured on the Spoonflower welcome page (on the right) as one of the top-selling “Alphabet” designs.

For several weeks now, one of my best-selling designs on Spoonflower has been featured prominently on that site’s homepage (see screenshot above). Although Spoonflower is featuring it as a wallpaper design, sales of my fabric have been off the charts since it happened. (There’s a link on the product page to switch from wallpaper to fabric design.)

Word Game Border fabric © 2011 J. Thomson Word Game fabric, © 2011 J. Thomson


Adjustable Bow Ties (Updated Tutorial)

[NOTE: As of 7/26/2013, links to this post now point to ‎]

These are the detailed instructions for sewing any of my Adjustable Bow Ties cut & sew fabric designs, available only from Spoonflower. For less than the cost of just one name-brand bow tie, you can get a bunch of ties printed on fabric that you can easily sew with just a few basic sewing skills.

This is an easy, beginner-level project… I swear you can do it even if you’ve never sewn anything!

"Cleaver" finished bow-tie. Fabric designed by J. Thomson © 2013 All rights reserved.

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The first word

NOTE: This is the second in a series of posts documenting my process of creating an installation entitled “Lorem ipsum…”. You can see all the posts about this project using the navigation buttons above. Look under Fine Art > Installation Art > Lorem Ipsum.

"a" from "Lorem Ipsum..." © 2012 J. Thomson, all rights reserved I received the test print on fabric on Saturday, much sooner than I expected. These were printed on 100% cotton “quilting weight” fabric, which is the cheapest Spoonflower offers. It looks okay, but I think in the end I might go with something heavier and tighter, something like the organic cotton sateen or linen-cotton canvas.

Since this is just a test, I only ordered a single fat quarter (which is 18″ x 21″). The largest size hoop I can fit on that is a 16″ word, so I chose “indignation”. Continue reading

Lorem Ipsum… (Part 1: Genesis of an idea)

NOTE: This is the first part in a series of posts documenting the progress of an Art installation I am working on with the working title “Lorem Ipsum…”. Look for other posts about it under the heading Fine Art/Installation Art/Lorem Ipsum in the navigation header above.

"man" from Lorem Ipsum... © 2012 by J. Thomson, all rights reserved Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet… is a standardized passage of dummy text used since the 16th century by printers and graphic designers in place of actual text, when creating a layout or typeface for example.

As a fine artist and graphic designer, I often use text in my artwork. I like the additional layers of meaning pieces of text can contribute to a painting or collage, but the whole content of the piece never relies on the text alone. Although the line between graphic design and art is sometimes blurred, for me it is a question of what takes precedence in a piece: the text/typography, or the art/graphics. It is the marriage of both that creates the visual content of the pieces I create.
"blame" from Lorem Ipsum... © 2012 J. Thomson All rights reservedLast week, I was brainstorming for some ideas for a new series of artwork I wanted to create. Continue reading

Text in Art (or, What an unwelcome horse taught me about art)

Horse painting © 1997 J. Thomson, all rights reserved

Ever since my early painting classes as an undergraduate in art school, I have been interested in incorporating text in my work. Using text in contemporary artwork is nothing new, and some artists use text exclusively. I’ve been inspired by the works of Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, Cy Twombly, Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, and the Dada collages of Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, to name a few artists who used text in some of their artworks. I am intrigued by the possibility of adding additional layers of meaning to a piece through the use of text. Such uses have the potential to support the main idea of a piece, or contradict it; either usage is valid. The use of text in visual artwork can also serve to make the piece more accessible to the general public.  I think of it as a way of giving the viewer another handle to hold onto when grappling with the piece.

One of my early painting professors, Erin Palmer, offered a critique of a text painting I made as an undergraduate by asking whether the painting could be successful if the text wasn’t readable (ie, if it were in another language, or if it were illegible text). Continue reading

Cape Cod Light paintings at Nichols-Berg Gallery through Jan 2012

Cape Cod Light #9 © 2008 J. Thomson All rights reserved

Cape Cod Light #9 by J. Thomson
6″ x 8″ Oil on Canvas

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Four little beauties

Cape Cod Light 4x4 © 2009 J. Thomson From the Cape Cod Light series, © 2009 J. Thomson, all rights reserved. Oil on canvas, 4″ x 4″. Continue reading