What is Shorthand Art?


Shorthand Art:  Jesus

Shorthand Art:  Trouble/Trust

What is Shorthand Art?

Why do you call it the Lost Art Collection?

Shorthand is a brief form of writing that evolved from stenography used in the courtroom. It is written in abbreviated symbols that represent sounds in words and allows one to record at a rapid rate.

The form of shorthand that I learned in high school was Gregg Shorthand, Diamond Jubilee series, which was the eighth edition of shorthand created by Gregg and used between 1963 and 1977. Both my sister and I were encouraged by our mother to learn shorthand as a critical life skill. She was right in encouraging this skill, which both my sister and I still use today. Not only was it handy for taking thorough notes in college through post-graduate school, it also helped us get jobs. For me it became a key tool in taking verbatim notes at Council meetings.

My husband asked me to consider painting using shorthand symbols. I was dubious at the start because shorthand is a lost art with the electronic devices used today. I didn’t believe that enough people could read it much less know what it is, making it difficult to find a commonality of meaning in my artwork. My husband pushed even harder and asked that I design him a tattoo with shorthand symbols that he would add to his arm. That began the Shorthand Lost Art Collection, using embedded shorthand to paint abstracts.

The Collection includes three paintings as of July 2013 with plans for several more—if not anything just to delight my husband’s heart. The three paintings are: Thank you, God; Trouble; and Jesus. My husband is scheduled for a tattoo of his first shorthand art and his artist, Inky, is excited!

To read the story behind each painting proceed to the next pages.

©Penelope Culbreth-Graft,  July 2013





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