Now that I have set the stage with a description of the initial Oneshirts and described the digital design element, I want to bring in painting.

I learned painting, starting with oil painting, from my paternal grandmother when I was in late elementary school. One year for my birthday, several years after I was given a sewing machine, my birthday present was an easel and some oil paints. My grandmother, Eula, had a painting studio on the unheated porch that wrapped around two sides of the barn the my grandfather built around the school bus he had converted into a mobile home. During the summer, I could sit next to my grandmother and try to soak up her simple advice. Her interest in art began when she spent high school in the Jewish Hospital in Denver, a public sanatorium for tubercular patients. She cut poems and pictures from magazines for her scrap books.

I stopped painting a few years later and only picked it up again five years ago, after my mother’s death. Since then, I have found watercolor and silk painting to be my preferred mediums, not feeling constrained to attempt realism, a leap my grandmother didn’t make.

Oneshirts can not only be my canvas, they can be my subject. I intend to paint a watercolor of the front and back of each of my oneshirts. To this end, I used Adobe Illustrator to make a basic “flat” that I can transfer to watercolor paper using carbon paper. From there, I can indulge the pandemically suitable activity of coloring.


Here is the front of Origin, one of the first Oneshirts. Each day I wear a shirt I haven’t yet documented, I stand in front of my phone on a tripod and take a picture of my front and back using the remote in my iWatch. Eventually I will have documentation of every oneshirt and have all I need for a full set of painting.

Origin from the side.

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