Burkhardt Discovers There’s Art in Taking Notes

Individual handwriting–a form of intimate drawing, its strokes, rhythms, symbols, erasures and personal touches–are becoming rare. Replaced by electronic writing, mail calendars, online forms, bill paying and receipts, a wide chasm has evolved between individual writing style and electronic writing, between the individual and computerized communication.

Ron Burkhardt has coined the word “Notism,” the modern phenomenon of handwriting as relic. The birth of Notism began when he created, on a sheet of blank paper, a diary of notes of what he needed to do each day, people he needed to see, phone numbers, addresses and whether tasks were completed. Writing in whatever pen or pencil was handy; each page became an organized but free-spirited conglomeration of colors, scrawls and designs. Burkhardt developed a personal history of his days, his thoughts, and his individual, spontaneous way of tackling the mundane and necessary activities…

“Graphololia” is reminiscent of a Jackson Pollock. On a blackboard black background, Burkhardt covers the surface with words and scrawls in thin fluorescent pinks and yellows. The result is primitive and naive, resembling graffiti or the discovery of the first writing. Linear rhythms move in all directions, overshadowing the writing that is there but needs to be discovered.

In “Mystic City,” Burkhardt arranges rectangular papers in a vertical/horizontal Mondrian Constructive pattern….But Burkhardt has no intention of turning these papers into a realistic scene. He intuitively designs each canvas, but always in the framework of contemporary examples of writing. The visual environment is primarily a setting in which he fills the canvas with notes, making the shapes and arrangements they form when placed in a cauldron of letters, the subject of his art.

“Mind Orbits Matter” is boiling with energy. Fragments of pages, painted different colors, exist in a visually explosive field of shapes, colors and lines. Burkhardt has an intuitive knack for placing shapes and injecting them with energetic colorful patterns. The freshness with which he approaches his work gives the impression that each painting is his first.

He creates in both Laguna Beach and New York.

Dr. Roberta Carasso/Elected Member International Art Critics Association
Review Published in Orange County Register–April 14, 2005