Sometimes when I need a diversion from writing, I poke around location scout Andrea Raisfeld’s website of interesting spaces for rent for photography locations. You can browse by type (apartment, barn, log cabin…), or description (contemporary, Modernist, Swedish…), or even by a feature (bunk bed, river, treehouse), and so on. I always find unexpected ideas there, like the rectangle of unframed chalkboard on a wall at designer Pamela Hovland’s house in Connecticut.

Pamela made a pattern of chalk squiggles that is striking. She says some people have it mistaken for a Cy Twombly (an artist famous for chalkboard-like paintings and magnificent squiggles), although Pamela wasn’t thinking of his work when she made it. This is a grown-up chalkboard, made to define the space in an un-kid-like way. In addition to drawings and designs, there’s all sorts of things that would be good to write on chalkboard besides lists, like poems, quotes, dreams or “what if’s…”


The brilliant social thinker and visionary Rudolf Steiner made some astonishing – if inadvertent – chalkboard art when he illustrated his lectures…

Rudolph Steiner
Rudolph Steiner

(After many of his “thought drawings” had been erased, someone had the idea to give him coarse black paper to draw on so they could be preserved.)

It’s easy enough to make a chalkboard: a flat slab of something, like plywood or composites from the lumber yard or a stretched canvas (available at art supply stores)…painted with chalkboard paint (it comes in several shades of gray and colors!…yellow, orange, sour green…)…Or just paint a right on a wall…


A single photo on Andrea Raisfeld’s location site shook loose a lot of ideas…Did you catch the curtains with the big orange hem?!

If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

Support Improvised Life ♥

One thought on “grown-up chalkboard “art”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *