24 February 2016

Automatism and beyond

One of my discoveries during the previous drawing module - unrelated to the topic of automatism - was this work by Susan Weil in the Experimental Drawing book. It was made in 1977 and is a trompe d'oeil tonal study, made interesting (indeed, brought to life) by the movement of the torn sections -
Her website has some bookworks, including a rather spooky juxtaposition of cut-ups of her prints after Rembrandt self-portraits (see them properly here). I was intrigued by the way the different sizes worked together, and how the empty space was important. During the class Mario took a big chunk of time to discuss this with me in the context of the "automatic collage" I was doing -
Two of the four Rembrandt renditions 
Keeping in mind "what would happen if you had more than four faces" I had to try this, and (of course) went for a book format -
Well, that was fun and it certainly got that little idea out of my system. Only two seemed to work at all well -

Distracted by the monochrome/colour interplay, I wasn't paying enough attention to the spacing around the photos, ie the relative sizes of the chunks, And, coming from a fashion magazine, there wasn't much variety in the expressions of the faces.

Another thing that came up in the class was the torn-poster work of French artists Jacques Vigellé and Raymond Haynes in the 1950s (article here, pix here, book here). I had in mind to randomly glue some magazine pages and then pull bits off once the glue had dried, but somehow got deflected into tearing bits from the leftovers of the "faces" and gluing those down in a pretty pattern. Very years-ago-in-textiles-classes! Been there, done that ... but how to move on with it? The camera-as-viewfinder found some more or less interesting sections (maybe) -
 Tracing the torn edges, and then adding in some splatters from the big collage with blue rectangles -
Viewfinder technique on that found some little landscapes -
(spot the intruder)
Another thing I had to get out of my system was a cubomanie done with text. The bits I like best are those two non-text squares -
Quite possibly the squares were too big. Lesson: don't let your choices be determined by the width of the ruler at hand. And to take that lesson further - beware of the materials at hand, in general - yes they can give nice surprises, but as artists we must make choices...

So, I had some bits of tracing paper at hand, which had been part of an installation of "sky boats" once, and were salvaged when I finally discarded most of it. They held various tracings of adjoining letter shapes, unsatisfactorily - a matter of "something almost being read"- 
. I think they work better reassembled into "boats" -

Alongside the ideas raised by the Extended Drawing course, I keep fretting away on "the void", adding areas or a layer of this or that medium as it comes to hand -
shiny graphite "void" seeking obliteration


Sandy said...

Okay, I don't always comprehend all these things from your drawing pursuits, but I really love the traced torn edges with added splatters.

Connie Rose said...

As always, I love what you've done here, all of it.

Charlton Stitcher said...

Such a fascinating record of recent thoughts, generously shared.

quiltedfabricart said...

What a class! You are learning, playing , thinking - who could ask for more?