I know that the term ‘automatic’ in conjunction with writing and drawing conjures up the Surrealists and psychoanalysis. I have always been interested in the process, because I am a fan of the Surrealists, and Dada. Many years ago a tried to write poetry in this fashion, but I lost most of the results. And, of course, I like all things ‘Automattic’, because WordPress blogs are what the web is all about.
Recently (see my previous post) I rediscovered the charm of automatic creation. Using a very basic graphic design tool: an ink pen that can only be used to draw lines along a ruler. I exhibited the results in September 2016 during an art event. In fact I created them on the evening before the opening, because most of my oil and acrylic paintings were not finished in time. People were charmed by the freshness and lack of finish of the drawings. Some of them I coloured with pencil (Faber-Castell Polychromos), and some I coloured with watercolour.
The inspiration of the drawings originates in Italy, and more specifically a journey from Le Marche to Lazio, and Umbria. The drawings are ‘inspired’ by the landscapes and villages, not literal copies, they are concatenations of shapes that popped up during these automatic drawing sessions. The pen, the unstoppable flow of ink, are the main protagonists of these drawings. These pens are created to draw straight lines of even thickness, they are totally unsuitable for fine drawing. But they are great to invent things as you go an to discover the things your mind throws at you.
My mental world is the world of pre-Socratic philosophy, myth, and eternal landscapes, which is also reflected in these drawings. Are they art?
A free impression based on a visit to Orvieto last summer. In September 2016 I made a series of very quick sketches using India ink and a very old pen used for technical ruler drawing. The pen has a screw that governs the flow of ink. They were normally used for technical drawings, frames etc. I inherited this one from my father, who used it as a typography student.
The ink flows out, and you can’t do much to control it. So you have to move very fast, and preferably without pause, because when you stop you will get a blob of ink. No time to plan, no time to think, just go. A perfect way to create a series of spontaneous drawings with flaws and all.
I used very rough blueish grey sketching paper that I bought years ago and can’t find anywhere anymore.
A series of 4 is now framed and forms a perfect match to the colours of the paneling in the main corridor of the wonderful B&B (or better, D&D = ‘dining & dreaming’: Voorheen de 5 Platenen) of nearby friends.
Unfathomable depths of iconographic variations in never ending combinations. Teach yourself the subtle art of Doomsday Prediction and go forth … from village fair to village fair, from hill to valley, from towne to townshippe, and shakey uppe ye olde publicke opinione.
This illustration, or rather impression, is created with black ink from Liquitex and watercolour on smooth all-purpose art paper (Paint-On by Clairefontaine, 250 gsm).
It was done fairly quickly and loosely to match the style of the educational website in which it appears. I always use Rembrandt watercolour paint by Royal Talens. Rembrandt watercolour has a wide range of vibrant, very high quality, and lightfast, colours. There are of course other very good brands, but I have decided to be chauvinistic, and loyally stick with this high quality Dutch brand.
Sorting and storing my photo’s I came across this one, which I had already forgotten all about. Having an afternoon off after an exhausting meeting a few years ago, I strolled with my daughter through Paris while we reflected on the cult of the Self(ie).
We went for a coffee in what is probably the worst café in the world, Café Marly, just a stone’s throw from the Louvre. While we waited a very long time for the obnoxious, arrogant and very slow waiter to bring us a cold cappuccino which was brewn from a mixture of sewage and water taken from the industrial port of Le Havre, we observed the ritual of the selfie in all its manifestations. Which was nice.
Our mood was not in the least affected by the bad coffee, and the abysmal hospitality at Café Marly; we shrugged it off, and continued our wanderings through the town.