I have been busy with an number of parallel projects, both writing and art. I was looking for a nice signature/sign/icon/logo to use universally as a signature on graphic work, but also on websites, social accounts, and prints. I think I created a very simple, minimalistic even, logo.
The logo is inspired by geometric art, but also by the signatures of Japanese masters on their prints and scrolls. But it is also a typographic logo, combining the E and the B, from which it takes the negative forms and transforms it as red discs.
So far, so good. I like it, and I will be able to use it in many media.
Liechtenstein and Wittgenstein
Were all but umbered and saffroned
By mere kandleknights of everwhites For all the wondrous globulisers to ignore.
And evangelically synecdochistic and stochasmic Appeared a chance to disappear and dissipate
In multiple monoperplexing spectrometrics Within two miles from Ramesses’ nihilistic Nilometer.
’t Was with great funferall that
A bottle of Craux Magnon
From the cellars of Faux Mignonne
Was decorkitated and capitulised.
With circumspect glossaries of
Dossaries and red-nosed rosaries
While the words of the good man
Were dissecticised with circumflex
Instrumechanics of hardened zinnober
While reciting spoonfuls of Amens.
(Eelco Bruinsma 2018)
My spell checker didn’t like this poem at all. I had to push cmd-z many times to roll back the autocorrected suggestions while typing the handwritten version. It is obviously a hommage to one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, James (Augustine Aloysius) Joyce (1882-1942). I started reading his works when still at school, ages ago, and never stopped.
Of course there have been many people that tried to imitate his layered language, some attempts are better than others. I do not pretend to compete with either of them. Finnegans Wake is one of the most musical works of literature that I know. When you hear the rare recordings of James Joyce reading a passage from the book, you will instantly know why.
This work is written to be read aloud. Try it with this poem too, with a rolling old-fashioned ‘r’. There is one word in the poem, which is directly cited from Finnegans Wake, perhaps one of the most central concepts in the work. Joyce adepts will immediately spot it, do you?
Still, looking at it, I am quite pleased with a few neologisms.
The image preceded the poem. While I was making the drawing a parallel process started in my head, which eventually became the poem. The illustration is a 29,7 x 42 cm gouache.
Often when I look at architecture and architectural drawings, I have an almost synesthetic perception of music. Not a real melody, but a sense of musical rhythm, somewhere deep inside me. Of course the structure of a piece of music is often referred to as its ‘architecture’, so the association between these two arts is not really uncommon. This inspired me to create this image of an apartment building with the facade removed. The visual elements in the interior, and the structural elements of the building are like a colourful musical notation with nested patterns, repetition, and silence.
I simply had to make this. Every year I want to make some Halloween illustrations, but usually, I only think about it when there is only little time. Now I started just in time. It’s fairly rough, and loose because painted in between other jobs. Ink, gouache for the bottles, pumpkins and mushrooms, and watercolour for the sky. I also now discovered that these materials go well together. I think I have always been too strict, sticking to one technique, or material at the time. It’s a bit of an artist’s dogma I think.
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 for 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 a 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 panelling in the main corridor of the wonderful B&B (or better, D&D = ‘dining & dreaming’: Voorheen de 5 Platanen) of nearby friends.
Inspired by Italian villages and the sea that surrounded me in August, I spent as much time as I could with my little Hahnemühle travel sketch book and a technical pencil. Re-inventing my impressions.
Addition (19 september 2016)
Just for fun I uploaded this drawing into Adobe Color CC to see which color theme this web application would automatically distill from the limited palette. I called it – quite originally – “Graphite Pencil”. I like it, the software has chosen a balanced distribution of greys.
This watercolour was a real pain to create. The Mulberry paper is mainly used for printing techniques like etching, and doesn’t like India ink and watercolour. When applying watercolour the water is sucked right out of the brush, and the rough surface resists a nice even brushstroke. But I wanted to approach ancient, and predominantly non-Western techniques, like the tree-bark paintings that originates in some South-Sea areas.
Although the painting refers to South-Sea visual- and narrative motives, it also contains references to African (Chi Wara) antilope masks, DNA strings, architectural remnants of past cultures and ancient Northern European runes. It’s a memory chart of cultural history, a theme that I have started to explore again recently.