Monday, 22 May 2017

Ways into Abstract Painting Week 3: Random Systems and memory/text

Week 3 on 'ways into abstract painting' and we  were looking at random systems. Jackson Pollock was the obvious example   but also other abstract expressionists . Also favourites like the 'Cage paintings by Gerhard Richter ( which I look forward to revisiting this Thursday when we  have a visit to Tate Modern

What I hadn't realised was that John Cage himself  made  a series of prints and drawings inspired by the Ryoanji garden in Kyoto, Japan's most celebrated Zen garden, composed of 15 stones arranged in five mossy islands against a ground of raked gravel. Cage's prints and drawings, begun in 1983, required him to draw (first with a metal drypoint tool, later in pencil) around the perimeters of 15 stones whose positions on the etching plate or paper were determined by chance.

  Our 'random systems' were rather more prosaic: throwing a dice for  type  of mark / paint application method ( eg drip, squeegee, dry brush , finger etc); drawing a card for position on paper ( eg bottom right, allover)  and spinning a bottle for colour!
 Some very interesting effects ,some due to paint not fully dry  such as black squeegeed paint over yellow drips in the  first painting at the top.
In my second go, I used  some techniques and colours I hadn't used before so semi-random, but found it more difficult  and less successful making decisions  for myself!

 We'd been asked  the previous week to bring text/poem or thought about a memory
 We looked at some artworks  where text had been employed as marks or the inspiration for artworks. Jasper Johns is the obvious one ( reminds me I still have to post about' the American Dream '.... )
Julie Mehretu

Jessica Rankin

Maliheh Afnan
Mira Schendal
 Kurt Schwitters  (incorporating text in collage)

 The example used for painting a memory was the 'portraits' of Howard Hodgkin like the one above of David Hockney.

I'd brought   the poem 'Breaths ' by sweet honey in the rocks  which I'd used for my Cynefin piece  'Voice of the Waters'  and memories of a particular place' Thorn's Gill'  

I had a fine time mixing colours and using the written words themselves as marks , very different to my usual painting style  but that's the point, to try something new. I should have stopped   at the stage above ( I particularly like the right hand side with 'moaning rocks' in grey and ' crying grass' in yellowy -green)  but as usual went too far ! I'm getting better at slowing down, spending more time looking than painting  and making more considered marks but I'm not there yet.

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