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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Occassional Gifts

One more thing about palette prints: They sometimes prompt full blown "automatic" paintings full of wonder.

When I'm very lucky I'll get a color pattern that sparks my imagination and I just start adding line and color as the pattern suggests. After a bit, something magical appears that always arouses my curiosity. I'm especially fond of the one above.

What the h-ll is that all about? Why is that woman sitting on that ridiculously high stool? What is that heavy block that guy is pushing? Why is he pushing it? And where are all these oddly dressed folks going? It looks like some sort of march. I can almost hear the band.

These palette provoked automatic paintings have a life of their own, as do my automatic line drawings. In the line drawing, I showed you several posts ago, I was fascinated by the rabbit-like form running away from the foreground of the picture plane into the background. In my mind, he was pink, so I colored him so--but I had no desire to add color to any of the other figures, just the rabbit. Why was he running away? What happened to his tail? Why is he pink, the color associated with madness, (Johannes Itten, The Art of Color)? Should I worry?

The curiosity that is provoked by these automatic drawings (happenings) is what gives them life. These pictures can't be forced. They either happen, or they don't. When they do, they're the best: Never wall decor to be taken for granted, they provoke thought every time I pass them in the hall.

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