Art 2 – Automatist creation – due 2/21

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Enjoy the video and let your imagination wander  with these images.

Read about Max Ernst and his use of decalcomania

Max Ernst / Decalcomania

As a possible way to approach your painting, (with acrylic and matte medium instead of oil paint and turpenoid), watch the techniques in this video

In your post, comment on ideas gained from each one of the  4 links.

Also comment on the approaches you will take in setting up your abstract ground, how you will work to reveal imagery in your painting, and the path you hope to follow as it evolves.

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6 responses »

  1. I really like the idea of letting the paint smear as it may and seeing what comes up, it’s like the project painting itself. I’m definitely going to use the shrink wrap trick, I love the texture that makes. The fourth video was especially helpful, I like the idea of letting the shrink wrap do its things and smoothing and defining it with your brush to make a landscape.

  2. I think it’s interesting how this style of art, while still connected to a technique, is much more individual, the shapes that you see and you think belong, not something like realism which is much more systematic. I like the textures created by the plastic wrap because of how natural it looks, and how she is able to bend textures into very complex objects and landscapes without a whole lot of effort, it just arises.

  3. I’m not a huge fan of Ernst, but I admire how he can put recognizable figures into abstract shapes. I think it’s interesting how it is linked to psychology with Rorschach tests. The saran wrap is cool because it gives it a very authentic look without all the technical expertise. I want to use yellow and bright green with ink blots. I want to get away from the dark ugly paintings in some of the videos, but use the same techniques shown in them.

  4. Ernst’s work is impressive not only because of the intricacy of his pieces, but because of the unpredictable behavior of his methods. Decalcomania seems to be a sort of whimsical style of painting because much of your results depend on difficult to control factors, such as the way the plastic crinkles into the paint. The amazing part is what Ernst (and the woman in the fourth video) were able to create out of a backdrop that looked simply like a lot of lines. With shading and negative space, they were able to create amazing scenes and landscapes. I learned that, although you should have some idea what you want to do with your painting when setting up the abstract ground, it is okay to figure it out along the way because you can create something amazing out of almost nothing. I hope to do something similar, and I would love to experiment with letting the painting dry and using the same technique again with a different color on top of it.

  5. Watching the selection of Rorschach ink blots was interesting because I noticed how I naturally wanted to ‘see’ very distinct images in the blots even though the blots were meant to be abstract. The intention is for the viewer to interpret the patterns based upon his or her own psychological perspective. It shows how the brain naturally wants to make coherent meaning out of even relatively random images.
    Some of Max Ernst’s paintings reminded me of how swirls of paint or distressed wood can seem to have images embedded in them, even if the shapes and colors are completely random. In his other paintings, Ernst’s images (like a woman’s torso) can be somewhat realistic, even if they contain fantastic elements in terms of their setting and depiction of the human form. Ernst often paints half-human, half-animal beasts that challenge the gazer’s notions of reality or deploys purposefully absurd perspectives and images that are simultaneously fascinating and unsettling.
    Viewing all of these images has made me more eager to embrace spontaneity in my own work, and to let my imagination and the appearance of color, line, and shadow guide me rather than attempt to render a perfect image of ‘reality.’ The emphasis should be on ‘finding’ shapes and images using Max Ernst’s decalcomania technique rather than imposing them upon the canvas.

  6. The first video inspires me to use symmetry in my work.

    Max Ernst’s art made me think about use of shadows and texture. I layered a lot of paint in my automatist piece. I especially like his painting at 4:03.

    From the last video, I learned to paint the first coat very thin and then lift the paint up with saran wrap.

    For my painting, I layered many colors and added texture by changing the shape or dryness of my brushes. It evolved quite a lot, and I am happy with the results.

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