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Purple Satin

Automatic Drawing

Updated: May 4, 2023

Hey guys. What is the magical technique of automatic drawing, you ask?  It's the practice of completely clearing your mind of thoughts and letting the hand guide where the subconscious mind wants.  Some do this with eyes closed, but it's up to you. After my first sketch (below) I was happy to see through the barren lines and spirals, a whole landscape scene just waiting to be brought to life with color. 

a sketchbook page of wavy, swirly lines drawn "automatically"
My first automatic drawing outcome

Simple lines and abstract shapes allow for many interpretations. It seems to be most associated with surrealism and expressionists, as the style and methods share similarities.

Second drawing "Looking for the Light"

I drew on a sketchbook page:  mostly a swirl meeting in the middle of the page (my interpretation is that it is light through a tunnel), there is a figured/abstract person that I added a beanie and eye to, that is peering up into this spiral center.  I added a flower vine and there are scratchy-like "plants" to the far left.  I signed it and photographed it in a lightbox with a red backdrop surrounded by four admired rocks from my collection
Second automatic drawing

I will be doing some of these drawings and labeling them with current pondering and any other happenings that might relate to what comes out. They naturally are highly personal.

Automatic drawing was first described by Austin Osman Spare in his "Book of Pleasure" in the 1920's. He also practiced automatic writing.  The book is described as one to read slowly to understand, though it provides an interesting perspective. Some well-known artists that practiced this type of drawing include Salvador Dali, Andre Masson, Joan Miro, and Max Ernst.  Tim Gula flawlessly laid out comic book scenes with this method. Sigmund Freud also analyzed his patients minds by asking them to draw or write freely.

An article titled Automatism by Tate mentioned, "Freud’s ideas strongly influenced French poet André Breton who launched the surrealist movement in 1924 with the publication of the Manifesto of Surrealism. In the manifesto, Breton defined surrealism as:

'Pure psychic automatism ... the dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason and outside all moral or aesthetic concerns.'"

You can practice this any time, but it can be especially helpful if you're in a creative block. You might consider making it a morning and/or night ritual as a way to free the mind. It's very relaxing and a way to let out unexpressed emotions. You'll naturally calm down with a few conscious breathes and by simply allowing what is to play out. There's no judgement of skill, so it could be a way to start trying art if you're the type who has always stuck with stick figures, when you'd truly rather see that you're able to draw a pleasant visual of any sort.

I personally have a long running list of design ideas that I plan to get out but after trying this method for the first time, I'm eager to practice it and incorporate it into artworks at least on occasion. 


Other happenings here

Flow Slow & Shine prints are in! Original canvas listing and other merch to follow.

🌸 A new Spring painting (I'm aligning with the seasonal timeline, so you don't have to melt the snow with your eyes, like that time when I shared "Snowshoe Summit" in the late Spring.)

☀️ My signature developed shiny sun rays, so you'll see that on my things from now on.

Fixed the gallery layout on the mobile homepage 🙃 sneaky

Wrapped this crescent shaped tiger's eye for a friend. It has a delicate twist that suspends it before connecting to the string. (I don't want to guarantee that I could do it again. Super slippy rock. Knowing myself I would try though for someone who couldn't live without it, if I found another gem like this).

Cresent shaped tiger's eye (yellowish brown and black) 6 lava rock beads mixed with a light yellow stone bead ... a couple more tiger eye beads, and a tiny set of various metallic beads

Bar Harbor and Eyes Pile Mouse Pad Design Updates:

Printed on a mousepad with a smoky purple-purplish red background,  A pink to orange to yellow sunset shines through clouds with the Super moon beginning to rise on the right.  The perspective is at the bottom of Bar Harbor's parking deck that looks over the ocean inlet.  A whale watching tour boat, along with a lighthouse tour boat, and another few sail boats surround them smaller in size.  There is a nice lobster shack type of ocean side restaurant overlooking the bay.  Two storied shops and businesses line the street on the land shown on the left.  Pine and northern hardwood trees fill the surrounding islands in the distance.

A pair of pink lips sits in front of a pile of unique eyes balls within another eye.

It's the weekend! Back to work for me 🎨🖌️

Thanks for reading. You're the best.



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