Thursday, July 23, 2009

July 24-diving into the stream of conscious

After I finished my undergrad degree, with no particular plans but a strong desire to study further and with several months of grant money I went to Japan. It seems naiive and adventurous to me now. I enrolled at an art university that offered a printmaking seminar under the auspices of its oil painting department. Oil painting in Japan is a relatively new medium. Printmaking, though a longstanding form of visual communication and expression, was not held in very high esteem and thus relegated to seminar status. There were four students in the class. The interesting thing to me was that two of us worked in a stream of conscious way-drawing, erasing, creating and destroying until in that process of experimentation, we arrived at a satisfactory composition. The process of the other two students was markedly different. They would draw what they envisioned and change very little if anything from the initial concept.

My process of working has not changed so much. Today's paper cut and some of my more successful compositions have been born out of a scribbled line. Reminiscent of Rohrschach's inkblots, there is a puddle of ink, a scribbled line or a scrap of paper suggesting a form that yields a graphic.

wikipedia says that "...Rorschach's use of inkblots may have been inspired by German doctor Justinius Kerne, who published a book of poems, each of which was inspired by an accidental inkblot; and the French psychologist, Binet had also experimented with inkblots as a creativity test." Today's paper cut similarly to Fish Dreaming emerged from a scrap of paper cut away from another larger composition. I will post more of these "Rohrschach" paper cuts. The big hunks of paper are odd shapes but too large to throw out. I like the idea of using these odds and ends; it helps me to loosen up, be more fluid, less judgemental in my process and produces workable image. These paper cuts prompted this blog. The dailies are sort of like my version of a short story or rather there is a narrative with these that does not exist in say my botanical images. Today's image reminded me of the (fool)hardy fellows who go swimming in icy waters.

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