Exercise; Dripping, Dribbling and spattering.
Look at the work by Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) whose paintings are explosive in effect. How have they been applied? And how could you create the same effect. Prepare a large sheet of paper and newspaper, mix up severally colours into diluted solutions. Lay this on the ground and work from above. Apply the paint in several ways such as dripping, throwing, spinning and any think about how some colours recede and others dominate.
Do you feel at any time finished? I think you get to a point where you wonder what is the point. At one time a just raised the paint off the card because it became dull, messy. The water cleaned away the paint and left behind a dry residues which were far more interesting. I stopped when is became interesting to look at.
How could you exploit any of these effects in future work? I think these are very good exercises to help loosen up and to stop your self looking for the obvious for example a tree, leaves, branches and generally all things that we know are there but our automatic thought process hinders what we really are seeing at the time. It helps to look at what is happening to the paint, how the oil and water react with one another and how the glue acts as a partition and colours gather creating a marble effect. Pollock said ” I don’t paint Nature, I am Nature…I work from the inside out, like Nature.” COLLINGS 1999. P.44 I think therefore that this exercise was productive in reminding me ,or any painter, that we are nature creating nature, not a machine that reproduces nature like the camera. Our creating is our rendition of our nature. So- don’t just copy what you see, be creative and express what you see or how you feel or both.
I worked on certain colours of grounds cover painted on A2 paper, yellow ochre, cadmium orange light hue, burnt Siena , primary blue and black. I took these into the garden and laid them down from light to dark with stones to keep them in place. I flicked the White paint in a circular motion and the green paint was spattered over all the sheets from a higher level. The smaller dot patterns were from Indian inks and sprayed from a syringe and then diluted with water. The black card was folded together to imprint the paint and mix the colours directly. I wanted to see what effect the black ground would have on certain colours as yellow can look green when painted on a black ground. I blended some of the colours on the page by Tonking. I wasn’t expecting to paint something, I was just playing with the paint, thinking about how to move my wrist and how hard to throw the paint tube. I was cautious not to use to much paint as I still wanted the ground colours to show. It was fun and playful and I was interested with the outcome as I didn’t expect anything so the paintings were a pleasant surprise.
I feel that you needed to be rather aggressive and chaotic with the paint throwing to get the same effect as Jackson Pollock. He was nick named ‘ Jack the Dripper’. His drip and splash type of painting was named Action painting around 1947 . He used enamel paints , metallic paints and commercial paints as their texture suited the technique of action painting. He added materials to his paintings like sand and Broken glass and used non conventional tools such as knifes, garden trolls and sticks to manipulate his work that was fully abstract, no composition. Sometimes the canvas was later cut or trimmed to size influenced by the painting , he didn’t paint confined to the shape of the canvas. His most famous supporter was the critic Clement Greenberg (1909-94) who wrote referencing Pollock in his essay ‘The Decline of Cubism’ March 1948. Wood .2016.p.577.
‘Art has risen in the last five years, with the emergence of new talents so full of energy and content as Arshile Gorky, Jackson Pollock, David Smith…-then the conclusion forces itself, much to our own surprise, that the main premises of Western art have at last migrated to the United States, along with the centre of gravity of industrial production and political power.’ Wood.P.579.
Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artist by Ian Chilvers. Fourth edition. 2009 OXFORD university Press. Oxford.
Art in Theory 1900-2000 An Anthology of Changing Ideas. Edited by Charles Harrison and Paul Wood. Blackwell Publishing 2016.
The Encyclopedia of Oil Painting Techniques by Jeremy Galton. Search Press. Tunbridge Wells Kent UK 2006
This is Modern Art by Mattew COLLINGS. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. London 2000