I’m reading an interesting book about artists. Legend, Myth, and Magic in the Image of the Artist, by Ernst Kris and Otto Kurz, is densely packed with interesting ideas and information. For example, throughout history, chance has come to the aid of the painter, since time immemorial. Stories abound about chance and the artist. Giorgio Vasari, a 16th century artist, also known as the first art historian relates my favorite one: He wrote about the painter Piero di Cosimo who “would sometimes stop and stare at a wall onto which sick people had vomited, and out of it conjure up for himself battles between mounted horsemen and the strangest cities and vastest landscapes ever seen. He did the same thing with clouds.” (pg 46 Legend, Myth, and Magic in the Image of the Artist, A Historical Experience by Ernst Kris and Otto Kurz, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT 1979)
The under painting in my watercolor study below has nothing of the grandeur of the dried vomit described above, but it did inspire the simple lines of a portrait.