Automatism in Crumpled Paper

Does paper have an unconsciousness? When one randomly crumples paper, it is a partnership between the paper and the crumpler. The paper has its internal stresses and imperfections and the person who crumples the paper has his or her idiosyncrasies of strength and muscle balance in the hands. The result is a shared unconsciousness, an automatism.

This brings to mind the definition of surrealism:

“Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express — verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner — the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.” (Surrealist Manifesto (1924))

In my study below, I crumpled my paper randomly, without thought. However, I was conscious of the placement of the colors, based on the texture of the prepared paper. On balance, my painting fits the definition of a surrealistic work.

Watercolor: Automatic Abstract on Folded, Scrunched Paper

14″x11″ 90# Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper


6 thoughts on “Automatism in Crumpled Paper

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