I tried something new today, related to the automatic writing of the Surrealists, I noted in a previous post (Automatism in Crumpled Paper). My thesis was that paper has a predisposition to being crumpled one way or another in cooperation with its human crumpler; this, I posited, was not in disagreement with automatism defined by the Surrealist Manifesto:
“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))
Today, my ‘automatic writing’ implement was a knife edge, and my tablet was a sheet of watercolor paper. I scratched my designs without benefit of visual feedback, as the scrapes and slashes were not visible in the ambient light. However, after dowsing the paper with watercolors of my choosing, the scratches accepted more pigment than the surrounding paper, and revealed themselves.
Here is my first study:
I did have a design in mind for this study when I did my scratching. Since visual feedback was absent, I wasn’t completely sure of the outcome, but I was not surprised by it.
In future studies along this line, I will try to empty my mind of preconceived patterns, and scratch and slash my way to surprising results. (I just hope that my own blood is not one of those surprises through an errant slash or scratch.)