HOW I WORK/PAINT
accidental but controlled and intended -
I have noticed when painting -
1) a work always automatically and unintentionally moves in the direction of -
harmony or unity of all aspects, structures or components (eg colours, forms, placing of forms or
composition, textures, etc),
for example the manner in which a certain colour is (or all colours are) presented, the ways in
which a certain form is executed (eg different types of brushstrokes and other ways of producing a
form), the ways in which paint , pastel (or whatever media being employed) is applied or executed,
the support/s and all other aspects that together contribute to the unity of a work.
I often deliberately attempt to circumvent this almost automatic movement towards trying to produce
unity, union, harmony, some kind of pleasing or pleasant appearance, picture, depiction or work.
An example of this is the 'landscape-type' expression, presentation or depiction a work takes on.
2) many artists who work non-objectively, not-representational, non-figuratively or 'abstract' (this is
a misnomer as abstract art refers to the attempt to 'abstract' certain aspects of 'reality' and to try
and represent or express the abstracted elements, the pioneering examples of "pure painting",
an early term for abstract art.) attempt to make their work
interesting ( by adding different levels of meaning, interpretation, expression,etc)
by adding lines, forms, shapes, colours, figures, objects and other elements that will
make their work appear as realistic, refer or point to or represent some realistic or
recognizable object, place, situation, mood, feeling, etc.
Examples of artists who did this are Klee, Basquiat, de Kooning, those who add letters
or entire words, number or entire formulas and mathematical symbols to their work, etc.
I intentionally steer away from this and do not add signs, marks, colours, forms (eg triangles,
arrows, circles, squares, moons, etc), etc to my work to try and achieve this objective.
3) There is a difference between making marks on paper a) merely for the sake of making a mark
and b) to create a definite shape . This can be illustrated by these two works of de Kooning.
In the first image the artist tried to create definite or 'clear' shapes buy the way in which, how and
where the applies the paint. He even takes this process of making marks so as to produce,
represent and obtain a definite shape by the the (or thick/er) dark lines he creates around
the outside or outlines of the shapes.
In the second image the artist make marks (in this case by brush strokes) merely for the sake
or purpose of making marks.
The brush strokes (or whatever way being employed to make the marks) are themselves the purpose
of making the marks, the aim and the 'contents' (meaning) of the work.
The words on his tombstone, Klee's credo, placed there by his son Felix, say, "I cannot be grasped
in the here and now, For my dwelling place is as much among the dead, As the yet unborn, Slightly
closer to the heart of creation than usual, But still not close enough."
. He generally worked in isolation from his peers, and interpreted new art trends in his own way.
He was inventive in his methods and technique. Klee worked in many different media—oil paint,
watercolor, ink, pastel, etching, and others. He often combined them into one work. He used canvas,
burlap, muslin, linen, gauze, cardboard, metal foils, fabric, wallpaper, and newsprint. Klee
employed spray paint, knife application, stamping, glazing, and impasto, and mixed media such as
oil with watercolor, watercolor with pen and India ink, and oil with tempera
examples from early Twentieth Century music (Debussy, Webern, Berg, Bartok) - to illustrate
these aspects of non-figurative painting -
Atonality in its broadest sense is music that lacks a tonal center, or key.
Atonality, in this sense, usually describes compositions written from about 1908 to the present day
where a hierarchy of pitches focusing on a single, central tone is not used, and the notes of the
chromatic scale function independently of one another (Kennedy 1994). More narrowly, the term
atonality describes music that does not conform to the system of tonal hierarchies that characterized
classical European music between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries (Lansky, Perle, and Headlam 2001).
"The repertory of atonal music is characterized by the occurrence of pitches in novel combinations,
as well as by the occurrence of familiar pitch combinations in unfamiliar environments" (Forte 1977, 1).
More narrowly still, the term is sometimes used to describe music that is neither tonal nor serial,
especially the pre-twelve-tone music of the Second Viennese School, principally Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg,
and Anton Webern (Lansky, Perle, and Headlam 2001). However, "[a]s a categorical label, 'atonal'
generally means only that the piece is in the Western tradition and is not 'tonal'" (Rahn 1980, 1),
although there are longer periods, e.g., medieval, renaissance, and modern modal musics to which this
definition does not apply. "[S]erialism arose partly as a means of organizing more coherently the
relations used in the preserial 'free atonal' music. ... Thus many useful and crucial insights about
even strictly serial music depend only on such basic atonal theory" (Rahn 1980, 2).
Examples from mathematics to show the structures in terms of which the human brain functions, thinks and perceives -A golden rectangle with longer side a and shorter side b, when placed adjacent to a
square with sides of length a, will produce a similar golden rectangle with longer side a + b and
shorter side a. This illustrates the relationship . .
pure painting -
an early term for abstract art.) attempt to make their work accessible, interesting ( by adding different
levels of meaning, interpretation, expression,etc) acceptable, etc by adding lines, forms, shapes, colours,
figures, objects and other elements that will make their work appear as realistic, refer or point to or
represent some realistic or recognizable object, place, situation, mood, feeling, etc
more on the controlled aspect -
much of the process of (creative and original) painting is pre-conceptual and/or pre-
rational, some aspects might be rational, the result of thinking, planning, reflection
and most definite will be the result of previous experience (both experience outside
the discourse of painting as well as experience the artists developed in the discourse
of painting) of the artist.
Experience outside the discourse of painting, or experience that are not directly
linked to the process of painting could include anything in the reality and life of
the artist. It also refers to that what is perceived by the different senses, the
results of reflection on such perceptions and the structures of perception that
are employed by human beings for perception by their senses and by reflection on
perceptions, thinking and talking about or communication of such perceptions and
All this information, knowledge, understanding, insights and wisdom developed by the
artist forms part of or constitute his 'experience'. These things playa role in
the pre-conceptual and pre-rational consciousness or awareness of the artist as well
as in his conceptual and rational thinking, understanding and expression or awareness
All these things are referred to the controlled aspect. In other words when Richter
(with his squeegee) , Pollock (with his drippings), etc appear to be working in
an accidental (uncontrolled) manner, their actions are 'controlled' and informed
(based upon and informed) by all their previous experience, and more specifically
by selected, relevant aspects of that experience that constitutes the mind set,
style, life world and reality of the artist at that point in time. Therefore, even if
his activities might appear to be accidental, a controlled aspect do play a part
in his painting.
Richter and his squeegee and Pollock at work