Automatism in art

Automa­tism is a form of “instant art” — the des­ti­na­tion, the final prod­uct, the aim of the work is com­plete­ly and pur­pose­ful­ly unknown at the time of com­mence­ment. It’s exact­ly like automat­ic writ­ing, but a pic­ture, not words: instant illus­tra­tion. Automat­ic draw­ing and automat­ic paint­ing.


Used by sur­re­al­ists (sur­re­al­ist automa­tism) [tomatism”>wiki] it’s a tech­nique applied equal­ly to tomatic+drawing%22&btnG=Search”>drawing and tomatic+painting%22&btnG=Search”>painting. [tomatic_painting”>wiki]

The top­ic is dis­cussed in the book [amazonify]0520069714::text::::Poets on Painters[/amazonify], a col­lec­tion of essays on art.

A good intro­duc­tion to the tech­nique and its history is found in topic/automatic-drawing-and-painting”>this arti­cle from, which lists out some of the ear­ly pio­neers and more famous exam­ples of artists apply­ing tech­niques of automa­tism in their work. In 1933, Time mag­a­zine ran an arti­cle on automat­ic paint­ing, pro­fil­ing the artist Mar­i­on Bush. In more recent times it’s been called “tomat­ic-draw­ing/automatic-drawing.htm”>yoga for artists” and a way to “chan­nel” tomatic-drawing.html”>altered states of con­scious­ness.


Automatic-art techniques

It’s sim­ple. You just draw (or paint), going with an emp­ty mind — you don’t think at what you’re try­ing to arrive at or what it is you are try­ing to illus­trate. It’s all on process. The idea is to just start draw­ing, or paint­ing, tak­ing the instru­ment in hand and going — not think­ing, not plan­ning, but allow­ing for only the motion and the flow. It prob­a­bly helps if you have the basics of paint­ing already down, so a book like [amazonify]1844480399::text::::Instant Oil Paint­ing[/amazonify] is help­ful at first just to learn basic craft.


Automatism as applied to art therapy and meditation

Tech­niques of automat­ic draw­ing are used for art ther­a­py pur­pos­es because of their med­i­ta­tive qual­i­ties. Called “med­i­ta­tive draw­ing.”

In the lit­er­a­ture, this appears in dis­cus­sion at around the time of the sur­re­al­ist painters. It’s the top­ic of a book by Milton H. Erick­son, [amazonify]B001UB4QQC::text::::Use of Automat­ic Draw­ing in the Inter­pre­ta­tion and Relief of a State of Acure Obses­sion­al Depres­sion[/amazonify], which was pub­lished in 1938!

The trade­marked Zen­tan­gle tech­nique is mar­ket­ed as a form of relax­ation, art ther­a­py and med­i­ta­tion. [ben­e­fits] [the­o­ry] [gal­leries]


For further reference

[amazonify]1872189644[/amazonify] [amazonify]0520069714[/amazonify] [amazonify]1560256214[/amazonify] [amazonify]B001UB4QQC[/amazonify]
[amazonify]B0006RH8JS[/amazonify] [amazonify]B000JJHMO4[/amazonify] [amazonify]B001TK5VS6[/amazonify] [amazonify]B000MANNIO[/amazonify]

First published on March 5th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

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