Saturday, November 23, 2013

Automatic Writing

The Kobold's House (work in progress). Mixed media on wood. Private collection.

Certainly, there's much to be said about careful planning. And I honestly do that for many of my works--especially commissions and illustrations. Lack of planning--especially in the form of thumbnails, generally leads to lackluster pictures.

That being said, I am not a natural planner, and I indulge in much "Automatic Drawing" for the simple joy and mystery of it. I liken it to Automatic Writing . Even though my first and so far, only exposure to that phenomenon was through the hideous Mrs. Montague in Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, the unconscious act of letting my pencil do what it will seems very like a paranormal activity. (And unlike the ridiculous night-vision-ghost-hunter shows, I actually get to see a satisfying result.)

For this piece, the only thought in my head was working with an orange light at night. I had a pre-primed wood circle in the drawer and late one night, I drew the picture directly onto the wood. It felt like meditation--very few conscious  thoughts were present, and while I know there are imperfections, I loved the drawing and relished the process.

I inked it with a small brush and added the cross-hatching the next morning. Application of the colored inks and acrylics followed. The best thing, by suspending any "perfection goal", I learned a lot. There is very little I like better--at least art-related.

I am a great subscriber to Jung's theories about archetypes and inspiration--in this case his archetype of the home. The upper floor represents the conscious personality, the ground floor is the personal unconscious, and the deeper level is the collective unconscious – the primitive, shared aspect of psychic life.
The Kobold is a faery denizen often living deep in mines. This fellow's conscious personality likes comfort though, and lives on his own snug main floor. To access the mine, he heads down to the pantry--his personal unconscious mind. The trap door in his pantry leads down the creaky wooden steps to the collective unconscious.

To access the mine, sometimes all I have to do is have a clean surface for drawing.

Thanks for the visit!

Ps. It'll be available for purchase at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities in a few short weeks.


  1. I like this very much...and I like the way you think :)

    1. Well, sometimes the thinking gets in the way, Elizabeth. Still, it is what it is. Thanks for checking this out!


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