Today I moved onto another artist research page in my sketchbook. This time I was researching J.B.Murray who was a self taught artist. He originally was an illiterate sharecropper who had a religious vision which lead him to create many abstract piece of art and asemic script. He claimed that God told him to create the letters and it was the language of the Holy Spirit. He worked with continuous line and mark making, where he let the weight of the instrument define the mark. He rotated the paper, did it with his eyes shut and swapped hands. His work contains a lot of ambiguity as it isn’t certain which way round the work should be viewed and there isn’t any specific meaningful content to the work. Therefore his work can be different to anyone and is accessible to all regardless of their language. I really like this element to his work as the art could mean something completely different to one person as it does to someone else. This is something that I would love to achieve in my own artwork.
I then began creating some of my own pieces working in the same way. I researched that ‘automatic writing’ is an alleged psychic ability to produce written words without any conscious thought. This is what I thought I would try to get a sense of the technique J.B. Murray uses.
For this first piece I used black marker pen over areas of tissue paper stuck down. I didn’t consciously think about what shapes/letters I wanted to create instead I just let my hand flow freely and let the pen take control of what was created.
I then used red pencil, pink fine liner and black marker for this one because I wanted to try and add some colour to this work. I started by creating small shapes/marks with the red pencil and the pink fine liner. Again I wasn’t consciously thinking about what I was creating but letting the object take control. I think it is interesting that this turned out much more controlled and smaller because the pen/pencil I used for this part was a lot smaller than the previous black marker I used, this could be the reason for the smaller effect. At moments I closed my eyes and turned the page round writing on top of what I had already done, as well as trying bigger marks with the red pencil. I then worked on top of this with the same black marker as before and again the motions and marks became much bigger and expressive. This time the marks were very straight and linear, in a continuous line style.
For this last piece I used the same technique again of subconsciously writing/mark making through changing direction of the paper and closing my eyes. I used a combination of pink marker, black marker and black fine liner. This time the marks were all over the page rather than horizontal lines like usual writing would be, I think this makes this piece a lot less writing and can be viewed much more easily as art/pattern. As well as this I found that this time I used a lot more continuous lines rather than broken up shapes which also helped to give more of a arty feel to this piece rather than singular shapes which resemble letters.
Overall I really like how these turned out as I think they are really abstract. I’d like the continue with this technique or similar techniques throughout my project as I think the combination of expressive work with pieces of writing can be really effective. I think it would be useful to try this technique with different mediums as well including paint and maybe collage.