Wk4 – Art Experience – Automatic Drawing


I generally love abstract art. It’s fun to make, it resists interpretation, and it automatically makes the viewer feel something.

This week’s art project is called Automatic Drawing, and it sounds pretty much exactly like what it entails. With a partner, sit on the ground facing each other, and while holding the same pastel, attempt to draw something without focusing too hard on the finished product. I believe that a mind-muscle connection is supposed to take place, possibly letting the two partners trade back and forth between the guiding-hand role. Instead of trying to get the activity to play out a certain way, I figured that a project called Automatic Drawing would probably be best performed without thinking too much. My partner for this was Janis Vernier, whom you’ve seen previously on this blog back in Week 1. He’s a great guy that I get along with well, plus he’s an Illustration major, so this would hopefully be a breeze for both of us.

First, the hot cement floor by Brotman Hall is not the best place to sit for more than five minutes. It was noon and the California dry heat hit us immediately. I brought the poster board and Janis brought the pastels, though I felt as if the pastels could have spontaneously melted at any moment. Getting started felt a bit awkward for me at first, simply because two guys touching hands will always feel a little weird in certain scenarios. After the drawing began, everything felt like it was slowing down in some manner. I noticed every direction turn by the pastel, previously thinking the drawing portion of the activity would make me mentally zone out. I actually couldn’t discern between Janis’ direction changes and my own, which was quite surprising. Perhaps we had truly done some automatic drawing.


After starting with black, Janis and I tried green. The same general experiences happened: direction changes weren’t intentional, I was fully aware of every movement. Janis commented that the closed-eyes drawing felt therapeutic, and I agree to an extent. I didn’t exactly feel relaxed while drawing, but it definitely brought me to a lower energy output. The end result was actually a pleasant visual, which uncompromisingly reminds me of Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street.


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