Saturday, 1 June 2013

Abstract Expessionism, Drip Painting techniques

 Janet Sobel (1894–1968)  and Jackson Pollock (1912 to 1956) developed the art technique of "drip painting" in the 1940s. Pollock was inspired to experiment with this expressive technique after seeing an exhibition of Sobel's work. Pollock laid his canvases flat on the floor and applied liquid household paints with brushes, sticks and syringes.  Pollock's painting technique moved away from the considered and figurative Western art traditions although later in his work he resurrected figurative content. He claimed that he was influenced by American Indian sandpainting techniques.

When you make art on the ground it changes your view and way of working. If you paint with a large canvas in this way, you move around the area in order to physically paint. This takes the artist out of the traditional Western landscape or portrait genres by subverting the singularity of direction usually implied. The decision as to which direction is vertical or horizontal then becomes more random, a choice made by the artist or viewer.

Earth, Wind, Fire; My Molonglo,  1400 X 1800mm,   Annette Schneider,  May 2012, Acrylic, Decomposed Granite, Quartz and traces of Bogong Moths on Canvas (currently on display at the bushfire memorial exhibition, Mt Stromlo)

I have used drip painting or abstract expressionism as part my artwork, on a car as well as on canvases laid flat on the ground. I find it a very direct and satisfying means of paint application. Using paint in this sort of way requires extreme focus and control, but contains a random element that makes it exciting and dangerous to use, especially outside on a windy day. Janet Sobel often combined figurative elements with the abstract texture in her painting. I also like doing very detailed figurative work, but I often then perform a "slash and burn" abstract around it, drawing in free arcs and "scribbles" or painting directly from the tube, then I usually spend some time on the painting in reflective adjustment of detail.

Family Ties,  1400 X 1800mm,  Annette Schneider,  1998,  Acrylic on Canvas

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