Spatter spatter spatter!…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s honoured guests are the Vladimir Putin lookalike twins Tommy and Ralph Buckslop. Come on in you fellows, take your shirts off, and sit on the sofa next to me.

Spatter No. 2.Spatter No. 2. (2015)

Here is a photo of a recent work of mine (you might like to click on it and see it a bit larger to observe the fine detail); it’s in quite a different style to that of my usual things. It was probably sparked by that ‘Smudges’ drawing that I did under the influence of 70% dark chocolate a few weeks ago. (Smudges) Oh, and also, visually it isn’t a million miles away from those decalcomania prints that I do. (Decalc)
The reason I’m showing you it is because I don’t really know what it is – no, not what title to give it, but which class of work it might fall into. As you see this is called ‘Spatter No. 2’ (Over a couple of days I did two of these, No. 2 is I think a bit better than No. 1.) ; it consists of a piece of nice drawing paper about 550mm x 380mm with some spatters on it; spatters flicked from the end of an old flexible table knife. The medium is acrylic paint, a rich yellow with a drop of bright red halfheartedly stirred into it. Splat! Splat! Splat! I went… You get the idea…
Then after a couple of days to let it dry off, I went carefully round all the edges and drops of spatter with a 2H pencil.
‘Why?…’ I hear you ask.
Well, I suppose all this spattering goes back to what used to be called ‘action painting’ in the mid 20th c. Action painting is pretty straightforward – artists have always liked to chuck paint around, drunk or sober. The reason I chose to do the careful outlining of the mess is to perhaps change the viewer’s perception of it. By enclosing it with the line, it sort of separates it from the white background (I almost said ‘substrate’ then, but thought that it sounded a bit pompous) so drawing attention to the shapes of all the blots, squiggles, islands, and er, fiords – yes, it does look like a map doesn’t it? I suspect that the physical processes behind these spatter shapes are not far away from the processes that produce the shapes of islands and continents on the earth’s surface – could we be talking fractals here? The pencil outline also suggests that the whole thing has not been produced randomly by ‘nature’, but has been carefully painted by some dedicated person with possibly too much free time on their hands.
So, what is it?… It is paint, but I don’t really think it’s a painting, is it a drawing? I don’t think so, is it a print? It looks like a print… No, I think I might have to resort to that uneasy and annoying term, ‘mixed media’…
Anyway, here, dear reader, is my new ‘mixed media’ piece. Do you think it’s alright?…

If there are any art students out there who have suddenly run out of creative ideas (it’s a common occurrence!) who happen to have stumbled across this post – please go ahead and try this technique for yourselves – the end product really does look rather ‘nice’ and ‘clever’ and might impress one or two people.

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in art, brain, colours, drawing, humour, information, learning, painting, physics, serendipity, style, surrealism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Spatter spatter spatter!…

  1. memadtwo says:

    New class. “Mixed Media” is always good (and occasionally impressive to the right audience).

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