Tag Archives: Rorschach

A year of painting and blogging!

Today I have been writing this blog for one year.  🙂  I started this to blog my paintings, suspecting that getting a little feedback on them would motivate me to keep me painting.  It worked!!  Moreover, I took Jim’s advice and decided to stick to a schedule of posting twice a week.  Though I did shift my original Tuesday/Friday schedule to Wednesday/Saturday, I still cannot believe I have actually posted twice a week — every week — for a full year.  Of course some posts have been… lackluster, but then I’ve also been surprised by which have been more popular.

So on this, the conclusion of year one, I want to sincerely thank all of you.  Thank you.  Thank you for visiting!  It’s not flattery — it’s straight truth when I tell you that it’s your comments and likes that keep the posts and paintings coming.  🙂

I want to especially thank Jenna, Marina, Dani, Joseph, and QueridaJ for all the artistic support and encouragement!  Thank you so much!  🙂

Here is a slideshow of the OMIGOD 61 paintings (mostly) I’ve completed this past year:

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Painting: Rorschach 16, Bears

Rorschach 16B, Bears, acrylic on 11 x 14 bristol paper, August 26, 2012

Rorschach 16A, Bears, acrylic on 11 x 14 bristol paper, August 26, 2012

My friend Joseph suggested I take two of these rorschachs and after folding each, press them together against each other.  That is what I’ve done here with Rorschach 16, “Bears”.  There are two finished pieces, 16A and 16B.  From most orientations they look like bears to me, or hypercubes being turned inside-out by being forcibly yanked through the 3rd dimension…  So we’ll just go with “bears”.

The lines each printed on the other were an interesting surprise, but after turning the two of them through all four orientations and documenting the process, there are 13 photos — oy!  So, lets do a slideshow:

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Painting: Rorschach 15, Festive 2

Rorschach 15, Festive 2, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 19, 2012

Rorschach 15, Festive 2, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 19, 2012

Rorschach 15, Festive 2, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 19, 2012

Rorschach 15, Festive 2, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 19, 2012

Rorschach 15, before folding

So I knew that the original “Festive” rorschach looked that way because of the colors I chose, and if I did it again with the same colors it would also look good, but some part of me just wanted to see the magic happen again.  🙂

I experimented with using a glue syringe to place the black paint and in that way not get so much on there.  It kind of did that, but it was so hard to squeeze heavy body paint through that tiny thing that I still couldn’t help applying more than I wanted to.  Hmm, maybe cake decorating tips…

You may also notice this one is off-center.  One thing I have not liked about most of these is that they’re perfectly centered on the page — icky composition.  But I also wanted to maximize the space available for the paint to spread out, and have been stuck between those two goals for a while now.  Since I started doing these really.  The rule of thirds would have reduced the space too much, as would using golden sections.  So I settled for leaving just an inch or two out.  I think that did help a lot with the composition, but then I put the dots in that space.  🙂  Maybe I should have overlaid the rorschach like I did with the first Festive.

In this one I see a blue guy in an orange jump suit getting ready to spring into the air and fly.  Or a blue-eyed cyclops with green and black hair, in blue and purple curlers sticking out her blue tongue.  A fitting bride for a Cacodemon.  Or a two-headed fish folded in half at the fish market.

Here is the original “Festive“:

Rorschach 11, Festive, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 6, 2012

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Painting: Rorschach 14, Cylon

Rorschach 14, Cylon, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 12, 2012

Rorschach 14, Cylon, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 12, 2012

Rorschach 14, Cylon, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 12, 2012

Rorschach 14, Cylon, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 12, 2012

Rorschach 14, before

Not so much paint completely covering this one, which is nice for a change.  I think it resembles a cylon raider from Battlestar Galactica, only more colorful, even more impractical, and cooler looking.  Or it could be some kind of insect like face wearing a strange mask…  I dunno.  I don’t have a lot to say about this one, but I like how it came out.  Another painting “in the can” I guess.

Cylon Raider

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Painting: Rorschach 13, Alien

Rorschach 13, Alien, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 12, 2012

Rorschach 13, Alien, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 12, 2012

Rorschach 13, Alien, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 12, 2012

Rorschach 13, Alien, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 12, 2012

Rorschach 13, before

The better understanding I now have of chance vs. control and skill in art, freed something up in my brain that then let me put paint on both sides.  Then I tried to assert control again by going for an overlapping rings motif.  But chance of course would not be controlled (silly painter man) and what I got looks to me like an alien face with some kind of compound eyes.  Or a couple of skulls with green moustachios and headbands…

The red and blue did very interesting things when they hit each other on the sides though I think.

It’s funny how we tend to see similar things in each of these.  These often look like bizarre or alien faces, or bizarre or alien creatures to me.  Several of you wonderful people (because you read this prattle and look at this nonsense, and even seem to like it sometimes!) tend along other lines with what these put you in mind of, but you do tend along lines.  It makes me think I see what Herr Rorschach was on to when he invented his test, though I think I also see it’s of limited utility.  I think the things we see over and over simply reveal the kinds of things we think about a lot.  The therapeutic usefulness of that then is not I think some kind of standardized psychological evaluation (which is what I always thought), though the test is standardized, but rather to get talking someone who does not want to talk about why they’re seeing a therapist…  To work around the stigma of being in therapy and give the psychologist something to work with, areas to probe further, with the complete stranger sitting in front of them that they’re supposed to somehow help…

If I’m right then, seeing sex in the Rorschach cards is the most normal response imaginable…  It’s probably something that it’s ridiculously silly to be embarrassed about revealing.

But I’m no psychologist, I’m just a dude who likes to paint and think too much.  🙂

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Painting: Rorschach 12, Garish

Rorschach 12, Garish, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 6, 2012

Rorschach 12, Garish, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 6, 2012

Rorschach 12, Garish, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 6, 2012

Rorschach 12, Garish, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 6, 2012

Rorschach 12, before

Sometimes when you realize something, you also realize how obvious it is, wonder why you didn’t put it together sooner, and shout “Finally!”

Chance in art is the opposite of skill and control.  Polar opposites!  Finally!!

I control the backgrounds, and I control the placement of the paint blobs, but after that it’s all chance!  Or more precisely, I cannot yet predict how the way I press on it when it’s folded will effect how the paint spreads and where it goes.  Not sure I ever will, but it feels like something that can be learned.

And that is just how these work.  Finally!!

It feels good to finally have an understanding of what it is I’m doing with these.  In spite of how icky this one came out!

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Painting: Rorschach 11, Festive

Rorschach 11, Festive, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 6, 2012

Rorschach 11, Festive, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 6, 2012

Rorschach 11, Festive, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 6, 2012

Rorschach 11, Festive, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ bristol paper, August 6, 2012

Rorschach 11, before

Before I folded this one I literally said to myself, “this could really suck”.  Then I opened it up and it really didn’t!

The thing I like most about these ‘rorschachs’ is the strong element of chance to them.  Chance in artwork — one of the Dada’s best ideas imo.  I squirt the paint on and try to do some kind of composing, but I really have no idea at all what it’s going to look like when I open it up.  This one looks nothing like I intended when I was laying the paint down.  I was thinking “more like a structure, architectural, than like a face or smashed bug”, but is that what I got?  Heck no!  🙂  As always with these, I got a surprise.  And I thought it looked festive.  Even the dots I added did not fall as I intended.  I don’t have as much control dripping them out of the bottle as I thought I would.  But by then I just went with it and didn’t fret too much when the paint ridges some of them hit distorted them from the dots I hoped for.

The thing I dislike about these is that they take almost zero in the way of skill.  They’re so easy I really don’t feel like I’ve done anything at all special.  But that’s just more ‘artist psychological’ nonsense — I know that much.  It’s just meaningless chatter, just a flapping door.  None of this means anything anyway.  Few things in life really do, and this is not one of them.  🙂

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