Sunday, January 11, 2009

Primal Memory

Untitled, 2008, 40" x 18", wool felt, thread

A friend and I were talking about the idea of habit that evolves into memory, a type of muscle memory. The idea is that if you spend an hour or 1/2 hour each day working in your sketchbook on a single concept, that these drawings would become second nature and, thus, muscle memory. Your hand, wrist and arm automatically default to drawing the same shapes over and over again.

Sketchbook pages from 11-2008

As I did these drawings, I thought about line quality, placement and tension. I verbalized more about what I was drawing and discovered more layers about my original concept. Without thinking about it, my original idea expanded and grew.

While reading Abstract Painting by Vicky Perry the other night, I came across her discussion of this same thought.

Page 10 from Abstract Painting, by Vicky Perry

She referred to this muscle memory as primal memory when discussing the work of Jonathan Lasker. In talking about his work, she said, "The paintings proceed from a long chain of image-forming effectors, starting with the primal memory that wills Lasker's wrist to carry on such-and-such a scribble. What follows are refined doodles, then a small painting."


Deirdre said...

I'd like to enter your giveaway for the Exploring Color book. It looks like a great book to start out with.

:-D eirdre

j.dávila said...

I'm so glad to have found your blog. I love the new work (well, new to me anyway). Stunning!

Rebecca said...

Deidre, Nita Leland's books are great. I hope you get it! It's looking pretty good right now. :)

Jane, thank you for your nice words! And congratulations on your new book.You are one hard working girl.

PaMdora said...

I'm a big believer in this. Matisse used to practice his shapes with pencil before he actually cut the hand-painted papers for his late collages.