Archives for posts with tag: Abstract Art

The Automatic Process is just one of many methods of creating a painting (or any work of art). But it’s the method I most commonly prefer, primarily because it allows the artist to tap into his/her subconsciousness, oftentimes with surprising results, as artwork that isn’t planned so much as it just happens.

Insatiable

“Insatiable” © 2013, Michael Torres ~ All Rights Reserved

Although I also work from fully visualized concepts that are sketched out and systematically executed, my opinion is that The Automatic Process (with practice) can be more genuinely expressive and revealing; not entirely explicit of the artist’s presumed comprehension of the subject, which can be unavoidably subjective, but of the artist’s unacknowledged (or unrealized) aversions, preferences, and innate tendencies toward that subject, which perhaps arrive at a closer proximity to objectivity (without the filters of reason). It is a technique that liberates what is normally suppressed by our conditioning (reflexively) and self-censorship (voluntarily), animating that mysterious source within each of us that never sleeps; that which I deliberately refer to it as the Subconscious part of the mind, rather than the Unconscious, because to actively utilize its wealth is to awaken its potential.

It might seem ridiculous to think that such a source can be harvested. However, just like learning a new language, a new skill, or improving one’s memory, tapping into one’s subconsciousness is an acquired ability that can be harnessed through practice, a function that isn’t quite as abstract as one might think. In fact, The Automatic Process is more accurately about allowing one’s self to be vulnerable, admitting (to ourselves, at very least) that we don’t always know why we feel certain ways. It’s about letting go of our imaginary controls, to make room for revelation. And it’s about purposefully encountering our innermost (which is indelible and vast); a frightening proposition, I know, but a journey well worth endeavoring.

Catalog: 1992 - Mar, 2011

“Undertow” © 2013, Michael Torres ~ All Rights Reserved

From Freud to Breton, to Your’s Truly:

To shed more light on the subject, I was first introduced to the idea of Psychic Automatism when exploring the roots of the surrealist movement and was immediately intrigued by the suggestion that the limits of active consciousness could be expanded and employed. It was a claim originally proposed by Sigmund Freud, whose psychoanalytic discoveries gave substance to André Breton’s First Surrealist Manifesto, officially establishing Surrealism as an intellectual practice. (read The First Surrealist Manifesto, by André Breton, here: Surrealist Manifesto)

However, because there is no fixed single method of approach, the process of Automatism can vary drastically, influenced by any number of factors (such as personality, emotional state, space and time). And yet, for the most part, I’ve remained faithful to the surrealist’s original manner, adopting what is called Automatic Painting. Though, what is generally considered random and accidental mark making, I now refer to as intuitive composition, simply because of the progression I have witnessed in my own work, which evolved from pure abstract expressionism to diverse representations of abstraction, expressionism, and surrealism.

Here are a few examples of work created with The Automatic Process that exhibit a natural evolution, as I become more and more comfortable with this form of expression. Though the process itself remains necessarily flexible.

Puncture Wound

“Puncture Wound” © 2012, Michael Torres ~ All Rights Reserved

A Violent Departure

“A Violent Departure” © 2013, Michael Torres ~ All Rights Reserved

Achieving Symmetry

“Achieving Symmetry” © 2014, Michael Torres ~ All Rights Reserved

Meditation-Eq

“Out of Bounds” © 2017, Michael Torres ~ All Rights Reserved

My Process:

As previously mentioned, my work isn’t always created in an automatic style. I still honor the tradition of painting when approaching classical subjects, such as landscapes and the body. But when I’m feeling inspired and uninhibited, I usually begin with a single color (if driven by raw emotion) or a simple sketch (when working from a concept that is intended to evolve) and allow instinct and intuition to guide each step along the way.

The key, once the work commences, is to remain immersed in the process, which requires me to “receive” rather than to dictate, seeking internal guidance without surrendering to the temptation to “edit”. And only when the subject has developed enough to contain substance and to speak for itself do I attempt aiding in the work’s aesthetic movement, by refining composition. The process’s real promise, after all, lies in discovery; not for vainglorious purposes, but for the emotional connections established by the image’s own individual presence and for its meaning, which is created and shared through discourse (between the work, the artist, the audience, and that mysterious source within each of us that never sleeps).

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ContinuumSometimes… I get lost in the tangle. I get lost in the confusion of space and time, which carries me through the quietude, an encompassing silence that shares its mass and weight with me until I am no longer discernible from the vastness I’m attempting to fill; not to substantiate it, but to mitigate my own burden, which is comprised entirely of gravity, evidence of the stillness that flourishes at the center of everything.

From the surface, the pattern may appear only to perpetuate the repetitions. But the extremes of that structure have become so abundant and so intricately woven that the accumulation now seems like ornament, from a distance, like a dense cluster of meticulously carved impressions that were purposefully arranged within the enormity, which has no rhyme or reason on its own or within the immediate. Though, we may find ourselves at any time within that same instance.

Having spent the last two and a half months entrenched in administrative work, behind the scenes, I finally feel like I can come up for air again, to breathe, and to escape the unshakable machine of my resolve, which never sleeps.

Consciousness is a battle field. It is an everyday confrontation of abstract forces at work, each fighting to command space and time within the Self. And when the mind and spirit are fully engaged and unified in their efforts, they are relentless in achieving their objectives, furiously striving to conquer a perpetual new set of conditions that challenge each new goal.

Thankfully (for me), I no longer consult my conscience for permission to carve out creative time. I have fostered my expressiveness long enough that it is indelibly linked to all activity born in me. After all, the story expressed in the image is the heart and soul of my endeavor, regardless of obstacles or barriers that require breaching. And the encounter itself, which can be defined by any number of circumstances, is a human experience… not just my own.

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One of my current projects has become a technical experiment that has awakened the nerd in me. (Oh, yeah!) After showing “Symphony No.01”  for the first time, engaging in numerous conversations about “what it would sound like”, I decided to take the next step in developing the idea and am now converting this abstract piece into a Digital Soundscape, an audible version that will later be used as a second reference for mapping out an actual instrumental composition.

A recent breakthrough came about when I discovered that the software I’ve elected to use (which will be revealed along with the recording at a later date) is designed to read white patterns during the scanning process. That realization took me back to my days as a photographer and using colored filters to create black and white images. But before any scanning could be done, the image first had to reconfigured into a “scan ready” version… and that too has been a process.

Because the original painting was created as four (stacked) movements (as it appears here)…

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“Symphony No.01”

The image had to be converted into a single linear piece, comprised of all four movements in succession, side by side (shown here).

Symphony_Strip1_Eq

Then, by converting the image into Grayscale, I was able to isolate individual colors (using simulated filters in Photoshop) which allowed me to create 7 variations of the same piece (shown below), in two Color Spectrums: RGB (Red, Green, Blue) and CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black). But even after the conversion to grayscale was complete, I also had to invert black and white in each image so that the software would actually scan the painted portions of the piece instead of the background (because it only reads and interprets white).

The final example below is a loose rendition of this process, using a small section of “Symphony No.01”. It shows what the 8 components look like (the inverted b&w images, in both color spectrums, plus the original full-color version) before sound is created. Each individual layer, in the next phase, will be assigned different tones and recorded separately on different tracks before being combined into a single symphonic composition/recording.

Sample

To be continued…

~ Stay tuned, for updates!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

To close out a successful year, I’ve decided to offer Holiday Pricing (for a limited time) on Nine Selected Works. (securely invoiced through PayPal)

From now until Dec. 12th all the pieces in this collection are 25 % off (shipping included) ~ Prices shown are the discounted prices (in captions underneath each image)

All Artwork is Framed and Ready To Hang, except “Work/Living Space, 2011”

For Inquiries: Please contact me directly ~ findmichaeltorres@gmail.com

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“So Much To Say…” Assembled Objects (3D) ~ $337.50

Refuge_Eq

“Refuge” Oil and Dry Grass on canvas panel ~ $337.50

Work_Living_Eq

“Work/Living…” Watercolor Pencil on paper ~ $93.75

Catalog: 1992 - Mar, 2011

“Stream of Consciousness” Ballpoint Pen on paper ~ $93.75

Finding the Right Words

“Finding the Right Words” 3D Paper Construction ~ $900

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“Transfixed…” Oil on canvas ~ $562.50

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“Swimsuit Model” Mixed Media on paper ~ $168.75

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“Red Sink…” Ballpoint Pen on paper ~ $93.75

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“Restless Night” Oil and Yard Debris on canvas panel ~ $337.50

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