Google informs us that it is Jackson Pollock’s birthday today Well, Happy Birthday Greetings to The Big Dripper – gone but not forgotten. Pollock was born in Wyoming USA 1912 – 1956. His father was first a farmer then a land surveyer, working for the government, the family moved round a lot. Pollock studied under Thomas Hart Benton (b.1889 – 1975 USA) at the Art Student League in New York in 1930. By 1936, Pollock was using liquid paint in an experimental workshop run by Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. He started pouring paint on his canvas’s in the early 1940’s. He developed what he called his ‘drip technique’ in the early 40’s, though his most famous paintings were made between 1947-1950.
Pollock used sticks, syringes and even hardened old brushes as applicators with household paint for his ‘drip’ technique. An example of Pollock’s technique ‘Summertime’ Number 9A’ was made by pouring and dripping paint over flat canvas. In ‘Action’ painting, the physical Act itself is as important as the finished work as it is a form of Expressionism: sometimes called Gestural Expressionism.
Willem de Kooning (b. 1904 – 1997 Netherlands) was another Abstract Expressionist, along with Franz Kline, Marc Rothko and Philip Guston amongst others.
When I am in my painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It is only after a sort of ‘get acquainted’ period that I see what I have been about. I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well.
There is nothing like really putting yourself into a really big canvas. I like to use my brush tied to a long stick, and to dart in and out: going up close and coming out again. Here’s one I did earlier.
If you fancy yourself a bit of a ‘dripper’, have a go here – great fun!
Here is a list of links to post I have made so far concerning artist’s birthday. I have tried to make it a rule that I actually LIKE the artists’ work! Some artists I do like, I have not included so far, as their birthdays have clashed with something else I was writing about. Some birthdays I have only found out about when it was too late to include them , I mean to rectify this at a later date.