How to Become an Abstract Artist–Instantly

February 28, 2013

Dada is a name given to a seminal movement in modern art that started about the time of World War I. It stressed irrationality, and one of its proponents suggested creating poetry by taking a newspaper article, carefully cutting out each word, and putting them together in random order. I have tried this on occasion and used the method to create spoken words that became part of a musical composition.

I have also extended this method to visual art by starting with a random scribble. I did this in a place where I had privacy and thus was able to do the whole procedure described here while completely naked.

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Over a copy of this scribble, I placed a grid of squares 1.25″ on each side. Then I cut the drawing into these squares. I randomly selected one and glued it to a sheet of plain paper.

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I continued adding squares, until I had added nine more. Each time I added a square I made sure at least one line of the new square connected with a line of another square.

Here’s the progression of lines being added

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The resulting drawing was scanned and then cleaned up by removing any lines that came from the edges of the paper. As I looked at the drawing, the title, “Dance of Life” came to me. I asked myself, “What kind of music might be suggested by the drawing?” – “What kind of movement?” – “What colors?”

What do you see in the drawing?

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