Jackson Pollock

1912-1956 American Painter

He was well know for his unique style of drip painting.
Influenced by Benton’s regionalist style and by Ryder, and later by the Mexican mural painters and Picasso. His involvement with gestural painting, inspired partly by the sand painting of the American Indians and partly by Surrealism, culminated in his use from 1947 of a technique of dripping trails of paint onto a canvas laid flat on the floor. Painted a number of works in black and white in 1951-2, many with re-emerging imagery of anatomical motifs, etc.

This is a video showing how Pollock creates his famous drip painting work using large sheets of canvas and paint.

“My painting does not come from the easel. I prefer to tack the unstretched canvas to the hard wall or the floor. I need the resistance of a hard surface. On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting.I continue to get further away from the usual painter’s tools such as easel, palette, brushes, etc. I prefer sticks, trowels, knives and dripping fluid paint or a heavy impasto with sand, broken glass or other foreign matter added.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.” —Jackson Pollock, My Painting, 1956

When looking into Pollock’s work It related to our ideas quite well as he is also a very abstract artist. Using paint to splatter onto a large canvas and letting the paint do as it wants gave a very free effect to his paintings, although he was in control of the paintbrush and where it was going, the way the paint splattered across the canvas was very loose and creative, allowing a sense of freedom come to his paintings but with intentions still there. I like the way in which the paint crossed each other layering up layer after layer of imagery and colour to create pieces of work that have a sense of imagination to them. Looking into Pollock’s work made us think about the techniques in which we could put paint onto our canvas, such as using sticks and other materials, as Pollock used brush’s, sticks and even basting syringes as paint applicators. His technique of pouring and dripping paint is thought to be one of the origins of the term action painting. In doing this he was able to achieve a more immediate means of creating art, the paint literally flowing from his chosen tool onto the canvas. With this in mind we thought about how we could create our piece. We wanted to use paint brushes to give an bold effect but also maybe use our hands to give an obscured effect and using the brush’s in different ways such as flicking and splatting with the paint depending on the mood of the music, some applicators bolder than others. I found his work very inspiring and after seeing his work at the TATE Modern myself I know how influential his work is in a gallery, a massive piece in a room which draws attention to the viewers eye, the busy effect of all the paint on the canvas attracting onlookers to see what it is.

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