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automatic drawing

Andrè Breton method

by JuliannaKunstler.com

All Art is intuitive to some degree. An opposite of intuitive would be strictly technical, when your artwork is perfectly crafted and follows all rules of Art theories. The intuitive part is very important as it brings life to your work. Intuitive drawing is a method when you "turn off" your analytical mind and let your hands do the drawing for you.

When technical part (skills and knowledge) meet the intuitive part (artistic inspiration), then you get a happy match. These two have to work together as they do not produce quality art alone. You do need to practice both parts.

Once you have developed your technical skills, your drawings will be done naturally and automatically. You can compare that with learning a foreign language - once you have learned the language, you stop thinking about grammar, vocabulary, or words' order - you just talk or read, even write poems, etc. Or playing music - once you developed the skills, you stop thinking about which key to press or note to play... you just play...

Automatic drawing is a great way to develop and exercise the intuitive part. It was developed as a means of expressing the subconscious. In automatic drawing, the hand is allowed to move 'randomly' across the paper.

Andrè Breton was a French surrealist poet who studied the subconscious by experimenting with the phenomenon of AUTOMATIC WRITING.

This assignment reflects and draws upon his methods.


automatic drawing

from "Visual Literacy" by Wilde and Wilde

automatic drawing

from "Visual Literacy" by Wilde and Wilde


Andrè Breton

Less Time

andre breton

Less time than it takes to say it, less tears than it takes to die;
I've taken account of everything, there you have it.

I've made a census of the stones, they are as numerous as my fingers and some others;
I've distributed some pamphlets to the plants, but not all were willing to accept them.

I've kept company with music for a second only and now I no longer know what to think of suicide, for if I ever want to part from myself, the exit is on this side and, I add mischievously, the entrance, the re-entrance is on the other.

You see what you still have to do. Hours, grief, I don't keep a reasonable account of them;
I'm alone, I look out of the window; there is no passerby, or rather no one passes (underline passes).

You don't know this man? It's Mr. Same. May I introduce Madam Madam? And their children. Then I turn back on my steps, my steps turn back too, but I don't know exactly what they turn back on.

I consult a schedule; the names of the towns have been replaced by the names of people who have been quite close to me.

Shall I go to A, return to B, change at X? Yes, of course I'll change at X.

Provided I don't miss the connection with boredom!
There we are: boredom, beautiful parallels, ah! how beautiful the parallels are under God's perpendicular. 

How would you answer the questions?

1. Does this poem have a structure?

2. How do you think Breton was writing this poem?

3. Is it easy to read?

4. Is it easy to comprehend?

5. How is this poem different from any other poems you've read?

Create a series of images in the spirit of Andrè Breton. Try not to think about what you are doing - just let your automatic functions take over, letting them proceed as they wish.

(This is exactly what you do when you are doodling).