Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Another Example of Comic Surrealism

So yesterday I drew this picture based on a vision I'd seen while going to sleep the previous night. I saw one image that I liked and, being aware that these fleeting apparitions are easily lost, I used words to fix it in my mind so I'd remember it the next day, when I was conscious again. I (silently) repeated "Mont St-Michel, surounded by candy-colored swath with pink and blue puddles underneath." This was what the vision most closely resembled. I continued repeating "Mont St.-Michel, candy-colored surround, pink and blue puddles." I guess I got about 5 or 6 repetitions in before I dropped off.

Aaaaand it worked! As is usually the case with this phenomenon, when I started realizing it (also see my previous post) other elements suggested themselves to round out the tangible manifestation of the vision. Thus was born "Mont St.-Michel as Birthday Cake." The relationship between my nighttime vision and the waking rendering of it - perhaps I should say a version of it - is unclear. I'm fine with that. In fact I have a sort of superstitious fear that if I tried to find out what that relationship is I'd lose the visions forever. But looking at my own drawing I see I've depicted a typical American blonde naïvely using something she knows nothing about to create an entertainment, one that will be completely gone in a day or two.

Let me be clear: I mean no disrespect. The blonde is harmless and so is her cake. It's just that we white Americans are like children playing dress-up in regard to our collective Eurocentric cultural heritage, or what's left of it. (While I believe this describes most of us, there are those who use that heritage to justify viciousness, as we know to our sorrow.) So my beliefs - that's not the right word, but it's the only one I can think of to use for this - have manifested themselves as a picture. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, "Mont St.-Michel as Birthday Cake" shows us an aspect of ourselves.

About the medium, cheap colored pencils: they suck. I wanted to just sketch something quickly, but simple black drawing pencils wouldn't do, the colors in the vision were significant. But cheap colored pencils are low in actual pigment and they don't blend well so the values I was trying for are pretty washed out and dull. But I didn't want to waste my good stuff - Prismacolor pencils - on this "quick sketch." So of course I ended up spending hours on the blessed thing, and being pretty unsatisfied with the end result. One thing that did work is the wallpaper; I wanted to make it ugly. That was SO easy. And I finally got around to incorporating one of the things I like best about the work of the second-generation Impressionists Pierre Bonnard and Eduard Vuillard - to wit, the background as continuous texture that's nearly as interesting as the subject itself.

The more I do stuff like this the more I'm convinced I've invented a new genre - Comic Surrealism. Just wait until you see what I come up with next.


  1. My friend Julia says she can't leave comments on here. We don't know why.

    1. And the stupid thing doesn't even jump to the right line when you click on the comments link.

  2. Well. This worked fine.


Don't be nasty. You know what that means.

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