Archive for the ‘Tone Paper’ Category

Recently, at the Model Toy Car Convention

June 28, 2020
Un Re in Ascolto / A King listens
At the Toy Car Convention / Un re in ascolto, 2019, pencil and pastel pencil on tone paper, 22,9 x 31,8 cm / 9 x 12.9 inches

Certain display options do not work due to conversion to a block type page set-up model. A new template ought to be chosen. This drawing belongs to a group of smaller and well accomplished drawings made in 2019, which deal with the topic or the author’s personal endeavour of a return to the human figure (after several years or a decade of abstaining from the depiction of human figures). Note that the human figure is a very dangerous item to depict. While from an Islamist perspective, you defy God’s will, in Western society you make certain dangerous statements with each attribute you choose to endow that figure with for the sake of desired or presumed realism. Class, as demonstrated in dress, skin color, sex, all such things have become contentious due to identity politics. It is easy to hurt someone by callously laying open the fact that the author’s inner society might not contain certain sub-species, gender types etc. or might be in some other way testament to the power of categorization. This drawing features a dog-person (the inspector), an overweight person, an unclad youthful person. All, including the dog type seem to belong to the male category, all are united in reveration of a presumably newly released vintage car model (a 1:8 die-cast scale model of a 1910 Benz Limousine) – a fetish linked to a certain sub-type of masculine sexuality. Other interpretations or readings of this image are at the discretion of the observer. It ought to be noted that the dog type is a paraphrase of an original sketch by the author Wolfdietrich Schnurre, depicting an arrogant dog of breeding, featured in the 1962 novel “Die Aufzeichnungen des Pudels Ali”. In this scene, he might not partake in the reveration process, but acts as the inspector, the arrogant non-human agent, observing two employees of the model toy car company, who might be involved in a crime of sorts.


Future © of this nostalgia-tinted drawing by Torsten Slama and the Instrumentality of the Model Toy Car Board

Optimista bez otce – The Fatherless Optimist

May 19, 2020
Optimista bez otce / Der vaterlose Optimist / The Fatherless Optimist,
Optimista bez otce / Der vaterlose Optimist / The Fatherless Optimist (2020) Oil on canvas on wood, 43,2 x 30,2 cm / 17 x 11.9 inches

From the Chech-titled exhibition: Nové trendy v územním plánování (New Directions in Space Planning) – – – Please note: functionality of presentation assembly on this blog has changed. The author has stopped going with the times. If this painting is a self portrait, it depicts the author much younger and richer and happier than he ever was. Colors are not well reproduced, also, the details of how the paint was applied (loosely, rather thin, on canvas primed with the addition of lots of chalk, thick enough for the canvas structure to be neutralized) are not easily discernible. A detail view of just the face will show how much more interesting it would be to look at that painting in nature, and getting as close to it as no museum would allow for.

The Fatherless Optimist, detail

Note how lips look like either result of a bodged lip job, or as if befallen by herpes simplex and badly swollen. It means that what appears light hearted and almost cartoonish in character is actually realist, or rather, naturalist in nature, trying hard to depict the nature and the rot of actual human flesh. At the same time you find touches of graphics art or the art of illustration, like the hair, scratched in with the end tip of the brush’s handle. Is this painterly?

The 2020 painting is based on a drawing from ≈ 1994. Please see that drawing here: https://sites.google.com/site/wwwdrawings/home

© 2027 by Torsten Slama and The Optimist Society for Czech Heritage

The Abductionist’s House

August 7, 2019
The Abductionist's House, drawing by Torsten Slama

The Abductionist’s House, pencil, pastel on tone paper, 29,7 x 21 cm

Pink, magenta, purple, are the colors most likely to excite consumer interest. Colors of this family have the right temperature, are inviting, and compelling. While this fact was discovered by the comics industry in the 1950’s, it took very long to become common knowledge among mass manipulators. Certain snap judgments stood in the way. As to content, most notable elements besides this house (designed by a real yet long dead architect, not by the author) are the two dogs in the foreground, representing the two owners of this house (a hunter couple), and the unique pyramidic tree sculpture to the left. This is going to be patented and mass produced and sold cheaply to those who prefer a touch of class and artificiality in and on their gardens and lawns. Also, these can be illuminated from withing to become glowing tree shapes in the night. People will say: “Nice touch, we like!”. The house owners seem to be active and in attendance inside their lodge, see the smoke coming from the chimney, a prop element hinting at occupation.

Fore a change of viewing, go here.

Rendering © 2027 by Torsten Slama

The Carl Grossberg (The Rift)

April 4, 2018

The Carl Grossberg and rocky landscape with Grossberg motif (by Torsten Slama)

The Carl Grossberg, 48 x 36,5 cm, mixed media on yellow tone paper

A detailed, if slightly crammed drawing with the theme of what our world would and could have looked like if energy independence, chemical independence, transportation independence and true man-nature metabolism had been the goal of industrialization. The drawing could also be an illustration to a treatise on “The Rift” (in the universal metabolism of nature), as described by Karl Marx. Not that the artist is deeply informed on the subject. In fact, any assumption of true literacy in any genre is categorically refuted (in accordance with the law of humbleness and common sense). Embedded in the rocky landscape background are several stylized coal liquefaction plants or chemical factories, tubes and pipelines, and one motif from a painting by Carl Grossberg (Fabriklandschaft im Schnee, 1923). Of course there is no snow here, as in fact the yellow color of the cardboard on which the scene was drawn evokes impressions of a slightly murky,  warm climate (perhaps of the inner earth) with sunlight filtering through a crack in the rocky ceiling, further muted by an emission-saturated atmosphere.  The drawing consists of several layers of pencil, colored pencil, washes of acrylics and different reflective and metallic pigments on a base of human spittle (which are in fact all but invisible.  Note that the “inner earth / Hollow Earth” theme has all sorts of connotations, historical science fiction ones as well as the psychoanalytical/gynacocratic/chthonic idea of earth as a womb. It seems in any case appropriate to annex a quote by Bernard Herrmann, wherein he describes his ideas about scoring the Filme “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (1959), since that film features landscapes not unlike the one depicted above: “I decided to evoke the mood and feeling of inner Earth by using only instruments played in low registers. Eliminating all strings, I utilized an orchestra of woodwinds and brass, with a large percussion section and many harps. But the truly unique feature of this score is the inclusion of five organs, one large Cathedral and four electronic. These organs were used in many adroit ways to suggest ascent and descent, as well as the mystery of Atlantis.” Drawing and words (except for italicized words by Bernard Herrmann) by Torsten Slama>

The Kraftick Liquefaction Plant

March 3, 2018

Coal Liquefaction Plant with cyclopean Landscape, drawing by Torsten Slama

The Kraftick Liquefaction Plant, 36 x 50 cm, pencil, colored pencil on tone paper

“When Germany still strived for complete autonomy and independence of Western (and Eastern…ed.) influences, coal hydration technology was one of her attempts to realise complete energy independence. Had the hydration plants not been completely eradicated by the end of World War II, their gasoline output would have served Germany’s entire private car fleet well into the 1960’s. ”  National Empowerment through Petrolum (NETP)

Apart from all its pertinence to energy empowerment stratagems, this drawing should be judged on its artistic merits and technical peculiarities. Mixed media technique on tone paper makes for interesting depth effects. The pervading pink motor oil atmosphere is sometimes fought back, at times heightened. Some of the liquefaction towers are aslant. The geological rock formation on which the plant rests seems unstable. Even the thick concrete platform on which all rests cannot prevent warping. Yet maybe the warping is only in the eyes and the hands of the draftsperson. Or perceived aslantness could be an optical illusion due to the diagonal dynamics of the rock-layered landscape in the background, which works against the perpendicularness of the liquefaction towers.

In a special effort to facilitate appreciation of technique, two details are included:

Kraftick Liquefaction Plant (by Torsten Slama), Detail   Detail of Kraftick Liquefaction Plant (by Torsten Slama)
Future © of this motor oil colorized drawing by Torsten Slama,the Energy Independence Society, and the NEPT yet undisclosed

The Very Potent Hair-Tonic

May 17, 2017

Drawing after Bruno Schulz,

Das sehr wirkungsvolle Haarelixier (A4, 2015)

(What follows is perhaps somewhat rambling while striving to be an encompassing description of what is already there, yet undescribed, and maybe even better left alone and unmolested by words and hearsay-facts. Uncovered, named, listed, documented sources often form a thicket under which lies buried the depth of original conception, and the factual ambiguity of the term “original”. A term which to discuss is not the purpose of the following word-thicket.)

This drawing was made to serve as a decorative side-piece for a show in a special sort of gallery, showcasing original editions of books by Bruno Schulz. The drawing’s author (the “artist”), limited in his choices by the restrictions describing his own realm of inclinations, would not have chosen this author to draw inspiration from, yet found in himself a strong urge to do “something different” (something different, of course, from what he would naturally do). So it was an appealing idea to do something according to somebody else’s wishes. So it had to be a sort of illustration. It was not to be a paraphrase of Bruno Schulz’s own, often somewhat fetish-centric drawings. It is an illustration of a detail in the short story, “The Book”, an ad for a hair tonic mentioned therein. Some pictorial inspiration was drawn from one of this drawing’s author’s favourite oil paintings, “Mourning Picture”, by Edwin Romanzo Elmer. Since the drawing’s author does not get around too much, he has never seen that painting in the original. He first came across it in a book about “Naive Kunst”. For some reason, this painting was classified as that, among numerous Yugoslavian examples, some French, and a notable German entry, Friedrich Gerlach. It was only a black and white reproduction, not particularly crisp, but the cracks in the thickly-painted clouds were still intriguingly visible.

A nom de plume was chosen for this drawing which refers to Edgar Allan Poe. So the original accent is nicely rounded off by the American influence in the form of two late 19th century American sources augmenting or instrumentalizing one Polish-Jewish, 1937 modernist, original inspiration. What this means is that it tells you something about the drawing’s author’s mindset. The artist-illustrator would also maintain that there is a certain touch of Will Elder noticeable in certain details. Which then would make for a third, second half of the 20th century, modern-popular, as opposed to modernist, American influence. The above-mentioned pen name was “Hans Pfaall” (see signature in lower left corner), lending an additional phallic touch to the drawing, already well endowed with phallic forms (eight, or nine, depending on the viewer’s susceptibility to phallic forms). A touch of quaintness is the choice of pink tone-paper, in reminiscence to a certain cheap stock of recycled writing paper, not widely available anymore. The drawing originally also featured a cat (taken from the above-mentioned mourning-painting) with very long hair, which was then erased and replaced by a multitude of overgrown house flies (Musca domestica, of the suborder Cyclorrhapha). To complete the list of references, and, in the process, to add one German influence (an addition of questionable historical and moral sensitivity perhaps), the self portrait of the painter of the Mourning Picture, sitting in a lawn chair and reading a newspaper, originally moustached, wearing a bowler hat, had his head replaced with that of a dog-creature which is a rather faithful copy of a drawing by the German author Wolfdietrich Schnurre, who illustrated his own books. This dog face, bearing the caption “Arrogant, aber von Adel”, was featured in his 1965 novel “Die Aufzeichnungen des Pudels Ali”.

The drawing was never used for its intended purpose, it was not shown, for it was too attention-drawing. So it was sent back to the draftsperson (the drawing’s author). Drawing and explanatory note © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Balloonist’s Society for the Applied Arts