Automatism as a term is borrowed from physiology, where it describes bodily movements that are not consciously controlled like breathing or sleepwalking. Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud used free association and automatic drawing or writing to explore the unconscious mind of his patients.
Tate Modern 2020
I have gone through my long life in blissful ignorance of this phenomenon, but regularly producing doodles while in a unconscious state of mind. Usually while in meetings!
I say unconscious state of mind, but I feel it more like two states of mind. One listening and picking up on key words and facts I need to know and a second state where my hand is driven to go wherever it wants on a page. I stop, listen, move on.
I am in a happy place while doodling; don’t worry, I put my mind to rest with nothingness.
I do not remember a single date that I started and forever seems a good starting point. What I do know is I have pages that go back 25 years.
I recently thought I would do a search for ‘automatic drawing’ and ‘pow’ it was there. I was not alone it has been known for a long time in psychology for other reasons and has had an art movement named after it.
Not appreciating what I was doing I did not worry and just through them away with out a second thought.
I have claimed back a number of them while doing a deep clean of paper work at home. I am in the process of photographing those doodles and will publish them.
I will continue to doddle…