Friday, July 16, 2010

Visiting Jackson Pollock's Studio

I happen to absorb information when it applies to me. That said, I can read everything in the world about  a person or  subject matter but until it's put into a physical application that I can touch or feel (either physically or emotionally), it leaks right out. So while I've always known the name and art of Jackson Pollock, visiting his actual home and studio in the Hamptons, New York, last week was an absorbing experience to me. 

I went to the Hamptons! It's on my list of top favorite places in the world. My daughter attended a week-long summer camp and we were delighted to enjoy the hospitality of Lisa (Hampton Toes) and her family at their gorgeous home out East. I enjoyed a lovely week of snapping photos and eating great food and spending time with my dear friend, whose regular company I miss terribly. Lisa and I used to read piles of design magazines while laying on the floor of her playroom or mine, watching our little girls crawl around and play. . . 

Lisa knew I would love this, and she took me to a tour of Pollock's  home and studio while our girls were at camp one day. 

Jackson Pollock was a character, to say the least, but he was an absolutely amazing artist. Of course I knew about him, but visiting the actual home where he worked was spine-tingling. Here is a photograph of Pollock working in the garage turned studio in his signature style: standing over his work and using various tools to "drip" paint onto the canvas. It should be noted that Pollock moved this actual structure by tying a rope around it and dragging it across the property with a team of horses! He wanted the better light.
If you've ever wondered why these are such important works or said to yourself, "I could do that," please consider the painting below. Jackson Pollock never touched paintbrush to canvas, he stood above it and dropped it down. And yet he achieved such control as to be able to create images and then fill the spaces better than most children coloring with crayons. 

Here is another that represents Pollock. We learned that when working in this style, he never left white canvas showing, always covered the entire space with paint (or other materials). These are not accidental or random lines and blurbs, every stroke is intentional. 

And here is my illegally obtained photograph of the floor of Pollock's studio. Photography was forbidden, but Lisa distracted the guide while I snapped a few with my camera hanging downward on my back! I just had to bring home these pictures. We had to wear special foam shoes so as not to harm the floor (which will soon be shut off from visitor's feet altogether so as not to harm it). You can see the edges of the paintings on the floor along with the overspill. You can really get a sense of his movements:
After the tour, you get to make your own Pollock style drip painting! Here I am posing with my masterpiece!
If you get a chance, you absolutely must go to the Jackson Pollock house in the Hamptons. Maybe, like me, you will finally absorb the amazingness of this beloved American artist.

1 comment:

  1. Traci,
    What an amazing review of the Jackson Pollock workshop and the artist himself. Spine-tingling is perfect wording for experiencing his home and studio! Randy and Ella just went this morning and had a private tour, they were the only people signed up for today's workshop. Randy thought it was amazing and of course, Ella loved creating art! Miss you already. When are you coming back?