No Good Ideas by Mark Sheeky

G123A No Good Ideas
Oil on panel
Sep to Oct 2007, Size 386x285 mm

Detail from No Good Ideas by Mark Sheeky

About this painting
This stemmed from an automatic drawing. One evening I was searching for a new idea for a painting. Frustrated by my lack of good ideas, I took my brush, and clearing my mind started to draw. At first I drew an eye and fully expected a portrait, but no, the eye became a skull. Then I started the fine zigzag line that bisects the forehead of a skull, but this became a gaping crack with a dead tree growing out of it! I knew at once the meaning of this, I had drawn my very lack of ideas! I added a few more elements quickly and from that tiny sketch in ink composed this whole painting.

The landscape is dark and desolate, and dominated by three cracked skulls. The kite represents an idea here, the one on the left filled with more skulls, horror and emptiness, its tail threaded through a patch of outer space in the head of the left hand skull. A dead tree grows from the central skull, while on the right a desperate figure reaches for the kite in blue sky. Reflected below, in a lake of dark red and violet, the idea can be seen; a perfect kite shape. Far from being lacking, the idea was there all along.

Technical details
Automatic drawing involves creating objects from apparently random shapes. Clearing one's mind and drawing apparently randomly does not produce a random picture, but instead a picture directly from the unconscious, a picture of the current state of the mind itself.