Totem and Taboo, 1941 by Max Ernst
Back to my documentary...Max Ernst seems to have experienced a similar thing. He made art during both WW1 and WW2 in Germany and Europe, where the landscape around him was crumbling and exploding from the wars. So the natural beauty he longed for was not available in the vast landscape that he walked through. He began to focus on the minute details of his surroundings. The natural patterns in the wood planks of his floorboards drew him in, and he needed to investigate.
Frottage Technique, I think this is a picture of Max Ernst demonstrating
Apparently Ernst had a fear of the blank canvas, artist's block, where it was difficult to put that first stroke down on the clean white canvas. So he began to develop techniques that would get him over that initial mark, and into the process of painting. He developed one technique, called frottage, which is a charcoal or pencil rubbing of a surface to get an image, for example...using a wooden floorboard.
Les moeurs des feuilles (The Habit of Leaves) by Max Ernst from Histoire Naturelle 1926
This technique, and others like it, became a crucial part of Ernst's process. He was able to connect to nature in the smallest details, by working directly with the natural grain of wood, leaf patterns, and other natural elements with the frottage technique.
La Forêt pétrifiée, (1929) by Max Ernst
Using these techniques, he was able to explore the landscape around him, just in a different way than painting a picturesque panorama of the seashore or rolling fields that he saw with his naked eye. Working with physical elements of his surroundings opened up his mind to paint the landscape in his mind, an emotional landscape.
The Forest (La Forêt), 1927-1928 by Max Ernst
I am unsure what all this interest in early 20th century paining has to do with me and my beads. I do not paint, and have no interest or intention in painting, or in other "fine art" pursuits. But I think these things relate to me and my inner vision, perhaps. Learning about the creative processes and visions of other artists really helps me define my own vision.