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  • Writer's pictureHaydn Dickenson


I am celebrating a small Blog Milestone this evening – my twentieth post since I first set virtual pen to virtual paper in August last year. Thank you so much to my followers both new and 'old' – your interest and support means so much to me. Please continue to share my posts and site – my agent wants a following of hundreds by the middle of 2023, and I'm still a long way from that. I've received such lovely reactions from many of you, about how, and what I write so yes, please keep carrying the banner!

Tonight I have been musing on the subject of doodling, and its relationship to Abstract Art.

I remember a 1970's BBC Radio 3 broadcast in which the musicologist Gerald Abraham opined that the late, very brief, very ethereal piano compositions by Alexander Scriabin amounted to a kind of “musical doodling”.

Those of a conservative disposition, picturing by default a 'classical composer' as one who pores over a desk for months on end in order to gestate a monumental symphony, may have been aghast at this claim. I know my father, a died-in-the-wool Scriabin addict, certainly was.

I however, have always felt that Abraham's words amounted to an enormous compliment.

Scriabin's late piano pieces are fleeting, fluttering creations, based on a system of stretched harmonies and elusive tonality. Doodling is recognised as being a free expression of the psyche, a pictorial (or, in Scriabin's case, a musical) Stream of Consciousness.

We associate Robert Motherwell – described by the wonderful Peggy Guggenheim as “very intellectual” - with enormous, cataclysmic and monolithic abstract paintings, carrying a gigantic emotional and political clout.

How incredible it is then, to behold this tiny piece by the American master, which surely qualifies as doodling of the highest order – introverted yet confident, a pure, distilled essence of aleatory gesture; magnificent in its simplicity, in my opinion.

BESIDE THE SEA, NO 3 - Robert Motherwell (1962)

In 2016 I produced the 40 x 30 cm painting below. Characterised by minimal gestures, gouged-back marks through the board and an enigmatic blotch of red, it is roughly pinned to an old wooden stretcher.

TENSION - Haydn Dickenson (2016)

Shyly, I always loved this piece; and happily, my representatives agree, attaching one of the higher price tags in my collection to this diminutive linear meditation.

Let's hear it for doodling!

Copyright Haydn Dickenson 2023

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05 de fev. de 2023

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