I am toying with the idea of calling my color series, “The Jennings Moodschach Test.” I have formulated the following artist’s statement which I will rename as an Artist’s statement of the problem which I think more accurately reflects the interdisciplinary nature of my Rorschach work. In Psychology, instead of an artist’s statement one writes an abstract to describe their research projects. The abstract includes a concise statement of the problem. In general, artist’s statements are too undefined for my tastes and rarely describe exactly what the work is about.
Pam Jennings “Artist statement of the Problem” *
In the Moodschach Test, I have developed a version of the infamous Rorschach test that expands the aesthetic and conceptual bases of the use of color. Historically, the Rorschach, according to art critic Patricia Sloan (1970) has achieved great success with its bisymmetric form as well as its graphic achromatic features. However, she argued that Hermann Rorschach was not as successful with his use of color. I agree with Sloan as based on my 27 years of professional experience with the Rorschach as a Clinical Psychologist. Her observation is even apropos to the contemporary art of Andy Warhol whose massive Rorschachs share the same fate as those of Hermann Rorschach when it comes to the use of color. In my work I take on the formal difficulties of chroma in Rorschach design in the hopes of creating colorful images that are as apt to attract the viewer’s gaze as achromatic images prove to be. Additionally, I significantly alter what the Rorschach is designed to measure by developing a series of questions for the viewer that require movement beyond a study of what is seen upon gazing at ambiguous form to an examination of moods and feelings perceived when observing ambiguous color and ambiguous color relationships.
I have grown seriously interested in the work of Morris Louis and find that his compositions “suggest” new ways of thinking about how to pour paint for Rorschachs. Morris Louis was an Abstract Expressionist-Color field painter, for those who don’t know. His works have a lot of symmetry in them and it appears that he poured painted similarly on the two sides of his canvas. However, he did not it seems, fold the two sides together to create amorphous shapes. He was more interested in the purity of color. nonetheless, the way that he poured his paints is interesting from a design point of view and offers fresh possibilities for Rorschach designs. I am particularly interested in his designs that are located on the edges of the canvas or on the corners. I wonder why he was interested in symmetry?
Also, apropos an earlier comment that I think color backgrounds work better for color Rorschachs, it is interesting to note that Morris Louis painted on raw canvas sometimes and several works are on white background. It does not seem to interfere with color but I will have to see his work in person. I still find the white background to be so “stark”. This may be a matter of personal preference.