Playing around with Rorschach Ink Blots

                  For a week or so, I've been having a little obsession with the Rorschach Ink Blot psychometric test. I just finished a degree in Psychology a few months ago, and I've really had the point driven into me that understanding human behavior is all about statistical analysis and the Scientific Method. 

                  Thinking about the inevitable connections between human psychology and artistic expression, I was struck by how interesting Rorschach patterns really are. Herman Rorschach created this test in the 1920's, which was used for indicating personality dimensions and to identify loose associations in thought disorder -- as measured through the subjective, projective self-disclosure responses subjects gave when looking at the intentionally ambiguous, symmetrical images. In more recent times, the scientific validity of this test has been largely discredited and it has fallen into disfavour by clinical psychologists and scientists in general. From a creative perspective however, they are still deserving of continued interest and consideration.

                  A lesser known fact about the ink blot is that Leonardo Da Vinci (and other artists) also experimented with them centuries prior to Rorschach. Da Vinci made the observation that one should stare into stains and other random markings in order to make original associations and develop creative ideas. Later in the 1850's, a popular game called 'Blotto' also prompted players to create and interpret random shapes in a similar way.

                  In a broad sense, the true litmus test of all art is its ability to invoke a personal response in another human being -- When looking at a painting we ask ourselves, What do we see here and what does it make us think?  So, from a creative perspective the Rorschach ink blots are kind of a synthesis of what visual art is essentially meant to do. And even from a philosophical standpoint, it's worth noting that all kinds of symmetries have been found in many scientific, philosophical and artistic fields as indicators of underlying universal truths -- symmetries are aesthetically interesting and meaningful.

                In any case, here is a selection from a few dozen I put together this weekend -- taking a bit of creative license with the use of color. I found the process of making them really interesting and cathartic. I hope you enjoy them from an artistic perspective and that you might also see some patterns and ideas from within your own psyche, mirrored in them!

 

Blotto Painting No. 1

Blotto Painting No. 1

Blotto Painting No. 2

Blotto Painting No. 2

Blotto Painting No. 3

Blotto Painting No. 3

Blotto Painting No. 4

Blotto Painting No. 4

Blotto Painting No. 5

Blotto Painting No. 5

Blotto Painting No. 6     Read more about the 'deliberate accident' and the history of the ink blot in this excellent piece from The Tate: Click Here    

Blotto Painting No. 6

 

 

Read more about the 'deliberate accident' and the history of the ink blot in this excellent piece from The Tate: Click Here