Page 19 - The Spirit Book
P. 19

Art, Automatic


response to a public outcry the Brazilian presi- or painted. Just as automatic writing is often 

dent issued a pardon. However, Ariǵ did have produced at incredibly high speed—far faster 

to serve a sentence on a similar charge eight than one could normally write—so is automatic 

years later, despite impressing a visiting judge art produced that way by many of its practition- 

with his talents. He served sixteen months in ers. Heinrich Nusslein, a German automatic 

prison and did not perform any more psychic artist, painted in total darkness, producing small 

surgery on his release. But while in prison he was pictures in three or four minutes, totaling 2,000 

permitted to continue to operate. The judge who pictures in two years. In the late nineteenth 

presided over Ariǵ, Judge Filippe Immesi, wrote century Marjan Gruzewski of Poland and David 

the following report after his visit to Joseacute; Duguid of Glasgow, Scotland, also painted in 

in prison:
total darkness. John Ballou Newbrough, the 

“I saw him pick up . a pair of nail scissors. automatist who produced Oahspe, was also an 

He wiped them on his shirt and used no automatic artist who could paint with both 
hands at once in total darkness. Susannah Har- 
disinfectant. I saw him then cut straight 
ris would complete an oil painting in two hours 
into the cornea of the patient’s eye. She 
when blindfolded and painting it upside down. 
did not flinch, although perfectly con- 
Augustine Lesage painted from the top of the 
scious. The cataract was out in seconds . 
canvas working his way down. A Captain 
Ariǵ said a prayer and a few drops of liq- 
Bartlett similarly produced detailed architectur- 
uid appeared on the cotton in his hand. He 
al drawings of Glastonbury Abbey, as it was orig- 
wiped the women’s eye with it and she was 
inally, working from the top left hand corner 
cured.”
and coming down, giving verified archeological 

Sources:
details with incredible precision.

King, Francis: The Supernatural: Wisdom From Afar. Emily A Tallmadge, of New York City (who 

London: Aldus, 1975
died in 1956 at the age of 82), produced thou- 

Wilson, Colin: The Supernatural: Healing Without Med- sands of intricate drawings and paintings, many 

icine. London: Aldus Books, 1975
of them done with colored pencils. Most were 

similar to mandalas. She claimed that they were 

A, Ainspired by her spirit guides. Of the thousands she 
RTUTOMATIC
produced, no two were the same. Automatic 
A
n aspect of automatic writing, automatic art drawing does not always develop into automatic 
is produced with the medium unaware of 
painting. Generally, the painting seems to devel- 
what is being painted. In this instance the “medi- 
op independently.
um” is not necessarily a professional (although in 
Toward the end of the nineteenth century 
fact we all have mediumistic abilities latent with- 
observation of hysterical and brain-damaged 
in us). Just as virtually anyone can operate a talk- 
patients indicated that some people could 
ing board, so can anyone do automatic writing, 
exhibit unusual artistic talent that they did not 
drawing and painting. Some people go into 
have in their normal state. The Spiritualist 
trance when doing automatic art, but most 
community therefore decided that true automat- 
remain fully conscious, if unaware of what it is 
ic writing and art should show some evidence of 
their hand is about to reveal.
connection to the spirit world. In other words, 

Some automatists are not aware that their a piece of writing or art should in some way 

hands are moving and are surprised when they reveal correct information that was not previ- 

see the results of their unconscious actions. ously known to the entranced artist, be it 

Others are aware but feel that they have unknown information of a spirit or of the artist 

absolutely no control over what is being drawn
him or herself. Alan Gauld (Man, Myth &




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THE SPIRIT BOOK

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