Palette Scrapings (August Strindberg Famous Works)


“When his work is finished, the painter scrapes together the colors that are left and, if he feels so inclined, makes some sort of sketch. I stopped in delight in front of this panel at Marlotte. The colors have a harmony, a harmony that is easily explained since they have all been part of the same painting. Once freed from the problem of composing the colors, the soul of the artist is inclined to concentrate all its energy on the outline. Since his hand keeps moving the palette knife at random, never losing sight of the model provided by nature, the whole reveals itself as

a wonderful mixture of the conscious and unconscious.

This is natural art, where the artist works in the same capricious way as nature, without a set goal. I have sometimes passed these panels of scrapings after some time has passed, and have

always found something new there;
all according to my frame of mind.”

… an excerpt from “On†Chance†in†Artistic†Creation” by August Strindberg
The full essay was written in French in 1894 and published in Revue des Revues on November 15 of the same year.

(translated by Kjersti Board for Cabinet Magazine: ISSUE†3SUMMER†2001)