AGO Makes: Stream-of-Consciousness Writing

AGOMakes From Home: Inspired by the AGO Collection

Paul Klee, Hard and Soft, I

Photo of Paul Klee's Hard Soft

Paul Klee. Hard and Soft, I, 1937. Charcoal with traces of pigmented paste on newsprint on card, Sheet: 35.7 × 27.7 cm. Gift from the Women's Committee Fund, 1955. © Art Gallery of Ontario 54/13

“A drawing is simply a line going for a walk.” Paul Klee

Paul Klee (1879̶1940) was a German-Swiss artist famous for his experimental ideas about art that helps us to really see what is around us. Drawing was always important for him and he was particularly interested in children’s art. He tried to draw in a way that left his hand free from control by his conscious brain. He described this as taking a line for a walk. In this charcoal drawing, you can see a pattern of hard and soft lines that he created from his unconscious mind.



Watch Paola Poletto. Director, Engagement & Learning, in her video about stream-of-consciousness writing. All you need for this activity is paper and pencil. Take a moment to relax your mind then start writing for as long as you can without taking the pencil from the paper.


Alexa Greist, Associate Curator and R. Fraser Elliott Chair, Prints & Drawings, and Paola Poletto, Director, Engagement & Learning, chat about Paul Klee's Hard and Soft artwork and introduce the surrealist creative strategy of stream-of-consciousness writing.

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