As you may or may not remember, I am in the mists of an artistic transition; this means that I am exploring different painting techniques. One of them is described in my recent blog post “Painted Outside of Your Box Lately?”. I thought it would be interesting to learn about Annie’s approach to abstracting still lifes because it would be my first abstract workshop.
Up to this point in my painting career, all of my learning about painting abstracts has been self-taught. My abstractions come out of my head while I am in dialogue with the painting. You can view them in my series “Abstracts With Depth.” I also love to fuse realism with abstractions in my “Windows Into Your Imagination,” but this workshop was a completely different artistic approach to abstraction.
The process for abstracting objects went approximately as follows:
- First, a random under painting was applied to cover up the white surface. By the way, I often start my paintings similar to this. Hence, this process was not unfamiliar to me though it was a tad scruffier than I usually do.
- Then we identified a still life or photograph for our inspiration. I chose an advertisement from a magazine.
- Next I had to decide on the orientation of my 24″x30″ board. I then painted in a very rough composition using line. You can see it in yellow ochre.
4. Choosing a color palette was the next decision. I love using analogous colors and I chose the green-blue-purple hues for my overall palette. While holding my brush as if I was grabbing onto a wooden spoon about to beat cake batter, I scrubbed in the first layer of paint. Applying pain like this was new to me and felt awkward, but I wanted to be a “good” student. 5. At this point I am itching to use a smaller brush and, as you can well imagine I wanted to make the flowers more realistic and with dimension. Nope, I had to stick with a bigger, rough brush and think about just abstracting the ‘objects’ as flat shapes. By the way, the medium we were to use was acrylic.Throughout this process, I having to let go of:
- Trying to create depth;
- Ignoring any light source;
- Using my preferred medium;
- Holding my brush like a pencil;
- Referring to the inspiration image;
- Not making the objects three-dimensional.
Oddly at this point, I am feeling like the blind leading the blind, and my brain is a tad twisted or jumbled. That may not be the best way to describe it, but it is what comes to mind. In a way, it was both blinding and freeing, if that makes any kind of sense. Re-programming one’s brain is not that easy. LOL!
6. Then it was onto adding patterns and a few other tweaks here and there. Being new to this process, I am still not sure if the painting is finished. Interestingly, it has received many positive kudos from those who have seen it. It’s title is, “A Bouquet for Donna.” (Donna is a dear friend who was diagnosed with liver cancer the day before this workshop began.)
Here is a sampling of the other three paintings I created during the workshop, none of which are completed.
Each painting was a stretch for me, which was what I wanted to have happen. I am intrigued and have decided to continue along this avenue. I am curious as to where this may take me. Feel free to come along!
What would you do? What are your reactions to these abstract experiments? Have you tried anything like this?
Thank you for coming along on my artistic journey. Please share this blog post with other who might enjoy it.