Friday, May 31, 2013

Abstract painting..not so easy!

Artist: Unknown

During my years as a painter, I have experienced many techniques in painting from copying great artists to creating my own paintings from my own photos. But, I have yet to experience plein-air painting or abstract painting. Plein-air painting is a French expression of painting done in the open air and abstract painting is a visual expression of painting that can be seen through color, form, and lines. However, I know someday I will experience plein-air painting but for right now,  I am experiencing with abstract paintings or attempting to. 

Currently, I am working on an artist copy of Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon)” 1907. It’s a very small painting 12”x16” as I do most of my artist’s copies on. This has been challenging because I usually work on a bigger canvas and use broader brush strokes but, working on a smaller canvas, I have to use smaller brush strokes and more detail than usual. The reason I am working on this particular Picasso because I like the lines and composition of this painting and the shapes within the painting of triangles and sharp edges.Even though, it's a cubism style painting, I do like it. The painting itself is giving me practice in my next abstract painting that I am going to work on. 

I have collected some old canvases to practice my abstract painting. In which, I am going to use painting mold and some old paint to practice some new techniques. I have never used molding before but, I am interested in the 3-D effect on a canvas. I am not sure if I will use this technique in my next painting yet. It’s always good to try new things and see the results you get while creating a new piece of art work. 

I still find that abstract painting is not as easy as everyone thinks it is. You can’t just slap paint on a canvas and say it’s abstract without visually thinking it through first. As I watched some demonstration videos on YouTube on abstract painting, it’s very important to keep all the seven elements of art in mind and visually see the image or images in an abstract form. I find that if you squint your eyes you can visually see the image you have in mind in abstract form.  I also found some helpful reading on “Can a 5th grader paint a Jackson Pollock?” Very interesting to read and the answer is no. The two videos I have attached are very different abstract paintings, one is more of an expression abstract that you can see the image, but the brush strokes are applied with ease, and control. The other video is more abstract with no image, but shows the layering of paint color upon paint color to form a beautiful painting. Notice that there is form, balance, and space used more on that painting.


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