For the last few weeks I’ve been going down a rabbit hole. Unsatisfied with the work I have been doing, I wanted to do more. Reading the latest books from artists/writers Brain Rutenberg (A Little Long Time) and John Seed (Disrupted Realism), I have been thinking about what art is, where the best of it comes from and how we are shaping it in these unusual times. I highly recommend them!
For me, taking the leap into abstraction seems to be the push I need to change. No, I haven’t decided to become an abstract artist (I don’t think!!), but I am exploring how creating abstraction can help me change the way I work, compose and even feel about my subject matter. I love it when they blend or cross over, but it isn’t an intellectual decision to paint that way. No real style is something you decide – it comes from inside. But until you know what’s in there and dig around a little, it’s hard to push boundaries. And when you find something? Dig deeper! It takes risk and experimentation.
The pieces in this post are some of the ones I have been “playing” with. Quick, time limited experiments that have little intent but to explore what I enjoy. My thoughts are in the captions.
I have been working primarily on paper and in sketchbooks. I have decided that I am going to park finishing capital “P” paintings for a little while and start observing how I work, and more importantly, WHY I work.
Risk comes in both the execution and then the courage to put stuff out there that might miss the mark. But, change is inevitable – required for survival – and in a time where we must adapt to a new reality, change is better chosen than forced. The reason for the change may suck, but we have a choice as to how we handle what comes.
This is an opportunity to grow and leave behind what isn’t working in art – and in life. I hope you’ll come with me.
My 8 year old nephew, Braden, is a budding artist. He’s already showing an affinity for painting. This is one of his first attempts and his work is already very painterly with sweeping brushstrokes, which are so atmospheric. Promising beginnings!