Thursday, October 26, 2006

Self Portrait:

There are as many means of making abstract art as there are artists. An understanding of the process can greatly enhance your visual experience of the resulting product.

My first official abstract was done as an assignment. I had no clue where to begin to generate the painting, so as my professor talked, I did some sketches of a brochure she had for a new vehicle. I used the ellipse of a tire, the parallel lines of a side window, and then stared suggesting movement with shapes and lines. From the starting suggestions of a concrete image, I was able to extract some basic shapes and go from there.

Other paintings have arisen by thinking of an abstract noun such as the idea of joy, or inspiration. I then drew sketchy lines on my canvas with charcoal, holding the seed idea in mind. I later chose paints and techniques to finish the painting consistent with the initial idea.

I have also painted pieces of music, strong emotions, or any unnameable difficulties in my life. Abstraction is ideal for these processes because it bypasses our symbolic system and touches those spaces within us that are wider than words, deeper than designs, and more insistent than photo-accurate images.