I don't know
if I've ever said these words "out loud" to you, but they deserve to be said,
repeatedly and loudly. So here I am, virtually hollering at you across
cyberspace: Experiment with abstract art!
I know we have
talked about how thinking abstractly is a key to any successful painting,
realistic or otherwise. But the point that shouldn't be lost is that
abstraction is a rewarding way to work in and of itself, as well as being a
gateway to representational works.
|Madame Butterfly by Helen Frankenthaler, woodcut, 2000.
I could fill
sketchbooks full of abstract paintings and mixed media sketches combining
charcoal and oil pastels or watercolor and graphite. These ways of painting
call out to me in less formal ways and make me just want to play and move color
and line across the page without any rules.
||A largely abstract work by Marshall Arisman that presents highly altered yet
still recognizable forms, namely the human body.
I don't mean
to say that all abstract art is visually successful, but I do think that all
experiments with abstract art can teach you a lot about observing what you are
doing and really seeing the work that you are creating for what it is. And when
you work abstractly or mix media you are less likely to conform to outside
expectations about what objects, figures, and landscapes should look like. At
least that is how it is with me, and I find that mindset exhilarating.
So feel free
to indulge in formless visions and ideas that don't live so concretely in the
"real" world. And look to artists like Marshall Arisman. His Modern Mixed Media DVD is an inspiration
to me and I hope to you as well! Enjoy!