Monday, February 8, 2016

Really into abstracts now

It is now February and I have taken a total of 5 classes on abstracts from Dennis Brown. I have another one on Friday.  I'm really enjoying this as I am fairly willing to try anything.  I need to get going on another painting before my Friday lesson - but I wanted to write this post first. I have just reorganized my websites and want everything up-to-date.

Here are my abstracts since my October post:

Drought #3
In this painting I carried on my drought theme. I had learned from Dennis how to use different tools to create effects. For example the red lines going upwards are actually drip downs - often used by abstract artists. The patches on the red part are made with a spatula when the paint is wet. The pale green bits were painted strips that I partially rubbed out and like the effect. This is 40"x30". The canvas was very cheap so it is quite light to carry. Unfortunately this size is the too big for the Wellington Library and the Theatre shows and too small for the EJ Hughes show. So it's not easy to show. I think it is pretty good and must put it up somewhere.

Catch of the Day
This is a very small painting (12"x12") which I did when I was just starting abstract painting. It started out as jelly fishes which we saw in the water at the floats on Newcastle Island in October. Bit by bit I made it more abstract. It was my donation to the NAC fund raiser "Whose Art is This aAnyway?"  I was pretty sure no-one would buy it, so I bought it myself. I don't mind not selling paintings but didn't want to see it looking like a reject. The 3 pink bits are actually fake "gems" which I added later. I think they are a bit crazy but make it more fun and sparkly.

 Time to Go
This is another  40x30" painting that is hard to find a place to show. It went through many iterations including a black cosmic scene with white planents, a multi-coloured oil slick,  and  series of  windows. The main thing about the final picture is that the entire surface is textured with molding paste, all the designs are done with blue and red dripped inks - made to run in different directions - and the background is filled in with  various yellow shades. It is varnished and quite glossy.  I like it. 

After Christmas
 This is another completely textured painting which went through a few iterations. It was mainly a sort of tree-scape and a pretty nice one - but it became overworked as I tried to get drips to go where they didn't want to go. In the end I took my favourite colour - yellows of course - and painted most of it out. It has a few fake "gems." so I call it multi-media. It is 30x36" and quite glossy. I am planning to put it in the next NAC show at the Theatre. It's probably my best picture because it is on a good solid canvas and is very strange and colourful.

Time Line
At first this 40x30" work looks like a map of the London underground to most people - but it's not. It is actually very complicated. It started mainly as blueish and pinkish drips now lying horizontally. Then I added the blocks of colour - not solid but with messy insides. Then I put in the white lines and the dark lines and yellow rectangle to connect everything together. I could have stopped there and called it a gestural abstract with a structural abstract imposed on top. But it was too tidy. I added some swirls into the blue parts, inspired by Gauguin's nuns' hats on my daily art calendar. They looked dopey so I partially wiped them out. I think they now look semi-submerged in what might be water. I added fake gems to the tips so there are sort of ogopogo-ish eyes peering out. I think this might be a surrealist multi-media painting. I like that it's weird and consider it done - though I doubt I will ever show it anywhere.

Time Out
The colours in this picture are really beautiful. I think the style is very reminiscent of Dennis - though not as free feeling - tidier. I have put it in the NAC Members Only Show which is on for most of February, 2016 and has no size restrictions. I could not figure out a title for it. To me it does not represent anything. The show is called "Leap Year." When I found the words "time out" in something I was reading about leap year, I thought it would work as a title. You can't really depict time - except maybe with a clock. Surely no-one will find any clocks or hockey players in this picture. I decided to name some of my other unnamed abstracts using phrases including "time" too. They could be a series.

So that's it for abstracts. Jim got me to sign up for a demonstration in Victoria on painting portraits with a palette knife. I have never used a palette knife and must start today! That reminds me. Here is my finished portrait of Josie - done last fall. It really looks like her I think.

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