I spent a week in Portland, Maine, attending the “Feed Your Soul” program for high school art teachers sponsored by the Maine College of Art (MECA). I was able to attend art classes and have time to work in a studio while also being in the beautiful city of Portland in the summer. I really can’t complain. I discovered that I have a lot to work on in my studio practice (rusty skills) but I can improve even in one week. Making art is a luxury in our world and I appreciate that I have been given this time and ability to take advantage of wonderful opportunities.
I’m working with abstraction in my art. It is something I’ve tried over the years but haven’t given serious consideration. After the initial stages of mark-making and color I feel stuck. The complexity that is always available to me in figurative work is missing and I am not sure how to manufacture that complexity that I seek within the abstract piece. The marks, colors and values feel arbitrary and I tend to devalue the work as a result. I’m working on this because I’ve worked in figurative work for many years and want to try something different.
This acrylic canvas represents experiments with color and marks. I have changed this already. This is an early stage.
Here I am working with acetate, markers and digital manipulation.
I recently heard about this cable TV program “Brilliant Ideas” sponsored by the financial company Bloomberg and Hyundai car company that features interviews of contemporary artists. The episodes are available on-line as noted at this link: http://www.bloomberg.com/shows/brilliant-ideas
The two episodes I’ve watched so far were interesting and gave me new insights into contemporary art practices.
I made these charts of my acrylic and oil paints to see what paints I had and to re-familiarize myself with some of the colors. It was exciting to see the colors laid out and placed next to other colors. Color interaction is one of the things that motivates me to create art. This color sensation is what the impressionists and particularly post impressionists were exploring. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it. This might be why I have a hard time getting into art that is very dry or strictly conceptual.
When I sit on my favorite couch to read or write I often look across the room at the view or at the couch across from me. I suddenly saw a cat like face in the couch pattern. It really was only there because I was too far away to see all the details. My mind created the face. I decided to draw the face using Inspire Pro.
Because it is summer and because I have time I pulled a book off my shelf that I’ve never looked at too closely. It’s called Foundations of Modern Art by Amedee Ozenfant. It was published in 1931. Ozenfant was a cubist artist and writer who founded the Purist movement in France in the early 1900s. He worked with Le Courbusier. The book is kind of an explanation of modern art and artists but done in a non-linear style. He makes connections between eras by finding commonalities of style or thrust. His writing is quite erudite and I was forced to open a dictionary to follow along. For example I didn’t know that Occident meant the western world, as opposed to the Orient.
Here is a quote: “Creation is led up to by each moment, every gesture of our lives: not by a sudden decision. It is the degree to which, little by little, we have raised ourselves, that brings us level with certain heights.”