Playing with abstraction

One of my top few observations from being a painter is the importance of abstraction. Although I’m primarily a representational painter, a painting ultimately succeeds or fails based on abstract qualities, especially design.

I painted this study in a loose abstract manner, without my eye glasses. This helps me accurately record color and value, as our mind has a way of convincing me of things that aren’t always true (eg, that grass is green, the sky is blue). Towards the end of the painting, I pull it back in to a representational state bty adding a details/lines that “pull it together”. I didn’t do that here. I paused at this point, and thought, why not, it works as it is now: a pleasing combination of color and shapes.

Hmmm….I may fast becoming an abstract painter. Oh well, it’s what’s selling 🙂

Beach Canyon Abstract – Oil on Linen – 8×10

5 thoughts on “Playing with abstraction”

  1. What the hell is that, Ed?! Can’t make heads nor tails of it! Kidding of course. I love abstract painting. Abstracts have all the same art elements that representation art has…color, texture, movement, balance, value, hard/soft, emphasis, size, rhythm, etc., etc. Nice organic colors and diagonal movement here.

  2. Ed,
    Nice abstract. You made the comment “abstracts, that’s what’s selling”.
    I live in the Midwest and usually the West Coast is in front of trends.
    Do you think the public is finally tired of non-abstract subjects?
    Tom

  3. Hey Tom, thanks. No, I don’t see a general trend toward abstracts, I guess it’s more a commentary about the art world in San Francisco–which in fairness, is a pretty good balance of abstract and representational. My comment was just kind of flippant. 🙂

  4. I can’t stress the value of that statement enough. It was such s gift when I ‘got’ that concept. The instant I look at a painting that doesn’t have unified abstract components, I know it.
    Unless it’s mine, of course, and then it may take a while 😉 artist’s lament…
    Your color work is very fresh. You get beautiful color and resist the urge to give it that extra push into a ‘false’ note, for lack of a better term.

    Also, when I visited San Fransisco, driving up those steep hills was extremely uncomfortable. The angles seemed so unatural. I felt I was holding onto gravity by will alone! That would take some getting used to!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *