What is an abstract Painting? What do you think of when you hear the word abstract? Does you conjour up images of Jackson Pollock,s drippy or Mark Rothko squares? Or do you imagine something closer to reality? Pablo Picaso’s cubism paintings perhaps? There’s no one size fits all with abstracts. You can have pictures that are just a little abstract. Based on reality, they look like something but they are still abstracts. There has been an attempt to use an existing object, scene or person to begin a process which has resulted in the painting. To splodges of paint, lines or blocks of colour. This is where I’ve settled, architectural abstracts. It suits me. One thing I’ve always found though. The best abstract paintings abide by a set of rules. It may be limiting the colour palette. Or dripping the paint or only using angular shapes. Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures applied the “Less is More” rule. There are many rules you can use. If you want abstracts to work, it’s not a case of just splashing colour on a canvas, throwing things together or carving as you fancy. So take your pick and make your choice. Spending time deciding what is […]
Are you a fan of abstract art? Or maybe you prefer something more understandable. You like art that you can tell what it is? When I started out as an artist Representational Art was my thing Happily, creating realistic portraits and scenes Like this one of Henton Mission Room at the marvelous Chiltern Open Air Museum – a museum of buildings no less. I have a confession to make, I used to hate abstract art. Understanding abstracts, especially paintings such a Guernica, was a struggle. I was quite happy to state my opinion that abstracts were rubbish. Until someone explained to me what Picaso was trying to demonstrate. Suddenly it clicked. How can you paint intangible things like emotion without abstraction? Sure, you can paint people in emotional states, but not emotion itself. So I started experimenting with my own abstracts, like this one. The more I did, the more I realised representation is too traditional for me. Don’t get me wrong, representational looks good. It’s just restricted. You either paint what is there, create a photograph like realism. Or you develop a degree of abstraction and give yourself more freedom to express yourself. You are free to break the […]
Ever get an earworm? I’m convinced most come from some subconscious association. Like this week’s painting, when I was looking at 2 of my favourite London buildings. I often play with angles when I’m taking my reference photographs, and, in this one, the buildings seem to lean on each other. When I noticed the Cheesegrater supporting the Gherkin. I was reminded of this Bill Withers song. “Lean on Me, when you’re not strong and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on.” It’s a beautiful lyric, and one that often comes to my mind in tough situations. In fact the whole song is an anthem to the concept of mutual support. Since then I haven’t been able to think of a title I like more. Some details during the paintings stages. Here, the painting is complete and it’s ready to have all the masking fluid removed. . And the Inspiring Architecture Painting that resulted from that earworm looks like this… Next week I have some video for you. And, if you enjoy this post, then please share it? Save
Time for change. If you’ve been following me for any time, you’ll know I’ve been busy with exhibitions and open studios. As well as working on commissions and moving studio. I’ve also been experimenting with lino printing, paper clay and graffiti walls. It’s important to do these things and lots of fun. But it’s important to refocus on what you do best from time to time. For the Oxford College series I’m choosing images of the whole building. And it works for them… But I’ve been hankering to do something abstract and focus on architectural detail. After all the other stuff going on I decided it was time I got on and did it. So, here are some Contemporary Cloisters in Wolfson College Oxford. They’ll get the abstract treatment soon. Once I’ve masked everything… So what have you been neglecting lately?
Procrastination – king of my agenda. Well, it has this week. Studio time lacking and at times none existent. Other stuff taking over. Like travelling about the country delivering work. Rickmansworth and Manchester and today it’s Milton Keynes moving back into Fringe MK. Then the family things with school’s back this week. Despite that I have made some progress in pencil. It’s an inside…ish view of 30 St Mary’s Axe or Foster’s Gherkin as it’s colloquially known. Norman Foster’s award winning design and a personal favourite. It was done in stages. I read a useful tip. Make yourself do 10 minutes with permission to stop when you have. It’s amazing how much further you get once you actually start. I’m now off to beat procrastination and finish it! “Ten minutes” at a time… So why not try it yourself? Aim to do 10 minutes and see how much you actually get done. You’ll surprise yourself!
Being busy is great! But recent events are stretching my funds to the max. So, I’ve been looking into Crowd funding. Basically you get lots of people to give you small amounts of money for rewards. And hope to get enough people interested to fund your project! It’s not without it’s trauma’s but once you figure it out it’s relatively painless. Essentially you put a project proposal together, work out how much you need to make it happen. Create a video and your project. Set some rewards for donations and launch it! And there’s a lot of virtual hand holding throughout! My first attempt was to investigate www.kickstarter.com. After struggling with the video editing, the project looked fine and was going well… But setting up an Account I couldn’t submit an address outside the US. So, I tried www.sponsume.com. And no such drawbacks. It was actually much easier to use. So here it is. Still feels odd doing this, but why not? Big films get made this way all the time… So why not a little old exhibition in Milton Keynes? Dislike being on camera though. Maybe that’s why I avoided a singing career? What do you think? On second […]