View Full Version : Not sure I explain this well, but what are your thoughts?

04-09-2014, 09:04 AM
(From the kid whose first-grade classmate, Lisa, (in 1966!) looked at his picture and said: "You know why you can't color in the lines? Because you don't hold your crayon right." And, for the record, I wanted to color in the lines. Now, I'm not sure whether I want to or not.)

I recently read "Composition: Understanding Line, Notan and Color," by Arthur Wesley Dow, "Discovering the Inner Eye: Experiments in Water Media," by Virginia Cobb, and "Abstract Painting, Concepts and Techniques," by Vicky Perry. I have been trying to improve my realistic painting and drawing techniques, but took a little detour back to abstract painting about a month ago, and found these books very inspiring, as was the "Help If You Have Trouble With Abstracts" thread here. One takeaway message I found in all 3 books is that I can think of my painting as a painting, a 2-dimensional plane, as opposed to thinking of it as an apple, for example. This has somehow given me permission to think more about composition, expression, perhaps be more creative, and to just think about "How do I want this object (my painting) to look, whether or not it accurately depicts the subject?" So, I have been stressing less about replicating reality (which, truth be told I am not all that skilled at doing), and enjoying more trying to come up with something a viewer will enjoy/appreciate/be moved by. This does not mean that I am giving up on drawing, as I am starting to enjoy it, and I think the better I become at drawing the better my abstract painting will be. But, even with drawing, I have stopped thinking of it as drawing, and have started thinking of it as "mark-making," and again, somehow, this enables me to stress less and draw a little better.

Does this resonate with anyone else's experience? I enjoy this forum very much and am interested in your comments.

I will post my latest in a separate thread ("Baseball & Dumbbells" --cross-posted recently in Acrylics forum), which, as you'll see, is quite representational, but intentionally not realistic.