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ladywolf1
03-26-2004, 10:29 AM
Hi everyone...

I would really like to try doing some abstract work but really don't know where to begin. For instance, do you abstract from something real? Or can one abstract from a thought or emotion?

I would appreciate hearing any guidelines re: concept formation, general philosophies or even exercises to try.

I really am drawn to abstract art as a "viewer".... and now would like to explore it further as a "doer".

*thanks for the help.
cheri

Pilan
03-26-2004, 12:44 PM
Cheri, both! you do both. Everything is abstract in nature. Here is some example of abstracts in nature and buildings.

I have attached two different views in two different photographs.

the first one is a real picture and the second one is the abstract image.

The last one is a an example of how a person may look in abstract form.

I hope this helps. If you look closely you can see lights and darks are just abstract shapes. And the color of the subjects are all made up of abstract shapes, whether they are white, black or any color.

This is what I have learned. Maybe someone else can shed some more light on the subject. I am always learning tooo. ;)

Gwenaelle
03-26-2004, 01:52 PM
Thank you Pilan, great demo....

Pea Eye
03-26-2004, 05:39 PM
Hi everyone...

I would really like to try doing some abstract work but really don't know where to begin. For instance, do you abstract from something real? Or can one abstract from a thought or emotion?

I would appreciate hearing any guidelines re: concept formation, general philosophies or even exercises to try.

I really am drawn to abstract art as a "viewer".... and now would like to explore it further as a "doer".

*thanks for the help.
cheri

ladywolf1
03-26-2004, 06:32 PM
hey, thanks for the starters Pilan.... and I appreciate it...

but, now I have a few thousand questions, lol...
so basically, one can abstract from both reality and/or imagination, correct?

*in your example, I am still seeing/reading 'porch' ... and it appears impressionistic to me rather than abstract... but, that's my problem....trying to see things differently....

Is it the pushing of the basic shapes, the breaking down/simplifying of your subject and then the "reconstruction" of those shapes ultimately the goal?

*Should there be total unrecognizability of the subject in the finished work? ...or does that matter? Is there any "rhyme or reason" as to how something is reconstructed?

For starters, should I just try to pick some objects, say a 3-item still life, .... then break them down into basic values and shapes, and just go for it and paint...? *keeping in mind color, composition, etc.

I don't know why I am having such a difficult time wrapping my brain around this.....!
.... it's like I'm stuck in a bizarre underwater basket weaving class and can't get to the surface of understanding, lol!

thanks again...
c

salart
03-26-2004, 06:39 PM
Hi!
I think everthing is truly abstract if we detach the thinking part of our brain. The sky is abstract if we forget that it is the sky! Sometimes when I am painting representationally the paint takes on it's own life and becomes a sculptural.....Or sometimes I just start putting marks and colors down randomly with no image at all in mind.There seems to be an inate sense of balance-order/-structure vs.chaos and disorder. I really enjoy Kandinsky and the way he used music as a vehicle for his abstraction. I am not great at artspeak- but I know what I like!

Pilan
03-27-2004, 12:01 AM
Cheri,

Okay, as you look at the real picture you can clearly see it is a porch and with details that distinguish the design and trimming. Okay here are couple of other pictures that are put through filters to show a different way of seeing.

I have blurred this picture now. The first one is blurred. The second one is blurred but with blue outlines around some of the shapes in the picture. Abstract is just shapes of all different kinds. The blurred picture can aid in impressionist painting if you chose to learn this way. It still take a lot of practice to see the shapes through squinting eyes. A good technique used to distinguish colors are through squinting eyes used mostly on location painting, outdoor painting and the french name is En Plein Aire. If you go to the plein aire forum you can see how some of the painters use abstracts in impressionist painting. Now, look at some of the art peices posted in the abstract forum.

Here is a snippet from another website.

An abstract painting is one without a recognisable subject, one which doesn't relate to anything external or try to "look like" something. Instead the colour and form (and often the materials and support) are the subject of the abstract painting. It's completely non-objective or non-representational.

Cheri, I may not totally agree with this but for the most part I believe it is looked at as non-objective. It could be I see more of a mix of abstract art with recongizable shapes.
Someone who has better knowledge of definitions maybe able to poke their head in and give you a more qualified example. Sorry, trying to help a bit.
Abstract is very intriquing to me.

Here is a better definition that maybe useful to you.

Abstract
A style of painting where colour and form (and sometimes the materials and support) make up the subject of the painting rather than it representing objects or people

Before I knew Kandinsky existed I was painting shapes and colors that seem to be along the same lines as him. However, I am exploring different ways in interpreting colors and moods in colors and shapes. Its hard, its ongoing, facinating and extremely addictive, or at least to me ;) . It haunts me when I close my eyes and sometimes I dream of abstracts. :eek:

I just now found a link to some of Kandinsky's saying. These are the first I have seen of them, so I guess the saying is true about learning something new everyday :p .

http://painting.about.com/library/biographies/blartistquoteskandinsky.htm

Impressionisn is to capture fleeting impressions or the changing of light.

Abstract Expressionism is a development from Expressionism, which applies the principles of Expressionism to abstract art. The work of Jackson Pollock is a good example

I would recommend you read all you can on abstract painting. Look at a lot of work too. Get a book on Kandinsky if you can. Go to ebay and look for abstract art books. I love dekooning, Paul Klee, Kandinsky, william Baziotes, Kline,ASger Jern , Karel Appel is one to study. I have one of his signed prints :cool: Piet Mondrian is another one who you maybe interested in studying. Sam Francis, joan miro is super wonderful but he is figurative somewhat in his paintings.

Well, hope this helps.

Pilan

ladywolf1
03-27-2004, 07:50 AM
Pilan....

*I think the "snippet" and the "better" description you posted are basically what I was looking for.

I am pretty familiar with the artists/movements of the last century.... Pollock has always been a favorite of mine, but as I initially said, "viewing" is one thing and "doing" is another. I think the "where to start" quandry is what I was getting hung up on and therefore was "spinning my wheels on square one", so to speak. I do believe that I am at square two this morning.

I found a good website last night (abstractart.com) and along with your advice, it has helped clarify some of my questions. I'll sure check out the link to Kandinsky's writings that you posted. I have also already looked at a lot of everyone's work here and there are some wonderful paintings...... truly.

Again Pilan,..... muchas gracias! I really do appreciate the time you took to answer my thread....

Have a nice day,
cheri

p.s.
Thank you also to Salart..... and you're absolutely right about detaching the "thinking part" of the brain. Your sky analogy helped quite a bit.

nancyw
03-27-2004, 11:56 AM
Pilan, thank you. I am in the same boat as ladywolf. Your examples and notes have given me a new view which I desperately needed. Nancy in FL

ladywolf1
03-28-2004, 10:48 AM
Pilan, Nancy & Salart...

Well, I dove into unknown waters and didn't drown.... in fact, I truly enjoyed the swimming lesson!

*layed in an 18" x 24" O/C painting last night... I did what Sal talked about... and just started laying in color.... when all of a sudden everything seemed to go onto "autopilot".....time flew by without any notice...
*the word "crossroads" kept coming to mind... in both an internal & external way.... *it seems as if my subconscious took over.

I want to let it dry and add a few things then I'll post it in a couple of days to see what you think.

*Pilan.... I had to laugh because after I was done..... my mind would not stop... and like you I saw all these abstracts painting themselves in my mind.

(I have a feeling I am going to be going through quite a few canvasses and paint in the near future, lol!) It was, and still is, a very freeing feeling and I am biting at the bit to try more....

Love this quote in the link you posted:

"The true work of art is born from the 'artist': a mysterious, enigmatic, and mystical creation. It detaches itself from him, it acquires an autonomous life, becomes a personality, an independent subject, animated with a spiritual breath, the living subject of a real existence of being." *Kandinsky

well..... i do believe i caught a glimpse of what he was talking about.
thanks again, :D

Tamana
03-28-2004, 10:56 AM
Don't be afraid to do something because someone else might not like it; follow your heart into the dark, scary parts of the forest too: the same part (even in fairy tales) where you have to close your eyes sometimes.

ladywolf1
03-28-2004, 11:41 AM
Don't be afraid to do something because someone else might not like it; follow your heart into the dark, scary parts of the forest too: the same part (even in fairy tales) where you have to close your eyes sometimes.

*thanks Tam!..... again, we must be on the same wavelength...... just last night I had a thought of doing a "night forest" concept... broody & moody & hushed...which, since I do go camping alone in some fairly remote spots, I can literally relate to, lol!

It is in the dark of the night that the forest changes and it seems to take on a life of it's own. Watching, breathing... waiting. It is at these times, I truly have encountered some of my most unreasonable fears and faced them head on. (*ok,....i'll admit, i faced them "head on" peeking from underneath my covers, lol!) Magical moments that were not entirely comfortable.... that dissapated with the first light of dawn.

*also, you hit the nail right on the head re: the trepidation....
so, I will remember your advice and look forward to the journey.

cheri