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mjkohler
01-11-2002, 04:14 AM
MY IMAGE(S):
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/upload_spool/01-11-2002/5774_misc_344.jpg


GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title: W.I.P. abstract figure
Year Created: 2002
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 800cm x 600cm
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

MY COMMENTS:
this piece is one of a couple that I am working on at the moment. As usual I am heading away from traditional depiction. Unlike my last piece I started this time with a traditional depiction (this was before my realisation that working from abstraction can have interesting results). I am feeling my way around with this. I do not have a clear idea where I am going. But I know that I am not there yet.
p.s. the blue is not coming through strong enough.

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
Are there any areas that seem to be working nicely that you feel could be repeated.

Are there areas that you feel are not working.

Is there anything that you would like to see happening in it that is not at the moment.

bluespade
01-11-2002, 12:37 PM
I think you are done! The spaces are well used and the blue looks fine to me. I wouldn't want it any darker than what my monitor, at least, is showing. I like how the blue and yellow appear on the same tonal plane (correct me if I'm wrong on this!).

The only thing I would have removed, but it is not worth removing now probably, are the little "dribbles" of blue paint on the lower left and the middle to lower right. I think the large vital brush strokes are enough.

henrik
01-11-2002, 04:20 PM
I think you have nice repetition of elements in both color and form; I don't see a need for more. I also like the runny paint; I think it provides a contrast; without them, something else would be needed.

The only thing that I could think of as an improvement, is that there is something about her right breast and how it connects to the body; being a different color and ending a bit abruptly, it seems diconnected and a bit floating. At the same time, this element creates tension in a good way, so I am not shure what to suggest as a fix.

mjkohler
01-11-2002, 10:01 PM
thank you again for your feedback Henrik. I think that if I replace the yellowy paint at the end of the right breast with an orangey colour it should help tie it in more. mjk

mjkohler
01-11-2002, 10:03 PM
Thank you for your input too bluespade, I didn't realise I hadn't answered you. mjk

mjkohler
01-12-2002, 05:43 AM
:) right, I have started to pull this one out. Will probably chnage the mouth. mjk

henrik
01-12-2002, 09:38 AM
Now, the face became the focal point - and it looks a bit pasted on; not as nicely integrated into the whole - probably because of it being more defined in line.

bluespade
01-12-2002, 09:57 AM
i agree, i think it is finished without the mouth and eyes

LarrySeiler
01-12-2002, 10:26 AM
It is said that rules in art are meant to be broken. Of course, this is believed in and repeated by those seeking to break rules. Like the traditional family unit, when definitions seek a new sense of freedom to break away...there is no long lasting control over maintaining anything of what once was. New parameters find more courage to wave their banner.

So, it is difficult when venturing to be more expressive visually to determine what, "if any" art rules, principles of design, composition, etc; will be held to. Ought the work have a pleasing balance? What if a balance that did not work created the kind of tension the artist was seeking?

Ought colors have a harmony? A good old rule, yet...a disharmony might work well to support a theme of human dischord.

When you get supportive aesthetic comments, you have found creatives for whom an image works and connects. Yet at the same time, unsupportive comments are no indication that what you've been seeking is not working.

A train finds that tracks are too confining, restrictive. The train finds itself depressed that its route is predetermined, and seeks its own destiny aside from what appears out of his control. Finally, with all the strength it can muster, it jumps the tracks.

After the hollowness of the laughter and glee of its new found freedom settles, the train suddenly discovers its actions have not really found a new direction, but that it has deeply and hopelessly entrenched itself in mud. Suddenly, the tracks do not look as repressive, but as a transcendent plan filled with intention and purpose. The train realizes that going from point A to point B fulfills its design and brings meaning.

Now...the artist has to be careful that when he/she goes a direction, that it is not based upon "rebellion" alone. For once the cause rings shallow, he/she will sense a similar disillusionment and unfulfillment.

What this means is...I could judge/critique your work here mjk on any given set of criteria, but since this work is all about expression, I can only help you introspect if you have been true to that yearning. If you are desiring to maintain color harmony and rhythm, I believe you have done so. A working sense of balance? I think you have done that as well.

Understand that my train metaphor is not meant to suggest any negative opinion I have as to your directions. Your directions are nontraditional. That is neither good nor bad as an aesthetic, but the issue falls upon the motive. YOU on the other hand have got to get a strong handle on the "why's?" and the "what's?" of your work such that it will carry on to fulfill your expectations. Critique without a strong sense of that will be meaningless.

Larry

mjkohler
01-12-2002, 09:40 PM
iseiler, Thank you for your thoughtful words. I am going to read them many times to take them in.

I was interested in your statement on rebellion. I thought to myself I am not a rebellious tennager, then I thought but I am seeking something that traditional painting wont express for me.

This painting is yet not expressing it for me. mjk

mjkohler
01-13-2002, 05:59 AM
I think that I have reached the end of my journey with this one. Though I must admit it is a lot softer than I usually do.

LarrySeiler
01-13-2002, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by mjkohler
I was interested in your statement on rebellion. I thought to myself I am not a rebellious tennager, then I thought but I am seeking something that traditional painting wont express for me.


There is such a thing I believe as being a "righteous rebel"....

not all rebellion is wrong, especially where the cause is to seek justice requiring to swim against the current!

You have to find your cause.

This painting is yet not expressing it for me. mjk

From experience teaching others, and from painting myself...I have learned that when a painting does not feel right to the artist, 90% of the time its due to ineffectively creating enough contrast that is working in the painting. I have younger painters create a list, and keep it near their easel or working space, referring to it until it becomes second nature to them.

Think of the many ways contrast in a picture is made, here are a few-

Light values versus dark
warm colors versus cool
texture versus lack of texture
detail versus lack of detail
positive elements versus adequate neutral space -(key for the viewer's eye to rest and commit themselves to invest more interest to take in the work)
flat planes or areas versus broken color

etc., on and on......

if work is too similar...if not enough variation exists within the work in a culture that is bombarded with images on tv, commercials, magazines, etc., the viewer's eye is enculturated to lose immediate interest and move on. Using contrast is essential to compete for and hold that viewer interest. There is a psychology to this.

Just imagine yourself at a concert. If everyone in attendance is shouting....nothing gets head. Thus, contrast is necessary to be heard above the noise and a huge PA system is installed. The contrasting device in this case will be the "volume" that will separate it from the masses. Again, "if everything is shouting, nothing gets heard!"

Learn from your current work, then move on! That's all any of us can do! Take care....cheers.....

Larry

judithdagostino
01-13-2002, 12:41 PM
if work is too similar...if not enough variation exists within the work in a culture that is bombarded with images on tv, commercials, magazines, etc., the viewer's eye is enculturated to lose immediate interest and move on. Using contrast is essential to compete for and hold that viewer interest. There is a psychology to this.

Mj: Larry said it very well in his post! I was trying to figure out what might make the work have more interest. It is very similar to the other you posted and I can appreciate that because we need to repeat and repeat until we feel it is right. This can be done on several canvases or it can be over painted on one! If you are looking for a new direction then I would definately go with variation. Look at the color...change your pallette or look at the way you make marks and change that. The list goes on but in my experience, when I force myself to come up with something totally different than what I usually do, I experience a whole new set of ideas and I have to dig deep to make the painting work. It really helps get me out of my ruts.

mjkohler
01-13-2002, 07:55 PM
lseiler and jdpainter thank you for your feedback it is immensley stimulating. Thank you for the reminder of contrast as well.

I believe with this painting that I have been trying to develop something a little more soft and subtle than my last painting which had all the subtleness of a sledgehammer. Having said that I started with a lack of compositionional planning and this has been slowing progress along the way.

I have subtlely started down the track of a new idea for it. :) mjk

mswaine
01-13-2002, 11:31 PM
Originally posted by mjkohler
lseiler and jdpainter thank you for your feedback it is immensley stimulating. Thank you for the reminder of contrast as well.


Excellent work, but I want to expand on lseiler's comments about contrast. To me this work while colorful is flat raw color with little of what I call mature colors. Compositionally there are few clues for the eye to focus and could be more dramatic with more contrast.

I have taken the liberty of illustrating my point by altering the piece as seen below.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jan-2002/abstractfigure.jpg

As you can see I have de-saturated (matured) some of the color to give it more depth and a more dramatic feel.

mjkohler
01-14-2002, 12:10 AM
mswaine, thank you for your trouble. unfortunately i have not yet figuered out how to see the pictures with the yahoo messages.

i would love to see your picture and perhaps you could give me instructions how.

as i am a stubborn, rock headed type of personality though i am going to attempt to dramatise composition and mature my colours prior checking in again.

i appreciate the input by yourself and the others so much yet sometimes until you are ready to see something you cant paint it.

:D i will lock myself away from cyberspace and think soft and subtle, dramatic and mature until this painting lives, then i will come and see what you have done. mjk

mjkohler
01-14-2002, 04:18 AM
:o well I have put this face on my attachment as I have tried strengthening the image and changed it a little. From the beautiful interpretation given by mswaine I probably lost the plot a little.

I find I am still at a stage of working with primary colours. I guess that over a period of time I will tire of them and work into secondary colours however I have not developed to that stage yet. Maybe it is a case of sensitization to them. I need to see more pictures utilizing the primary and colours such as mswaine has utilized. I know that muddying colours is frowned on a lot and I probably stay with primaries because of that. I possibly need to try a exercise wherein I do a painting using harmonious colours and mix compliments into them and experiment in that way. Normally I start harmoniously and then use the compliments against them. mjk

mswaine
01-14-2002, 09:55 AM
I like your interpretation of my suggestions very much.

(oh, but I don't think I'm suppose to say that-according to the rules of this forum-but I will anyway)
(henrik as moderator: nah - that is ok - this is part of an ongoing dialog and the reasons were stated before. Sorry for invading your post with this message, but I thought it was in place to point this out since you wondered...)