View Full Version : WAAAY out of my comfort zone! Need C&C please.
06-28-2010, 11:04 PM
My art association is hosting a Member's Show/Challenge and the theme is Abstract/Contemporary Art. Even though we have over 80 members & the show will probably be quite large, as president I feel like my participation is necessary. But ABSTRACT?!? I have attempted it one time & that was when I was 13 yrs. old (a lifetime ago). I am way out of my comfort zone & need all the help I can get! For instance, would this even be classified as abstract or contemporary art? C&C please. Thanks.
06-28-2010, 11:27 PM
WOW! This is beautiful Tanja! Great job! Sorry, I don't know anything about abstracts so I can't answer your questions.
06-28-2010, 11:49 PM
I don't do abstract art per se ... but have done collage. What I know is this: abstract art should have a composition, should have a variety of shapes, should have contrast, and should have something that moves your eye through the painting - just like regular representational art. You have a strong diagonal going with the very dark blue shapes, but my eye does go out of the painting on both ends. It is a very energetic painting, and you do have some overlap going on to give it depth ... let's see what others have to say.
06-29-2010, 12:14 AM
Paula - thank you so much for your kind comment.
Lynn - thank you so much for the info. I see what you mean about the diagonal leading the eye out. I put the interlacing spikes in in hopes of keeping the eye circling within painting. In your opinion, if I cropped both top & bottom making it more of a square format & varying the size of the dark rectangle shapes that it would help? I am not trying for an award or anything like that...I just don't want it laughable.
Don't know anything about abstract either Tanja, yet did enjoy looking at yours, an explosion of happiness, and I like the interlacing effect - it seems to hold it together and tell its own story. huni
06-29-2010, 06:42 AM
I like what you've done...but wasn't sure whether it was abstract or not...so found a definition (http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O5-abstractart.html)...:D
06-29-2010, 08:12 AM
Wow, Deirdre, that was some definition!! :)
I can't possibly comment on what abstract art is, as have never attempted it (except in college when they MADE me! :) ) but I like what you've done here; like the energy and color.
06-29-2010, 09:23 AM
Very nice and yes, abstract!
All the focal areas are well within the painting and not near the edges, so I have no problems with balance or having my eye led out of the painting. Unlike many abstracts that try to do too much, you have one concept, which is usually the number of concepts a painting should have.
06-29-2010, 10:33 AM
I don't know anything about abstract either but I love the colors and the energy this has.
06-29-2010, 10:52 AM
Tanja, like others have mentioned, fantastic energy and color; technically well executed.
I do feel you have a "pattern" thing going on though. I love abstract art, but feel it needs some complexity (De Kooning, Hoffman, Gorky, Diebenkorn, etc.).
It's a personal preference, so you can ignore this critique! I just don't feel this is up to your usual high standards; you're an awesome painter Tanja, can you blame me for wanting more?
06-29-2010, 10:53 AM
This is great. You have interesting patterns and have places for the eye to rest. I want to go more abstract. How did you come up with your theme? What was your thought process, except perhaps by circumstance? How did you make the leap?
Thanks for sharing.
06-29-2010, 02:57 PM
I personally feel that abstract should be an expansion of what you already draw/paint. I see abstract shapes in some of your nautical pastels such as the shadows on the boat and the closeup view and also the lines coming off of the sail on your other pastel. Those, to me, look like a more natural abstraction for you.
06-29-2010, 03:45 PM
At the risk of being cliche'.....I don't know much about (abstract) art, but I know what i like...and I like this.
06-29-2010, 09:04 PM
Thank you all for your kind comments, helpful insights & suggestions. I really appreciate the help. I would like to say that this experience has given me a healthy respect & admiration for those who regularly do abstract painting!
Huni, Deb, crazywoman53 & Preston - thank you for your kind comments.
Deirdre - thank you for providing the definition. It does clarify what identifies an abstract.
Don - I appreciate your confirming that this is indeed an abstract. Definitely not up to doing another one right away. Ha.
Chuas - yes, there is a simplicitic, pattern thing going on (a cheater's way out). If I were going to pursue abstract art I would try to develop the necessary skills. However, while enjoy looking at it, I am not a fan of actually doing it. It's hard. Hey, thank you so much for your very kind comments concerning my regular work! I really appreciate it.
Potoma - thanks so much. My thought process & theme...I was intimidated by the very idea of doing an abstract. I thought, "How do I even begin when abstract clashes with everything I normally do?" Then I thought, "I'll use colors that clash! Colors that vibrate & bounce off of each other." That thought turned into the theme. The odd thing is, this started with a dark, aggressive feel & ended with an almost happy effect. Weird.
Debora - I would agree that my normal style has a definite graphic element to it as I often use casts shadows, close focus & unusual view points. Wow, I wish I had thought of using a more abstracted version of my style! Could'a saved myself a lot of stress.
Thank you all again,
06-29-2010, 10:30 PM
Tanja - glad you got so much feedback. I have looked at your piece in a square format, cropping first from the top and then from the bottom and then a combination of both, and I think the dominant form is still the diagonal. Some folks didn't mind it, so perhaps it is just me. It isn't that I don't like this painting - I do - so don't change it on my account!! My only other suggestion, and I would suggest you try it in Photoshop, would be to perhaps lighten the value of the dark diagonal in some of the areas - not all. Don't know how that would affect the entire composition though.
06-29-2010, 10:46 PM
I'd call it non-objective, which is definitively abstract.
I like this limited view:
Strong color, good contrast, lots of movement, interesting lines. Maybe it could use some softer edges somewhere, but I don't know how much that matters. To me a crop such as this makes it even more elusive and less complete, thus visually intriguing. Just a thought.
Mmm, also your signature distracts because it's such a contrast of style. :wink2:
Abstracts are hard, I agree, and I'm sure your original composition will be well received!
06-30-2010, 02:07 AM
Lynn - thank you for getting back to me on the square format & I will try some things in PS.
Deborah - thank you. I very much like your crop! For the show, I think I'll leave it the orginal size (it is a very small painting to do a radical crop & I feel it wouldn't have enough presence for the show). However, when I get it back, your crop has given me the idea to cut it in half either vertically or horitzonally and hang the two together.
06-30-2010, 02:17 AM
Tanja, ok gonna be unpopular here I know but I would like to encourage you to try just one more. I think the one you have done is certainly bright, colourful, kinda exciting because of all the angles - angles always signify excitement - but it has none of the colour and shape sophistication of your original works. I am pretty sure you could do a LOT better than this which I feel has a rather naive quality about it. It does not use any of the special qualities of pastel - variety in the techniques for example, making use of solid colour versus broken colour; not enough subtle nuances of colour ; there are few quieter areas to contrast with the more active ones; the shapes are all fairly similar in size so there is little contrast going on there either to draw our attention to any particular place - I could go on, but it seems rather unkind to do so, particularly as lots of people like this piece.
If you feel rather at sea with abstraction why not take one of your own paintings, and ISOLATE A SECTION OF THAT PAINTING. Try using two L-shaped pieces of card to find an interesting section. Shift the section around, upside down, sideways. find a set of shapes which interest and excit you. Then, recreate the image you have found, pushing to use interesting colour, and interesting techniques.
Maybe even produce, say, three small ones, using the same composition and shapes, but pushing each one a little further, altering the colour, expanding the shapes, adjusting the techniques etc, then frame them all together, one above the other, or side by side.........just thinking aloud here..........
Here is a section of one of your pics, and a little playaround with it done with Microsoft Photodraw. YOu could push this much, much farther:
I hope this might encourage you to try again!
incidentally - I just spotted your comment about cropping - might be a very nice idea, if you hate my suggestion above and are determined to use your piece, to slice it up and then frame them all together! something like this perhaps....I find it rather more interesting and thought-provoking than your original piece...maybe you wont - c'est la vie! Good luck whatever you do.
06-30-2010, 08:43 PM
Thank you so much for all your wonderful suggestions & for taking the time to explain them. I would agree this piece is very simple in both concept & execution. This was sort of intentional. Since this virtually my first abstract & I had no idea how to begin, it seemed logical to start small & simple. However, I should have paid more attention to design & composition. I know better than to ignore these principles. Still I think I will leave it as is for now, but after the show I believe I will cut it up - undecided how. I LOVE what you did below with slicing & re-arranging. When I did the original piece, I was working with the dictionary definition of abstract which is "that which does not exist in the real world". I have since learned you can also abstract real things. Similar to what you have suggested below. Debora also suggested abstracting my reg. style might be a better fit for me. I agree. I think I can maybe make a connection with the method you have suggested. Several others have said they think I am capable of better & that gives me the encouragement to give it another try with this method. Thanks again for your C&C.
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