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Old 05-13-2019, 01:27 AM
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Casually Breaking a rule or three

A few years ago a good friend of mine moved back to Houston. She is an artist, a teacher, and a muralist. To earn money she teaches teens and adults. For her and her familiy's moving party we all met up at a restaurant and, well we all talked. We were from all different parts of her life- I had met her and her family at the dog park and later discovered she was an artist. We did a lot of fun activities together and she got me into loads of artist only events assuring me I was better than she was.


Her students at that party were amazed that some of us did more than abstract art. We had a plan before putting brush to canvas and we had an idea of what we wanted to paint. Others were wealthier individuals who wanted to make canvases that matched their sofa or baby's room. But we had a hell of a time that night!


This weekend I decided I was going to put paint to canvas without any idea what I was doing. And I made sure I didn't have any preconceived color code. I was just smoothing paint into canvas and observing how the colors made me feel.


Later I did a blue wash and, a few hours later, a white glaze. I took one class in art and it was in mixed media. I really liked playing with all the stuff but I like order and tranquility. I'm thinking I may add more to this but I'm not sure what medium I'll use. For now, it's a plaid. Tomorrow it may be a tree!


But it feels good and it fits in the microwave. Maureen? I may need another microwave soon! Sheila Road Less Taken
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:26 AM
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Re: Casually Breaking a rule or three

I added a long reply and the Internet disconnected.... grrrr.

This comp does reflect your orderliness and feeling of tranquility .... now introduce some diagonals and see what happens!!!: evil:
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:14 AM
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Re: Casually Breaking a rule or three

This is great, it's always good to stretch our boundaries.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:35 AM
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Re: Casually Breaking a rule or three

I have been painting for at least 70 years. In most of that time I have tried to understand abstract and other types of 'art' eg piles of bricks etc. I have asked some pretty knowledgable people, to no avail. Now I may just be stupid.(my wife would probably agree) And at times I can get very frustrated, because I donít seem to be able to see what others see. Eg this painting here. Please donít take offence. But no matter how I look at it, I see patches of colour. It doesnít give me any 'feelings' or sensations, itís not particularly nice to look at, and certainly not offensive. Just patches of colour. If it stirs any thing in me, it is the question 'why would someone go to all this trouble'. My son has a Gallery and exhibits and sells 'Contemporary Scottish Art' even he, and indeed some of his exhibitors donít seem to be able to get through to me.
I donít think Iím alone in this because on the various TV programs eg '???? Artist of the Year' the 'expert' Judges mostly go for the 'way out' type of painting and Joe Public go for the more mainstream.
Jim
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:40 AM
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Re: Casually Breaking a rule or three

In my earlier 'lost' post Sheila, I also said 'You need a large cupboard that the cats can't open!!!!!'
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:57 AM
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Re: Casually Breaking a rule or three

I see a square lazy river in the middle of some fields.

I was thinking that too Maureen. Sheila, what do you do when you need to warm up some leftovers?
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:16 AM
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Re: Casually Breaking a rule or three

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaskip
I have been painting for at least 70 years. In most of that time I have tried to understand abstract and other types of 'art' eg piles of bricks etc. I have asked some pretty knowledgable people, to no avail. Now I may just be stupid.(my wife would probably agree) And at times I can get very frustrated, because I donít seem to be able to see what others see. Eg this painting here. Please donít take offence. But no matter how I look at it, I see patches of colour. It doesnít give me any 'feelings' or sensations, itís not particularly nice to look at, and certainly not offensive.
Jim




I shortened your quote bit for the sake of others but, Jim, I hate to tell you but, I couldn't agree more! I don't really "get" abstracts either. This didn't take any skill or practice BUT it was relaxing to make. I wasn't sweating the formal lines or the perspective or details. It was soothing to make but not so much to look at- not for me but maybe for others.


My plan had been, initially to make an abstract of myself but that wasn't working out well so I continued adding boxes and angles. Bow I do have another plan for this, for using this as a back ground for something else. Yesterday was a tough day for me so I distracted using a canvas board and some less expensive acrylics.



I definitely do appreciate all the responses here. MOMA is calling this afternoon to request this painting.... kidding! I feel really good that others trusted me enough to tell me how they felt. I shall continue!


Thanks!
Sheila
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:25 AM
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Re: Casually Breaking a rule or three

I guess it could be plots of land as seen from a great height through some fog or an old quilt restitched and over washed and most people would strain to see what the artist "intended" while scouring the life of that artists for hints.

My only rule had been not to use black. It can be whatever you want it to be and I won't yell.

I rarely eat left overs, Michelle. Maureen, my plan is to move out of this place. After nine years I've about had it. It would be livable had property management repaired the damage from January but as my possessions remain in boxes I cannot tolerate living in such disorder anymore. There are no closets, no places for storage at all! I may line all my possessions up and put them into this painting!

Sheila
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:30 PM
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Re: Casually Breaking a rule or three

Interesting.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:31 PM
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Re: Casually Breaking a rule or three

Abstracts are not easy, but are very difficult. I learned that through being assigned to do several, at one time or another, in art classes. You're flying by the seat of your pants, and one wrong decision could make it all look very bad, or fail. The abstracts were successful, but definitely not a relaxing experience! I admire those who can do them.

In the classes I've been in, there were often more senior painters - they had done representational work for years, or even illustration - and now they were doing abstracts, a distillation of all they had done before in art. They were so familiar with realistic painting, that just not interested it in anymore, as abstracts were so much more challenging (and in their view, more sophisticated).

Sheila, your abstract does have movement, even though it's all squares - and your placement of color does lead the eye from left to right and then up - in that golden section - as it should do for strongest effect. And the light blue for the frame image provides the movement, and makes it pop away from the background.

Cathy

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Old 05-13-2019, 10:36 PM
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Re: Casually Breaking a rule or three

Quote:
Originally Posted by brusher
Abstracts are not easy, but are very difficult. I learned that through being assigned to do several, at one time or another, in art classes. You're flying by the seat of your pants, and one wrong decision could make it all look very bad, or fail. The abstracts were successful, but definitely not a relaxing experience! I admire those who can do them.

Sheila, your abstract does have movement, even though it's all squares - and your placement of color does lead the eye from left to right and then up - in that golden section - as it should do for strongest effect. And the light blue for the frame image provides the movement, and makes it pop away from the background.

Cathy




Thank you Cathy. Today I did a bit more with that image. I'm not yet sure if what I did will allow me to continue. I used some gilt and I have no idea if that will jive with acrylics so, one way or another, it was another learning experience.


Also, I was just working on my Monthly challenge and I've noticed over the last few months how much easier it is for me to handle my brushes. Part of that was from unfamiliarity with such slender tools and part was from arthritis. but today I didn't need to think about how I should hold the brushes. Painting shapes for the challenge are enjoyable but less so that massaging paint into the canvas of an abstract (although I had no intention of making art- just doing something.)


In the earlier days of the century () I owned a condo which my aunt had insisted I paint ALL WHITE. I hated that! I felt like I was in a hospital. Then I chose my own colors and it felt as though I was massaging color onto the walls. It wasn't art but it had purpose. Back in January of this year I had a leak and it destroyed my fireplace breast and ceiling. Maintenance merely patched and slapped up a coat of flat white. It literally causes me to feel ill looking at it. I've asked that it be finished and... part of me has been considering climbing up and painting a mural and part of me knows that I would break my neck. But I am going to have to move because the "white" being flat seems to suck the very life from me. It's so strange how color, texture, gloss, and movement affect us.



Thank you!
Sheila
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Old 05-14-2019, 03:50 AM
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Re: Casually Breaking a rule or three

Quote:
Originally Posted by brusher
Abstracts are not easy, but are very difficult. I learned that through being assigned to do several, at one time or another, in art classes. You're flying by the seat of your pants, and one wrong decision could make it all look very bad, or fail. The abstracts were successful, but definitely not a relaxing experience! I admire those who can do them.

In the classes I've been in, there were often more senior painters - they had done representational work for years, or even illustration - and now they were doing abstracts, a distillation of all they had done before in art. They were so familiar with realistic painting, that just not interested it in anymore, as abstracts were so much more challenging (and in their view, more sophisticated).

Sheila, your abstract does have movement, even though it's all squares - and your placement of color does lead the eye from left to right and then up - in that golden section - as it should do for strongest effect. And the light blue for the frame image provides the movement, and makes it pop away from the background.

Cathy

This is more or less the type of answer I always get. ( Iím not saying you are wrong) you say it has movement. What do you mean by that?. I donít feel that the colour leads my eye any where. Please explain exactly what you mean. If anything my eye 'panics' and runs all over the painting looking for something to 'latch on to' when it doesnít find anything it will probably settle on a prominent colour or shape and soon loses interest. You say the light blue frame provides the movement. You see this is where I feel frustrated. Itís a Frame!. If it does anything, to me, it holds the painting within its own space and apart from the rest of the world. Like any other Frame. Again please explain how the frame provides movement.
Please try to shine a light on an old man's frustration.
Jim
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:35 PM
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Re: Casually Breaking a rule or three

Wondering if this is how Jackson Pollock feels.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:43 PM
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Re: Casually Breaking a rule or three

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadLessTaken
Thank you Cathy. Today I did a bit more with that image. I'm not yet sure if what I did will allow me to continue. I used some gilt and I have no idea if that will jive with acrylics so, one way or another, it was another learning experience.


Also, I was just working on my Monthly challenge and I've noticed over the last few months how much easier it is for me to handle my brushes. Part of that was from unfamiliarity with such slender tools and part was from arthritis. but today I didn't need to think about how I should hold the brushes. Painting shapes for the challenge are enjoyable but less so that massaging paint into the canvas of an abstract (although I had no intention of making art- just doing something.)


In the earlier days of the century () I owned a condo which my aunt had insisted I paint ALL WHITE. I hated that! I felt like I was in a hospital. Then I chose my own colors and it felt as though I was massaging color onto the walls. It wasn't art but it had purpose. Back in January of this year I had a leak and it destroyed my fireplace breast and ceiling. Maintenance merely patched and slapped up a coat of flat white. It literally causes me to feel ill looking at it. I've asked that it be finished and... part of me has been considering climbing up and painting a mural and part of me knows that I would break my neck. But I am going to have to move because the "white" being flat seems to suck the very life from me. It's so strange how color, texture, gloss, and movement affect us.



Thank you!
Sheila

You could ask Jackson Pollock for a loan of his Roller on a 'stick', then you could paint the wall any colour/design. without risk to your neck. Save a fortune I moving house bills!
Jim
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:29 PM
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Re: Casually Breaking a rule or three

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaskip
This is more or less the type of answer I always get. ( Iím not saying you are wrong) you say it has movement. What do you mean by that?. I donít feel that the colour leads my eye any where. Please explain exactly what you mean. If anything my eye 'panics' and runs all over the painting looking for something to 'latch on to' when it doesnít find anything it will probably settle on a prominent colour or shape and soon loses interest. You say the light blue frame provides the movement. You see this is where I feel frustrated. Itís a Frame!. If it does anything, to me, it holds the painting within its own space and apart from the rest of the world. Like any other Frame. Again please explain how the frame provides movement.
Please try to shine a light on an old man's frustration.
Jim

Hi Jim:
I won't. I'm not sure that it's my job to explain the merits of the posted painting. But if you simply don't respond to abstract art, it's nothing to be concerned about, I wouldn't worry. It's just another form of art that is for some, not for others - and a source of amusement for the rest of us!

I do think that the point of abstract is that it is a pure form of design, and the decisions, the rights and wrongs, successes and failures, are all design-oriented. That's why I find it so hard to do. When you think about it, the same elements are used in graphic design, especially book covers, which when combined with type, are very impressive. Animation in the 50's and 60's (esp. movie titles), used the same elements and ideas, and added a graphic component and movement of characters among the abstract shapes and backgrounds. UPA is one studio that did a lot of that, and I think Saul Bass also worked in that way?

I mention these examples, hoping that they will bring to mind something that is more relatable, but still makes generous use of abstract images.

Cathy
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