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Old 01-08-2015, 01:06 PM
Tripod Tripod is offline
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Re: Help if you have trouble with Abstracts

Thanks, very informative and no haven't looked at that, will do
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:01 PM
Tripod Tripod is offline
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Re: Help if you have trouble with Abstracts

Have just looked at Diebenkorn's gallery, liking it very much and there is a similarity to the work in progress I have at the moment after Kirschner. Thanks for the tip
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:00 PM
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Re: Help if you have trouble with Abstracts

thank you for all the advice.
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Old 03-15-2015, 01:00 PM
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Re: Help if you have trouble with Abstracts

Great video! Thanks for posting it.
Diebenkorn is one of my faves, especially the Ocean series.
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:53 PM
JoseCruz JoseCruz is offline
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Re: Help if you have trouble with Abstracts

Lots of great feedback here and someone may have already said this, but what helped me and those I've tutored was looking at the evolution of abstract painting historically.
No need to go all the way back to impressionism.

Start with cubism- breaking down objects into their main shapes and colors.
I've taught students to do this working with pastels (for time and cost sake).

You'll start to see the flow of your compositions and what interest you and doesn't. It helps to have at least a basic understanding of color theory.

I'm a big fan of the New York Abstract Expressionist school (Rothko, Pollock, etc.). There are some great youtube biographical videos out there that delve into what these artist were trying to express. Finding kinship with one of them or another historic abstract painter may help inspire you.
Hope that helps.
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Old 03-20-2015, 06:23 AM
Tripod Tripod is offline
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Re: Help if you have trouble with Abstracts

Very useful thanks Jose. Can't say I am in to Rothko and Pollock but will take a longer look at them.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:16 AM
abs100 abs100 is offline
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Re: Help if you have trouble with Abstracts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripod
Quite frankly after all the above, I am still baffled. I am a figurative/realist painter and only attempted the works I posted in here today as a way of using up materials and a failed competition piece, not failed, but not acceptable.

I am a stickler for line and perspective and cannot get past that and being 75 yrs old and gone through all sorts of pain and trouble both physically and mentally in the last 2 years, I want t paint and still do almost daily.

Abstract has always been a mystery and I don't stop in a gallery to view a piece.

Where am I going wrong as I am a curious person in my search for what, where, why and how?

Hi,



I read your post above and just wondered if you have any idea why it is you don't stop to view an abstract picture if you see one in a gallery?

The answer to that question might be quite interesting.....

The thing about abstract painting I find is that I need to turn off that part of my brain that looks at an abstract work and says "what is that???"


It's natural to ask what is it because from a young age we are taught that we should paint representationally. There are very few schools that offer expressive painting classes and yet the key to understanding abstract for me is to ask not "what is it" but "what do I feel about it".

Maybe the answer is "I don't know", but trying to turn an abstract work into something representational may limit what you can get out of it.

There are lots of different types of abstract work. I like abstract expressionism, because I enjoy the idea of expressing yourself through the marks you make on the canvas/paper. I can see the energy that the artist puts into making those marks, how dynamic they are (or not!), the colours they've used....

I believe we all have a response to colour (even though we may not know it). My wife hates orange. If i do something with orange she will usually say "oh I hate that colour". She however, loves blue and green. Sometimes we respond to the colours in a painting. I know that Rothko's colour fields work that way for me.

Hope this helps in some way.


regards



angus

Last edited by abs100 : 04-24-2015 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:14 AM
harrymspitz harrymspitz is offline
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Re: Help if you have trouble with Abstracts

I don't really like the term "Abstract". I prefer "non-representational". Just try to remember that a non-representational work is simply what it is. It should have visual interest and visual impact. There's nothing wrong with second grader Art or even monkey Art. So don't be so quick at trying to distance yourself from those genres. I personally try to paint like an elephant.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:44 AM
Tripod Tripod is offline
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Re: Help if you have trouble with Abstracts

Thanks Harry and Angus. I think because of my old style of painting and what I appreciated didn't give my brian a chance to "see".
Since many months of hospital, much surgery and then on top of all that, a stroke, I have now got a new outlook. Odd as it seems to me and my followers, but that's it and I am now creating for me and not to exhibit and sell.
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Old 05-29-2015, 01:12 PM
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Upnorth88 Upnorth88 is offline
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Re: Help if you have trouble with Abstracts

Mel's video was truly inspriational. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 08-01-2015, 06:33 AM
nehagupta nehagupta is offline
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Re: Help if you have trouble with Abstracts

Before I begin the painting, I often draw the shapes in vine charcoal on the colored board. I always color the acrylic gesso with acrylic paints. You need to be able to see the thickness of the paint in order to begin appreciating it. Try your hardest to seek out this kind of art in a museum before you make any judgements about it.
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:39 AM
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Smile Re: Help if you have trouble with Abstracts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishka Baha
There is also one other video (Mel McCuddin) which I would recommend you watch if you don't know how or where to start.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3wz9wg0Dos

I found Mel's video truly inspirational - in fact he inspired me so much that I actually started painting.

I clicked on your Mel Mccuddin link and was just thrilled. He is inspiring to watch as he pulls images out of the background...and with such a positive attitude! The titles to his works are as great as the works themselves!
Thanks for the link!
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Old 09-04-2015, 05:10 AM
Tripod Tripod is offline
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Re: Help if you have trouble with Abstracts

Thanks 88, Gupta and PJ.
I have bought the Joan Blackburn book and enjoying a read and will experiment with her ideas one day, need a bit more space at present.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:03 AM
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Re: I have trouble with Abstract

Quote:
Originally Posted by davefriend
That is an excellent question or rather series of questions and what I am getting from this is you want to know how to paint abstract art. Before I go on I want to say welcome to the Abstract and Contemporary Art Forum it's a great place to be and we are glad you found us Hazartist!

I have often asked myself the question how I would teach someone how to paint abstractly or even to paint like I do. On the second part of the question I would say you have to get inside my head and see what I see, feel what I feel, and become the process of moving some of that out of the cluttered mess that is my head and out onto something material, like canvas or something else that is real, so that others can see my insides without having to shrink down tiny enough to enter my head and see it for themselves. So I think there must be an easier way...

Traditionally when you wanted to paint flowers, you would go outside to the flower garden and pick some that you like, set them down in way that looks good to you then take your paints and brushes and copy them so that it looks a lot like what you are seeing with the flowers you picked. Some artists can paint flowers so well that you can smell their fragrance and almost feel the warmth of the sunlight as you gaze at the painting. It takes a lot of practice and hard work combined with the knowledge of both painting tools and materials and the techniques to make marks on a surface that will be believable to a viewer's brain which, hopefully, will immediately recognize the artwork as flowers.

In abstraction you still need all the practice and hard work, material and tool knowledge combined with a familiarity of mark making techniques to create an abstract painting. In my mind, at least, the big difference with abstraction is that you do not need to describe the flower in the same way traditional art does. Yes, you may want another person to be able to recognize you are painting a flower ...but how do you do that without painting the flowers like you see it?

Again, this is just me but I get interested in conveying what the flowers do to me, what happens when I see them, smell them, see them grow and drink in the sunlight Maybe even imagine if I was the flower and what is it like to need to be cared for, dependent on nature, where I live and my caretaker to stay alive and grow ...or what if I am, as the flower, now dying because I am no longer cared for or wanted and the sun no longer visits me? Now you can convey all these in traditional art but you don't want to copy real life you want to convey the emotions and essence of it all.

It all seems so esoteric when you put it in words (but then we are talking about abstractions!) and that is why you must create it as art - like painting. Edward Hopper, a talented representational illustrator said, "If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint." So I see what the abstract artist doing is appealing to more than the object recognition centers of the brain but to the emotional centers that convey the feelings for, of or about something rather than imitation of its shape and dimension.

I will share with you a few pointers to get you started beyond that you will have some momentum that may take you to the finish line.

Personally, this is what I do... I set myself to work during a time when I can 'get lost' and nobody will go looking for me. I want every breath to be used in pursuit of what I am painting without interruption until I am done or at a stopping place. I know this is idealistic and I am interrupted a lot anyway but this is what I aim for.

I usually don't know what I am going to paint when I start (and often while I am painting - sometimes to the end!). It is just simpler that way and it has taken me a long time to recognize this as an aid to painting.

You need to know what colors you want to use. I do have colors that I like to work on and it helps if you are familiar with the properties of a certain palette or multiple palettes. Colors that you combine and ones you like to see playing together. If you don't know what colors work together then I would suggest you try two or three to start with and find what you can do with them. Which ones are like lovers, always beautiful together or you can use the ones which are always fighting ...if you use those colors then you may need a referee color, that is one that can be used as a transition between the clashing colors. There are rules about using color but in my book the only rule is there is no rule if it works and you have to develop an eye along the way to fully be able to judge that.

You may or may not like to start with a white canvas ...I have always toned mine to some color. You will have to work on what you like and what colors work under the palette you have chosen.

At some point during your session you need to remember this, don't be afraid to do it. Do what? What you were thinking you should do... was what you did a mistake? Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes are what the next masterpiece comes from and maybe what makes the painting you are doing so interesting. I won't say there are no mistakes but I will say you must throw away the fear of making them. You will and you will benefit from them ...you may even learn how to make them the best part!

One more thing before you start ...you like music? I find music can help me step into 'the zone' where everything will come together very much easier than if It is stone quiet. Some people work well in silence but I prefer music.

I start in front of the canvas with at least one or two colors chosen and with a large brush (to start with) make a mark somewhere. I really doesn't matter at this point where. Then make another. Maybe turn your brush a little differently or swoosh the line, pair the brush strokes, make the perpendicular or make them dots, whatever. Stop for a moment and ...what is it saying to you? anything? Go on and make a few more creative marks. Stop now and then and take a look. Did you make a face or something recognizable as something from the real world that your brain is saying, oh, that's a ____! Nooooo! Please try to find a way to work beyond making things, let things make themselves.

Now I pay little attention to what I am making and look for things that make me feel something. After I have made a dozen or so marks (and I have only been using one color) I will start to make some more marks with another color (often it is the first color modified with white or another color). What I am trying to do is get the lines, blotches, colors, shapes to say something back to me. If it is still quiet then continue on until you get a response from the painting.

If you are not getting it or it is not coming through to you ...check and see if you are thinking about things like this: when will I be finished or this is taking so long, this is hard, I'm tired, what's that noise? Did I pay the rent? If your attention is being sidetracked by this kind of stuff, I would guess that your left brain is still trying to dominate the show and you still need to find the zone where time and distractions have fallen away and you are hardly aware of them. I know people can paint from the left side of the brain - and kudos to you if that's you - but I am giving you advice from my way so if you are still bothered by them you will have to find a way through it and sharpen up your artistic senses so that you can hear the voice of the work that is talking back to you.

Once you hear that voice, you simply respond. Someone sticks their right hand out to you ...you extend yours and shake. Driving along someone slams on their brakes in front of you ...you put on your brakes. You are thirsty ...your get a drink. Hungry ...you eat. All are responses to different things. Learn to respond to the emotions of the work. If it is hard at first, keep at it - it will come. eventually it will be like breathing and your hear beating. That is you will hardly be aware of what you are doing and it will look like it all comes naturally.

There is so much more and so much more not mentioned. I could go on (and I heard some of you ...please don't! eeek!) but this should be enough for you to cull out what you think may be useful and what you have no need for. The important part is like the Nike commercial says "Just Do It!" Get yourself up, grab the brushes and paint then go make more abstracts. Maybe start small until you feel it more naturally.

I did more than a hundred 5x7 abstracts as experiments and practice pieces (still making them too). They are my "Little Panel Project". You can slap them out in no time and the expenses are much easier to handle than doing grand canvases and getting frustrated.

It is obvious that you 'want to'. Self motivation is the prerequisite to everything else. You can do it!
I return to this post from time to time. It is inspiring.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:15 AM
Tripod Tripod is offline
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Re: Help if you have trouble with Abstracts

Still subscribed to this thread and it is helpful to go back in now and then, as with all things.
Some of my abstracts or non represential work has received some encouraging coments, both in here and the POL website I do a lot on.
Have just gone over in acrylics with a roller, credit cards, a failed 50 x 40 watercolour dating back to 98 and am reasonably pleased but it's not complete as with all things I can now see a direction in it and an idea.
Resting from now on with a light lunch, then couch potatoing with Rugger final on telly. We failed miserably but still hopig to see a good game.

What I have painted over today. We will wait and see.
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