Monday, 11 January 2021

The trouble with abstraction.


There is a battle in my mind as I paint.

Time after time I struggle with my work and my
desire to make something which doesn't 
resemble a landscape or seascape.

Let me make it clear..
I have no dislike of landscapes,
I have painted hundreds over the last 20 years.

I do not want to paint them today.

The painting below is a good example of my dilemma.

There are colours and shapes.
I wanted the picture to be about that.

Then my brain began to 'see' things...
A dark sky, twinkling lights in the distance,
water and reflections.

Despite the vertical format, my abstract painting had 
morphed into something resembling a seascape.

Trying to make sense of it...

I think the problem lies in splitting the canvas into 
sections, foreground, middle and distance.

This is how I view the world around me
so it is natural to 'see' this in the painting composition.

Today I turned the painting round
and viewed it another way...

Strangely, this traditional landscape format
made me look at the work differently.

In my mind I have regained my non-representation image.

I can now appreciate the difference in dark and light,
concentrate on the shapes, textures 
and colours purely for themselves.

 The Dutch painter and writer Theo van Doesburg 

wanted to escape all influences of 

naturalistic or figurative references.

He wrote the following...

"The painting must be entirely built up with 

purely plastic elements, namely surfaces and colours.

A pictorial element does not have any meaning beyond itself;

as a consequence, a painting does not have any meaning other than itself" 

Theo van Doesburg, co-author of the 

Concrete Art Manifesto 1930

My own battle will no doubt continue

as I try to disconnect from reality

and reach absolute clarity in abstract art.

I shall persevere.

Until next time,
thank you for visiting.

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