“Well, it’s about time I start writing again” …says the little voice in my head.

I’ve been hearing that refrain for about two weeks now, since returning from a very special trip to France. Now, there is so much to think about and integrate. Words and pictures fill my mind. I am unable to find any order in which to put my thoughts.  To complicate matters, five days after arriving back at home, I was scheduled to host a reception as part an exhibition of my abstract paintings.

The show, “Abstracts +” had been on exhibit in the gallery since the beginning of September, but since I was out of the country, the reception event took place later in the month. To many people,  abstract painting is a mystery.

They ask, “What does it mean? What am I supposed to see or feel? Why did you choose to paint ‘that’ way?”

I’ve given a great deal of thought to their queries, in one sense, to “educate” but, I cannot create equanimity through my words. My response as an abstract painter will not necessarily enlighten anyone. The individual’s response to really looking at an abstract is so personal and carries a host of baggage. So, what does one do in this digital age when confronted with a question she can’t answer?

Ask Goggle …and so I did. Here are some quotes I found very interesting and rewarding.

“An abstract painting is exactly what it purports to be, whether it be paint splatters or stripes, while a representational painting has to give the illusion of the paint being air, or flesh, or flowers …therefore abstract paintings are rather concrete while representational paintings are rather abstract” – David Leffel

“Abstract art requires something of the viewer. It demands contemplation, study, flights of fancy, feeling.” – Svante Rydberg

“Strong abstract design is created with rhythms and harmonies in shapes, lines, edges, and colors and is analogous to the rhythms in music and the harmonies between individual notes.  This aspect of the painting is completely independent of the subject matter.” – Barry John Raybould

“You have to have time to be sorry for yourself to be a good Abstract Expressionist.” – Robert Rauschenberg

“Nature and abstract forms are both materials for art, and the choice of one or the other flows from historically changing interests.” – Meyer Schapiro

“Painting abstract expressionistic works are the most challenging as they entail all the elements of a first class realistic piece of work, namely composition, values, etc. which need to be addressed…” – Adrienne Moore

“For some, abstract art can be a burden …as even before one can draw a conscious decision as to what is being seen, physiological challenges are being made and processed by the eye and brain, reconstructing the shapes into patters of recognizable objects.” – Robert Lee Munoz

“I never wanted color to be color.  I never wanted texture to be texture, or images to become shapes. I wanted them all to fuse together into a living spirit.” – Clyfford Still

As I end this piece, I am aware there is so much more to learn about Abstraction so, I plan to continue this conversation in future posts. I look forward to engaging your comments and questions (in that specific status update in Facebook).


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