refinding my center - new abstract art


"decrescendo" - 24"x48" - oil on canvas - I really really like to play with paint. All kinds of paints and mediums and surfaces and colors and styles. It poses a problem when trying to create a cohesive body of work.... I get really excited about something and it leads to a rabbit trail. (Note the painting to the right - I like the painting and it's exciting and fun but it's way more bold and striking than what I typically do) Many of those detours create good pieces like that one, but sometimes I get a little too far gone and need to bring it back to center again. I did that recently for myself by making a list. I pulled up my top ten favorite abstracts that I've done in the last couple of years and tried to verbally define what it is that I like about them. The list included what colors I HAVE to have on my palette at all times, certain features that I like to include, and the overall tone of the piece I'm trying to achieve. I felt like my palette was getting too saturated, my lines too harsh and the feeling too bold. I want for my work to grow and improve and change, but still flow and reflect me and be identifiable as mine.

gossip - 16x20 - acrylic and charcoal on canvas gossip - 16x20 - acrylic and charcoal on canvas

The key (for me, at least) to developing a body of work is to stay in an idea and marinate, painting over and over until it subtly shifts and develops. No two pieces identical, but building one off another. With this in mind, I got back in front of my easel, mixed the colors of paint that were on my preplanned and thought through list, and then added a couple of the punchier colors that I've been drawn to lately. This way, the works would be cohesive and identifiable as mine, with my voice, but with a common denominator.

So now, I'm refocused, with a clear direction, and with my "art mission statement" printed out and visible from my  easel so I don't get too distracted but can still play. :) Below is the first painting I did after setting up my list. Soft, with my palette, with a circular and linear aspect. Voila!