09 May 2007

Getting past the blocks

Yesterday, I talked about my brain shutting down regarding the semi-abstracts that I want to paint. Then, after a day of searching, I found my copy of Creative Artist by Nita Leland; I knew that it had some abstract references in it. Next to that book, I found my copy of the Aug/Sep 06 International Artist; that's a magazine that's really growing on me now.

I read it again last night.

Two articles in that were exactly what I needed.

In one, the artist talks about creating semi-abstracts from images of water. Well, if you know me, you know that I'm practically obsessed with the beach. The ocean-type beach, that is; not a lake or riverfront, and not the Gulf.

I suddenly understood the photos that I put into my files of references for future paintings. Recently, I'd looked at them and wondered what I'd been thinking, because they don't show anything that anyone else might identify; I know that they're pictures of stones and water and sunlight.

The other article talked about just putting color on the canvas and then figuring out what the suggested subject of the (semi-abstract) painting will be. I'll probably try that, too. I mean, for me, painting is first about color, then about texture, some about design and finally, the subject.

That's always been a struggle for me with my landscape paintings, because I could never seem to convey "what this painting is about" in terms of the focal point of the work. I think that I've been attempting to use something realistic to make a statement more eloquently expressed in a semi-abstract or even an abstract.

[Note: A semi-abstract usually has some sort of subject that you can identify, even if the artist has to tell you what it is and clearly point it out before you can tell that anything's even in the picture... besides color, design, and texture. An abstract usually has a theme, but it does not rely on any realistic images as obvious references.]

So, today I'm rearranging my studio. Suddenly, a lot more clicks into place. A lot more makes sense. And, I'm free to move a lot more stuff to "not now, maybe later" storage and get it out of my way. This is a very good thing, as St. Martha Stewart would say.

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