Wednesday, January 5, 2011

'Empty Mind'

16" x 20"
Oil on Canvas

Even as an "artist," I struggle to understand some abstract art.  The 20' x 20' blank canvas hanging in the museum of modern art is a mystery to me.  But, if you've read my previous posts, you know that I struggle with the idea of originality.  I do most of my work from photo references and while I do not simply copy photos, when you work from photo references as opposed to observing nature, or working from the mind, it's tough feel like you've created an original work.

I do a lot of reading on the subject (art) and I know that no matter how accomplished the artist, just about every artist, even abstract artists, use photo references.  This knowledge helps me to invalidate, or confront the negative feelings I have about using photos -

The point of this rambling is that pondering the idea of originality has had an unforeseen yet positive effect on my outlook in that it has lead me to a better understanding, or appreciation of abstract art.  While  there are limitless ideas and reasons for creating art, maybe some of those abstract artists have had the same thoughts I've had about what it means to create original artwork.  (Does that mean it's not original?)

So, with that weirdness in mind, I decided to try something new (new for me anyway).  And that was to see what would happen if I just painted without thinking (or while thinking as little as possible).   I did think about the colors that I wanted to use beforehand - earth tones, however the turquoise was a spontaneous decision as was everything else including the strange patterns.

I think it is well balanced, the color scheme works and could fit in just about anywhere.  It's tough to tell from the photo, but there are some really interesting patterns going on and while you may not want to hang it on your wall, I like it.  My first original painting!

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