Figurative Abstracts

Reflections

Reflections

I don’t dream. I put this down to the prolonged period of insomnia that I suffered after my divorce, however, I have recently been waking up with fragments of an image that has coincided with my rekindled interest in painting.

I’m colour blind; good old fashioned Red / Green combo and this has always been a crutch to stop myself from painting. Who wants a violet sky and magenta grass? Well it turns out that plenty of people do provided the piece is well executed and within an abstract framework, and there lies the dilemma.

Painting abstracts, to me, is not about “Not being able to paint properly” or “Not having studied for X years at Art School”, it is primarily concerned with expression and partly about technique; the proportions of these two factors is what divides the opinion. I suppose the “Expression ‘v’ Technique” debate is the art world equivalent of the chicken and the egg scenario.

We live in an existential world, trees grow upwards, grass is green, sky is on top etc. To challenge these representations (visually) means to think and to think is a powerful life skill.

It is said as humans we use only 10% of our brain’s capacity and the average time spent looking at artwork in a gallery is less than 30 seconds and in that 30 seconds we make broad sweeping generalisations not only about the piece “Doesn’t look like a tree” but also about the artist “My kid could do that” so may I suggest that if your child can emote like Jackson Pollock then nurture and treasure that child beyond your earthly years for they have that rare and precious gift of independent thought.

My artwork is my own, through my eyes, echoes of my past and shaped by my hand. If this piece progresses my painterly technique that’s a bonus; If it strikes a chord with another human well that’s much better but if it hangs on my wall and engages my thoughts every time I look at it then it has achieved it’s purpose.

Abstracts are about painting the emotion not the object. If you want a picture, take a photograph.

Words and Pictures © D. Archer. December 2015

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