In-Depth Blog Post #4
“Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes. Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an exploration into unknown areas.”
― Arshile Gorky
It has been about a month since my last progress report, and I have accomplished a lot in that time. Over the break, I was able to meet my mentor in person and work on a six-painting collection piece. This piece was made only using the complementary colours, orange and blue, with black and white. It was finished after three sessions with my mentor allowing time in between so I can get a fresh look the next time. Through these paintings, I was able to learn a lot about value, the use of white space, how to challenge myself into making bold strokes and how to collage on materials. All these components sound quite easy, as does the art of abstract art, but the thought put into each piece is a lot more complicated. Every time I made a stroke or collaged something down, I had to think if it added to the piece or if I needed to do something to make it work better. Below are some questions and statements my mentor wrote for me that I should keep in mind while painting.
- Are you saying what you want to say? Are you saying it as clearly and concisely as possible?
- What do I love? Why? Do more of that.
- Look for the differences – Loud conversations (Contrast that can be seen from afar) and quiet conversations (details that bring you in and interest you when you get closer)
- Ask what-ifs. (What if I added… over here)
- What don’t I have? (messy/controlled, busy/quiet, thin/thick paint, colours)
- Look at each quadrant of the painting. Can it stand alone? What draws the eye to each?
- Change your point of view – turn the painting upside down
- Where is your eye going?
My Six-piece Painting: Through these pictures, you can see how the paintings evolved into their final product.
1. The first stage
a.In this part green in dominating the top right, which I did not like.
b. The top left had nothing special and when I looked at sections of that painting it had too much white in some areas and it was just a mess.
c. I liked the brown collage and ripped pages I had collaged onto most of the paintings.
d. I also quite liked the black strokes of ink I had added and the stencils I used.
e. I think all the paintings needed more of either blue or orange
2. This was a large step since the last photo was taken and this progress was done over two sessions. Note: this image is in the opposite direction as the last one because I liked this way better at the moment it was taken.
a. I added more of the elements I liked from before. (Brown collage, ripped pages and more of blue and orange) This also helped connect pieces that didn’t have a lot of the same elements before.
b. I covered up the green that was on the top right before and is now in the bottom left. I did this by adding white pages and a piece of cloth that had paint leftover on it.
c. I found maps! I added to my paintings a piece of a map I found and some of the writing on the back of it onto the top middle painting.
d. The top right needed more black so I added a black collage and drops of ink
3. This last one has the final details on it (ex. Mark making with posca pens)
a.I added some strokes of orange to the top middle and top right. I found that the painting on the top right needed the map to blend in more, so I painted a bit over top.
b. The other mark-making and finer details are harder to see, but I just added lines of white and black. The black is mostly used to highlight black marks that had been partially covered before.
One other assignment I completed over this time was practice with values. What I did was cut up pieces of black, grey, and white paper and arranged them in patterns in little squares to see what I liked. Here is a picture of what I made:
- What has been your most difficult mentoring challenge so far? Why?
I think that being online with my mentor has been the most difficult challenge. Having my in-depth being abstract art, the easiest way to learn is through trial and error during the painting process. However, because it is online, our meetings are limited, and it is harder to get feedback on my work.
- What is working well? Why?
What’s working the best is the way my mentor is teaching me. She has been teaching me a couple of concepts each meeting and assigning me small assignments to further my knowledge in that area. I find that the way I learn best is through hands-on projects, which I can later get feedback on to fix for next time. Not working in person has allowed me to use the knowledge my mentor has taught me prior, and problem solve where needed.
- What could be working better? How can you make sure this happens?
What could be working better is the amount of time I work on my paintings. I would be able to create a lot more and add to the quality of my paintings if I carved out more time in a week to work on it. So far I have been only working on a painting for about an hour at a time, but after working with my mentor in person, I have found that when I worked for longer I was more efficient and was able to produce more in the added time then if I had split it up.
Thank you for reading! Keep following my journey for more art!!