Let’s do something a lot different today. One of my fun things to do is to take a collection of house paint cans and a paint stick and work from my shoulder instead of careful brush strokes. Remember, I was a house painter for 30 years so I used to be inside my painting using large arm strokes.
So first off, let’s clear up a misconception. An abstract painting is actually a subject or an object reduced to a simpler form. What we are doing today is a non-objective abstract. There is no overt object you can identify, like a tree, sky, face, etc.
So I begin with the seed of an idea, working with opposite colours to create maximum contrast, which is a common motif in painting. I put a red base in the middle panel and a green backdrop in the side panels.
Next comes dipping the paint stick in the paint and letting it flow onto the surface. Because house paint is viscous enough to flow nicely, this works well. It’s nearly impossible using fluid acrylics since they tend to form drops instead of a continuous line.
I use generally 10-20 layers of drip, depending on the way it evolves. Generally I use a collection of off-whites, then black and white on the last layers.
Now, this is intended to be a triptych, or three paintings slightly separated to form one work. The lines are continuous across the panels, so once separated, they will have distinct look while compelling the viewer’s eye to be pulled across the panels and back again.
Many people insist that these types of paintings are an ode to Jackson Pollock, but my style is more deliberate and not just throwing everything at the canvas. His magic was that he created fractals throughout the paintings unintentionally. I should be so lucky to sell a painting for $132 million. I’d settle for a mere $100k. LOL
The painting above looks random, but there is repetition, contrast, colour harmony, varying-sized shapes and shifting focal points. The subject matter is actually secondary to allowing for these aspects of design. The rules of design are key in creating any art form. Ignore too many of them and you have a boring piece of art. But more on design in the next post.