Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Looking at my 4 year old the other day carefully placing identical blobs of color onto a piece of paper, (due to his under developed fine motor skills of course), I began to wonder whether this is the right way to go in order to achieve balance in a painting. That is should I carefully continue with a chosen direction and method of applying a stroke, a la Van Gogh or the Pointillists, as opposed to acting on impulse and taking cues from hand movements? If you simply follow your instincts, then the piece shows intensity but also chaos and instability. If all brushstrokes flow simultaneously, then there's serenity and the eye is calmer when it moves around the work. Question is what do you want to achieve, and is this result what you'd be happy with for the moment, or is it good enough to live with for a lifetime?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


So I've decided to revisit texture via a combination of oil and wax. It is incredible how different the painting process feels with this quick change of course. The paint all of a sudden has mass and feels like a true substance with lots of volume. The colors blend in but keep their original intensity and peek through without layering. Most importantly, the expressive nature of the painting becomes that much more immediate. A palette knife allows the inner urge to spill out emotions to come through so much more readily than a paint brush. It feels as if once you know that paint cannot be smoothed out, you relax and simly let it breathe. The canvas underneath has its say as well as it doesn't need to be covered up but rather acts as another element in a carved out piece. It's truly a marriage made in heaven me painting this way. I feel that it will very soon lead to the long awaited abstract effect that I've been seeking.

Friday, September 7, 2012

I've got the color but how do I approach form?

It's clear that in any successful painting the two elements, form and color, happily entertwine. It can be seen in a completely representational work and to the same extent in an abstract piece. However, it becomes much harder to analyze and accomplish a successful combination in a painting that is void of any representational references. There are of course multiple schools of abstract painting, from geometrical or minimalist abstraction to expressionist, to color field. Automated references drawn from imagination were employed by the surrealists. I, however, believe I'm not able to part with the connection to nature and its forms. Nor do I really want to as it truly provides the most varied choices and organic combinations. My idols like Kandinsky and 20th century Monet, for instance, successfully bridged abstraction and figuration by drawing inspiration from landscapes. However, the tricky part is determining which key elements in a painting get to stay when it's reduced to an abstract piece, and which are less important to the overall composition and feel.