Monday, January 7, 2008

Abstract Painting versus Non-representational

Hey! Look At Me
7 x 5 soft pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix
Miki Willa
For most of my life, I have referred to all art that is not realistic as abstract. I may have excluded the impressionists from the broad brush description. Whether it was cubist, fauvist, surreal, or that giant canvas painted red with the yellow square in the center, it was all abstract. No one has ever corrected me, so I have gone on thinking that way. Yesterday, I read the second chapter in Finding Your Visual Voice by Dakota Mitchell with Lee Haroun and discovered there is a difference, and when you are talking about abstraction, varying degrees. Dakota defines non-representational art as having no definable subject from the real world. Given that definition, only the red canvas with the yellow square would be non-representational. Dakota goes further to state that most representation art is, to some degree, abstract. Interesting notions. When I finish the book, I will do a review here.
At the end of each chapter, there are exercises to do to help you find your visual voice. This chapter suggests you try a non-representation piece. I am just not there yet. I don't understand color and composition nearly well enough to attempt it. I decided the best I could do was a loose abstract of one of my favorite flowers. These Oriental Poppies were growing in my old garden next to a group of purple flowering plants, whose name I can't remember. It was almost outside my comfort zone, but far more comfortable than it would have been two years ago. Just another step along the journey.

1 comment:

Tom said...

I love the color in this painting. Comments on realism having abstract qualities ring true. Thanks for continue and sharing your experience.