“Abstract expressionist value expression over perfection, vitality over finish, fluctuation over repose, the unknown over the known, the veiled over the clear, the individual over society and the inner over the outer. “ — William C. Seitz
There are certain responses that abstract painters hear. The title is a standard. As is the desire to point out the shapes in the clouds; not surprising considering that as a species we are pattern-seeking machines. One of my dearest friends is an accomplished abstract painter. Her work and interest in the genre encouraged me to reconsider what I find an incredibly challenging approach. I tend toward a more literal method. While I do use abstract or surreal elements to promote mood and emotion, the abandonment of any representative elements is quite difficult for me. I thought that since I have such difficulty with this it might be a good exercise.
On New Year ’s Eve I decided to start one. It has been slow going and I’ve repainted it at least half a dozen times never being quite satisfied with the results. Yesterday I decided that I would start a new one while I wait for the other to dry. I spent a lot of the day listening to Bowie and trying to make marks on the canvas that were little more than an emotion and response to the existing marks. Apply, layer, scrape and repeat. At several points in the process time ceased. I found that I was just there. If you ever have this happen while doing something it is a fantastic meditative experience. This is my current point in that painting.