March 3, 2014

Making Abstract Art = Tuning the Senses

Detail: Ocean Motion, Acrylic on Panel

An often asked question is:
Do you have something in mind when you start an abstract painting?

The response varies:
sometimes YES, sometimes NO!

But always present at the beginning of any piece is an acute awareness of all the senses contributing to color choices, mark-making, and value - light and dark placement.

What sounds and smells do you notice on a walk?
What colors stand out while you do errands?  
How does the weather affect what you put in your memory bank of the day?

All of your senses inform your artistic expression.

So in asking the question, "Do you have something in mind when you start an abstract painting?" this painting is case in point when the answer is: "Yes!" 

Years ago I spent time staring into the Pacific ocean at Point Lobos Wildlife Preserve. My wonderful cousin Jody lived in Carmel for a while and her door was always open for her artist cousin who needed an infusion of California Coastal Essence.  Whole days were spent by myself sitting on the rocks, basking in the warm sun kissed with cool wind, getting soaked by ocean spray crashing against the rocks, and mesmerized by the glistening deep blue water constantly in motion while the rich colors of the tide pools surrounded my perch.

Years later I reached into my sensory memory bank and pulled out one of those days...

Commission: Ocean Motion, Acrylic on Panel, 30" x 40", 2014

Though unaware that this painting was going to embody these memories when begun, thinking about Jody and seeing, feeling, and hearing those days at Point Lobos guided the color choices, mark-making, and values created in this painting.

Stay "tuned" for next month's blog which will address the question, "Do you have something in mind when you start an abstract painting?" with the answer "NO!"

For information about commissioning Marianne for a custom piece of artwork, or to learn about how you can become the artist you always wanted to be, visit Marianne's new website in mid-March!

Can't wait until mid-March?!