The Abstract Exercise
A few days ago I realised how much I missed painting. I have been dreaming about a few spare hours that I could devote just for me and this hobby, yet there’s always something that needs doing „right now!“. The other night I gave in – half an hour and something abstract (30 minutes is ridiculously not enough, but that’s all I could „afford“…).
All this turned into a little exercise and the results might not even be worth showing, but lets look at it as if it was just some learning process.
I went for a small canvas (apparently this was a mistake) and thought of some quite abstract words: summer, heat, fresh air, colours – everything we are going to miss in a week or two.
These days the galleries might be full of abstract artwork, yet abstraction isnt the most popular artistic mode. Why? I’d guess that is just because people don’t know what to make of it. I’m not a great fan of abstract art, I’d always go for something in between – something I can recognise, yet painted in an unusual way or using brighter colours (have a look at fauvism), but I must admit that throughout the years I have seen abstract paintings that I really loved.
According to Tom Zeit abstraction “presents a distinctly different way for artists to convey their ideas” and it also “expands your imaginative abilities, because it forces you to think about your ideas in ways that don’t mimic the objective world, it requires you to see in unfamiliar ways”. Could you think of a better way to exercise your imagination? If not, here are a few ideas that should help you with your abstract project:
– Look inside, not out – concentrate on your own feelings and experiences and see what they suggest.
– Visit the masters – as an exercise, break down a masterwork into individual shapes, ignoring the details, to get a sense of how the picture is composed. Redraw the shapes yourself (or assemble them in paper), then try rearranging them altogether.
– Start in black and white – for beginners at abstract work, its often easier to concentrate solely on shapes and composition before moving on to working with color.
– Focus on space – try to see each element as a part of the overall balance.
– Make it big – when artists lack confidence, they tend to work small. Don’t be afraid to start with big shapes so you can stand back and evaluate them.
– Doodle – whether on paper or in clay, whether completely open-minded or with a vague idea in mind, begin with simple doodling and youll get a glimpse of where your ideas might lead.
Hope these tips, that were found on Artists’ Network, will encourage you to have a go at creating something abstract and exercising your imagination. Have fun!