Friday, February 22, 2013

Painting is about Communicating -- What are you trying to say?

"Kindred Spirits" 24 x 30 mixed-media on canvas
I viewed an abstract painting yesterday in the Red and Blue Group at Fine Art America where the above painting was featured. I was so drawn to the bright colors and shapes, I had to analyze my feelings to see why I was so compelled to linger?

The composition was stunning. A red, red-orange background with subtle splashes of light was broken up by blue shadow in varying shades of intensity. Each shape was interesting in and of itself. The stunning mixture of contrasts and highlights was complex and varied. The illusion of depth and texture was created. First my mind wanted to analyze it, and then simply admire the feeling I got while floating through the brightly lit space from form to form. Whatever the artist was trying to say may be an enigma, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

"Day Dreams" 9 x 12 oil on canvas (SOLD) Prints available.
Sometimes a beautiful paintings just is; an enjoyment of color, form and shape with no other ulterior motive. At other times the artist has a specific reason for wanting to share a story, an attitude, a cause, or simply a feeling.

"African Fish Market" 18 x 24 acrylic on canvas
Most of my paintings communicate the goodness and worth of the human soul, and the beauty in our natural world. To communicate this, I sometimes exaggerate color or light until I feel the painting expresses my message. It would be unnatural for me to attempt to communicate a negative or mean-spirited theme or image; weakness and vulnerability, yes; but not hatred, arrogance, or evil.

"Moody Blues" 14 x 18 mixed media on canvas

"Broken Hearted" 9 x 12 pastel on Bristol
We all have our own vision of what we want to communicate. We may not always recognize what it is we're trying to say until the painting is almost finished. When we slap on that final dab of paint, we should know intuitively how we will connect with the viewer.

Since reaction is subjective, our message may be received differently from what was intended. Not to worry. If the viewer is pleased, then we have reached them none-the-less.

"With These Hands Hope" 16 x 20 mixed media on canvas