Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Abstract thinking

People say "don't think too much", and "the problem with you is that you never stop thinking!"
But thinking and abstracting and distilling our experience is how we view, synthesize and remember our world and all its highlights and lowlights!

I'm currently on the South Carolina coast - an area where the marshes meet the sea:

photo by esteemed photographer Alice Graves Harris

A gorgeous sunset, one to be savored and enjoyed - but not, I think, one to attempt to reproduce in a quilt.....everybody can see how beautiful this is.  I think Art would show us beauty where we might not have seen the patterns in the sand, in the juxtaposition of the shapes of the seaside houses (I'm working on that one!! abstract and regrouping...) and in the unexpected:

Is it a house with a hole in it? Is it a painting on the side of a house?  Is this a bit of clever photoshoppery?  Is this something that most folk just pass by and never notice?
No, no, no and yes!!!  Have fun figuring it out!!!

The practice of art is the practice of seeing beautiful things without wanting to reproduce them exactly, but rather reproducing our feelings about them.  Or of finding things that others have not seen and showing them the wonder all around.  It's always about Communication.
It IS a process of Abstraction!

Never stop thinking!! - except of course when you're ready for a nice cuppa tea!!!

If you have been, thanks for reading........Elizabeth


Unknown said...

Thank you so very much for posting this. It gives me permission for my resistance to making a landscape quilt. I do have some photos I would like to use as inspiration but have not been able to conceptualize their expression. Now, I know I don't have to try to replicate the photo. I can't tell you how liberating I found this post.
Mary Helen in Or

Renate said...

I've been thinking and I think the second photo shows a reflection. Perhaps someone hung a mirror on the outside wall and we are seeing the roof of the building across the street. How's that for thinking?

Elizabeth Barton said...

Yes Renata! it's a reflection - not a mirror though...just a window that happened to be at the exact right angle to reflect the top of the house behind me with no distortion at all. I went back the next day to try to see it again - but was just one of those fleeting moments when the light is exactly right...