Wednesday, February 27, 2019

No Scoffing at Abstraction!

Don't be afraid of abstract art!!
Nor scoff !!!
i have one of those "know it all friends" and she happily says when looking at any piece of abstract art "well my five year old could do that!". I hate to tell her that's such an old cliche about abstract art that she may as well check her brain in for a replacement!!!

Farne Islands: Detail
In the quilt, Farne Islands, I added together several details from photographs of water and arranged them geometrically....something that several abstract painters have done.

There are so many things that a little more knowledge of them would lead to so much more appreciation and enjoyment.   I know that's true of sports...I know very little and so seeing people dashing around on a football field for about 20 seconds then stopping for a 4 minute analysis seems both bizarre and deadly boring to me....but to the aficionados that's all part of the game and requires close watching and gives hours of fun and discussion.
Same is true of music, if you understand Scriabin you'll be more likely to love it...
or vintage cars etc ....

You can't really expect to appreciate something complicated at first go, not really appreciate it.
Having said that, I do think that all art should be beautiful and/or meaningful.  Not just pretty and banal!  BUT perhaps that is the downside to knowing too much!  One hears  the cliche or sees the banality where you might not if you were fresh into that subject.

Looking West
In the quilt, Looking West, I drew the actual landscape using only straight lines and triangular shapes - something many abstract artists have done.

However, good art lasts, and weak art does not. So sooner or later if you keep looking at or listening to (or enjoying whatever it is with which ever sense it appeals to) you will be able to tell what is good and lasting  from that which is shallow.

You know I think the same thing might be true of friendships - the first time you meet new people and like really don't know if with a year's exposure you would still like them.  and if you were both marooned on that mythical desert island with just a few coconut trees to sustain you, would you still like them in  a year's time???  Would you be admiring  their strengths, or all too aware of their weakness?  Actually come to think of it, this is a great analogy for knowing what would work longterm for you in art...or music.

So, if abstract art puzzles you, don't scoff, rather think about exposing yourself (not literally no!) to more and more over a period of time...and see what happens???  Honestly, I think you will find at least some kinds that you really love.

watercolor: The Tree down the Lane...
In the above watercolor, I didn't try to literally depict the tree, but rather its exuberant branches!  something that many abstract artists have done.

Abstract art is a really wide field...with many different approaches ...there's bound to be something you DO like!  And....something you can steal!!!

You might also like to check out one of my Abstract Art for Quiltmakers  online classes....

the next one begins March 1st.  

And, if you have been, thanks for reading!   Elizabeth