Thursday, April 17, 2008

Abstraction vs. Realism

There is no right or wrong in art. Both representational and non representational art can be good or bad. Good art, at least for me, is one which creates a response in the viewer which is similar to the artists own initial impression or intent in relation to the subject matter.
Even though I paint representationally, I am always using a certain degree of abstraction. Nature is three dimensional and my canvas has only two dimensions, so, by definition, I need to abstract. How much I want to stick to what I see or how far I want to simplify is up to me and they way I feel that day. Sometimes I enjoy playing around with both abstraction and figure in a painting. It is just a matter of shapes and colors put together in a harmonious way.


sandy said...

Very nice...

I like this a lot. I see you got the links working~~ good..It was easy huh?

This is really beautiful.


william wray said...

I will drag up a chair and pontificate since you were nice enough to stop by my blog and, as I do so love the smell of my own mouth farting art theory. Not surprisingly I run along side the wagon carrying the idea that learning representational art is deadly important to being a great abstract artist. Sometimes I think some artists don't master essential art well enough before they make an impatient leap to a parade of gimmickry. Might dazzle for a moment, but a short period flirting with knowledge of representational art will lead to abstract ideas with limited depth. Like going from grade school to a masters program, or boxing for a year and getting a title shot, both will lead one to a terrible brain beating and for the artist an ultimate failure unless you only want fame of a fabulous con man.
I think working with the representational to the point were you are so good that abstraction will flow from that skill set is not an unworthy goal. Your bag of tricks will be a vast storehouse of possibilities of the competent. I also am engaged by the symbolic idea of sacrificing something meaningful you have worked hard for (realism) and being reborn in a new direction of (abstraction) honestly based upon your years of artistic toil. That my oily trail of tears to cry and we all think the journey is about us. ;-)

Ilse T.Hable said...

William, quite right what you said! Many artists who choose to work non representationally do so not because of being curious about new possibilities, but because they have figured out that they are incompetent in realism. Most of the time it shows.
I like the small opportunities for abstraction within realism and I can see, you do too. If I can simplify and tell what I want to without the need for detail, then I have made a step in the right direction. Less is more.
Thanks for your comment, William.