Amethyst, Indigo, Violet merge and collide as I gaze down at the ocean and white sands from the small plane skimming along the remote Western Australian coastline just at dusk.
A memory. Glimspes of a remembered past. Colors bright and vibrant. The buffed titanium sand beaches at dusk, shadowed with lavender swirls – soothe the soul.
Painting an Abstract
The acrylic abstract painting was done remembering our cross country out back adventure that took us north, through some of the roughest, most isolated areas in Australia.
We travelled by 4WD through Darwin, Kakadu, Katharine, to Broome. In Broome, we lounged around looking at petrified dinosaur tracks, drinking ice cold ginger beer and walked the fabled Cable Beach.
Then we signed on for a tour to the Horizontal Falls past the Buccaneer Archipelago, on a little dainty plane.
There were some nice big Winds that felt like they were playing soccer with the aircraft. Glad I said I needed the front seat.
Flying over this coastline at near dawn and dusk, was glorious! The colours wrapped themselves around my heart and haven’t let go since.
Its this bit of remembered coastline I paint.
Western Australia is the largest state in Australia and takes up about one third of Australia’s landmass. It is about 2.5 million square kilometers, close to the size of Western Europe.
To drive from Perth to Geraldton takes nearly 5 hours. To drive from Perth to Melbourne 3,279 kilometers, would take 5 days of daytime driving. Over here, its really not safe to drive long distances like that at night out of the cities. As there are so many kangaroos and wombats which cause serious accidents.
Just imagine, in the US, if all the freeways at night had open gates allowing free access for cows, pigs, sheep – dusk to dawn. We have lots of pesky kangaroos outback!
Perth, Western Australia remains a rarity, it is one of a few major cities of the world to be so isolated from other cities and large towns.
Processes of Painting
I decided that my main goals were simplicity and to hint of the isolation that can be found within the areas of Western Australia.
Additionally I needed to ensure sufficient tonal value contrasts.
For my palette of colours, I thought a dominant cool colour theme most appropriate. Also limiting my palette to just maybe 4 paints or so.
Next I decided to use the Pouring technique, to best describe the ocean and coastline the way I wanted it to be….zen in an amethyst abstract.
Step One was assemble the mixed paints in tubs, in the correct creamy pourable consistency. Buff, Indigo, Indanthrone, Amethyst, Cobalt Violet.
Step Two … pouring sequence first was the buff mixed with a bit of white, then alongside that was the Amethsyt, Cobalt Violet blend. Indanthrone in a paler version was next.
Finally a mix of Indigo and Indanthrone to just touch into the amethyst a smidgen and onto the painting far right side a little bit as well.
I gently, lifted and tilted the heavy paper to help gravity make more pattern. And, paused. I Stopped. Even though I wanted to ‘keep on going’ !
Abstracts, have meaning and content. Sometimes, you need to do a little treasure hunt to discover them though.
They really look better if there is harmony, balance and the minimum of those 3 main Tonal Values.
Abstracts don’t always need to have a focal point, but having one, certainly will help the beginner.
It is much more difficult to achieve a finely tuned abstract art painting, than it is to paint a good representational one.