For me…….The Chief Catalyst that results in an artwork is not ‘the steps’ nor a recipe or formula.
Its not the primary how to.
Its not the details of ‘which tubes’ of paint I used, or what lens I had, but rather the Spirit force inspiring, behind the impulse. In other words, less about copying a formula.
More….. of enthusiasm, spirit and freedom.
In other words; yes, we must be well prepared and we have to get onto the plane to get to Nepal in order to climb “Sagarmatha” Goddess of The Sky….. Mount Everest.
But, there would be No Climb – unless the spirit had vigorously moved us, inspired us monumentally, to do so.
To get to the goal we wish for…. takes a lot of effort. (And painting is like climbing Mount Everest.)
We will need a lot of Fuel and a lot of motivating inspiration to take us there.
What Inspired the Masters
If you go online and look at the art of John Olsen, Fred Williams, Dale Chihuly… its clear these art masterpieces were inspired by their enthusiasm, the inspirations around them and their profound love of the freedom of color.
They enjoyed using Inspirations, as drivers, as motivators.
They had FUN using Inspiration as Fuel.
Inspiration of Color
These images are all about imagination and inspiration and evoking of wonder.
They ask of us to consider: “What are the compelling forces driving the artist to create the thing being called into existence?”
I love using the Inspiration of color … the purity of emotion that colors can evoke.
I find in this rich scarlet and indigo/teals the finely balanced ratio that greets the eye….. in a nice silky spot. ‘Just right.’
Origins of These Art Images
These digital paintings began as strands upon the water, their life started from water. One photo from a nature walk provided me a moving compelling inspiration.
And then, I took a ride upon my magic carpet. Playing, imagining with color schemes that did not exist until I created them into being. What fun.
I altered them, from my imaginings.
Inspiration sparks and compels creation
There was passion, fun and enthusiasm in the making of these paintings.
The photo, strands upon water played a role, Vibrant Violet, Midnight of Eidolon surfaced as you can see, tonal value contrast – as always, must participate, and layers upon layers upon layers of earth and sky dust mingled as the eons go by – played another role to inspire me as well.
With “Goddess of the Sky,” and the mingling of earth and sky dust …. I set about playing with ultramarine blue and mossy greens.
Recipes, lists, formulas, being well prepared are certainly useful and helpful things.
But, it is the Why – that begins and compels a creation through to the finish line.
Speckles, freckles and splatters. Quail eggs, tin foil and a watercolour painting backdrop. Frenetic? maybe. But, I kinda’ liked it!
Quail Egg Art Props
I’ve been wanting to get some quail eggs as art props for quite awhile, but kept putting it off. I hadn’t been able do the ‘cost justification’ on this one. Over here for just a few teeny quail eggs, is $8 or so.
Well, as you see I finally bought them.
A couple dozen photos are in my visual library at the ready, and I won’t need to make more quail egg purchases.
After thoroughly cleaning every tiny egg out, spick and span, I now have their sparkling, tidy shells stored for use later.
I’m doing ok on my ‘cost justification’ issue I’m happy to say.
Reflections and Textures
This second photograph is much Smoother, softer and more subtle. The background is more blurred and the tin foil a wee bit smoother as well.
Look at the reflections and notice how blurred and soft the edges are.
The delicate blushing tones of the background make the quail egg speckles appear to have even more contrast.
Texture, patterns reflected into the slightly crumpled tin foil give it a less perfect mirror image than if it was perfectly flat.
Design With A Twist
By choosing to use these props in this manner makes the images Different. I’d be surprised if I saw another quail egg photo with this same set up!
This design has an interesting ‘twist’ with some added abstraction thrown in for good measure.
The backdrop is still the splatter painting but now is Super soft focus; I added old dried leaves to increase the textural effects and retained the crumpled foil base.
I loved playing with these elements. Moving them around, deleting and adding at random. Just to see “what if….”
In each of these photographs I had a main objective.
I needed to create depth in a small ‘short’ space and create a Background, Middleground and Foreground. With a Focal Point.
Nearly nailed all of them!!
DIY Egg Freckles
For those in North America with access to white chicken eggs, you could probably create your own quail egg “look alikes.” Boil the eggs. Dip in tea for a pale stain. Let Dry.
For the Splatter – use toothbrush with instant coffee granules. Or…. splatter a soy/Worcestershire dark thick mix. Use edible ingredients so you can eat the egg after you take your photos!
Little wings, seemingly in flight hovering mid air. Could it be a hummingbird? A painting with Naples Yellow, cobalt teal, indigo, and indanthrone blue create a wonderful color harmony I would not have expected from these colors!
I love the gorgeous naples yellow, a wonderful soft buttery subtle yellow.
Naples Yellow, Not brash nor loud, it is the perfect backdrop for other colours to take centre stage. It retains its own entity, we don’t forget its there by any means.
Acrylic Colours used were:
Naples Yellow, Magenta, White, Cobalt Teal blue, Indigo and Indanthrone blue. The order used yellow first, then the magenta, a hand mixed grey, the delightful cobalt teal blue, and last is the indigo/indanthrone blend.
Normally, I suggest not putting yellow down as a background, as its too warm. But, a nice challenge doesn’t hurt occasionally.
I just made sure the next layers of colors were darker, stronger and more powerful in order to improve the illusion of depth.
Walking… I mean my version of walking. Slow strolling is more apt. But, I am scouting for things out there! If I go too fast, you know I’ll pass the lovely, the mysterious and delightful things right by, and we can’t have that.
Its only when we pause and seriously Really Look, that we will see that shapes and patterns of the Abstracts.
Going about our everyday normal routine… we miss the the wonderful world of abstracts that nature has to offer us.
Like I nearly did walking by this group of trees.
2016 is the year of the abstract.
hmmm, you caught me on that!! … I decided! For me its “the year of the abstract.”
Pathways of Abstractions
Have a look at the 3 reference photographs I’ve taken.
First, have a look at the center photo The Bushland Trees.
You probably can see how just walking by normally, I might easily have missed anything noteworthy. Its just a very plain, ordinary view….. looks boring.
If you’d like a quick look, there’s ways to banish boring brushstrokes in painting.
Now look at the very first top image, the zoom in of the tree bark Hints of Abstraction.
I’d gone up to one of the trees and zeroed right in on a specific tree area, after circling several times trying to find the right shapes.
This has a lovely pattern of tones with beautiful shapes. The colours are nice too.
Lastly, Lines of Abstraction is a digital play with one of the photographs, emphasizing the lines outlining the tree trunk. Its just another media, another form of creating abstractions – from what Nature had provided me with already.
The Sequence of my Abstraction Process:
looking, hunting for shapes, tones with good contrasts
taking reference photos
assessing the photos for great shapes and tonal values of good contrast
taking the ‘normal’ ordinary image, zooming in to showcase and emphasize specific shapes, patterns, lines, etc.
disregarding the fact of what the original object was
They are not hard to find – they are everywhere! Nor are they difficult to draw or paint, once you take the time to discover them.
They are really “just shapes and tones” and I’d love to share the discoveries of nature’s abstractions with you this year!
Atwell Gallery Perth courses, Colour Me Happy, and The Excitement of Art; plus the UWA ext. ZEN of Drawing will definitely be featuring many aspects and elements of nature’s abstractions for Term 1 2016.
Seductive, addictive cobalt teal blue. A blend of turquoise and cobalt teal blue reach out in invitation. Preceding layers of acrylic paint are seen beneath the surface, creating an illusion of depth in the turquoise shallows. Making me feel like I could easily walk right into liquid bliss.
Ocean Waters of Cobalt Teal
In both acrylic paintings I’ve used cobalt teal blue pg50, indigo, white, azo yello, phalo turquoise, in varying ratios.
Beneath the waters, lie colour filled shapes and sea forms that dance upon the currents. Also created using acrylics and featuring cobalt teal and turquoise, but done with the DIY gelli plate printing technique.
The gelli plate Printmaking method is a fairly easy and fast technique that creates multitudes of results which can be used in a vast number of ways. This technique will feature in my Atwell Gallery upcoming Term 1 course, The Excitement of Art.
Colour and Movement as a Catalyst
In both artworks, I am deliberately using Color, to evoke mood, feelings and cause a response in the viewer.
In both paintings, I’m also making the choice, to use directional movements – for a purpose.
The first image is very much horizontally dominant.
Why? Because I wanted to cause the viewer to have a sense of rest and calmness. Peace.
I chose the rectangular upright framing in order to help the viewer feel like they were being ‘invited in.’
The second image is horizontally framed to evoke peacefullness, serenity, calm. The curvature of forms, and languid movements create a sensation of a lovely slow dance, a swaying in time to music, gently.
CHOICE OF ELEMENTS IN DESIGN
Control and direct.
You, the artist, are like the traffic police at the intersection; you signal where the people are meant to look and go.
So now you can see, that by your purposeful or ….’automatic’ selections of design elements, you direct what the viewer ‘sees and feels’ to a very large degree!