Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Abstraction: Learning without Judgement

Week two of Jane Davies' Composition class just started, and I'm loving it. It's great to have a group of people holding me to task to get my work done each week. It's also great to have my mind pushed and pulled with the weekly abstract challenge. And to me, abstract is a challenge.

Abstract Art holds a funny place in our hearts and minds. It's the thing non-artists like to mock about the art world. "They just painted it all white. Big deal." So it starts at a disadvantage.

But abstract art is problem solving at it's finest. And for an artist of any level, the lessons found within that problem solving spreads out to all other art forms. Abstract art teaches us to listen to our inner voice. "Should this go here? How about here? Does it look better there? Why? How could I adjust it so it's stronger? Why?" It's a circle of constant inner questioning. We have to trust ourselves but also have reasons for the trust. "It's stronger over here because the balance is better. It's better over there because it draws the eye in and around." It's a questioning without judgment. Whether or not I put a square of color on the left or right doesn't feel like high stakes. I don't declare myself a bad person and an incompetent artist so quickly when it's just a matter of squares. But the lessons I'm learning in that time are invaluable. And I can't wait to see what week two brings.

Image note: The lesson was to stay within a color family in a grid layout but use various values and include a non grid shape (in my case a circle) to focus they eye's attention. My first pieces used hardly any layering, but seeing the beautiful work of my classmates encouraged me to try and slap a few more pieces on top of each other. I still didn't go that deep...but I'll take any progress I can get.

No comments: