There is nothing like the word ABSTRACT to strike fear in the heart of many an artist.
The reason is that it is so subjective. We are often looking for finite’s in life, as well as our art. Something real that we can sink our teeth into. Something to say “hey this is who I am and this is what I am creating”. Because, honestly, most people don’t get abstract.
But have you ever considered that the piece you are creating today, this week, is not meant for someone else to “get”? Possibly the whole purpose of it is to get you to feel, or to show someone else that you do.
Color makes us feel
Bold marks speak volumes
Even something as defined as a square can get across a message of confinement or seclusion.
Abstraction gives you the freedom to say whatever you like, however you choose to say it.
I can speak my heart with the color choices I make, whether those colors make me happy, or sad. How I choose to place them on the page can also go far in describing how I feel.
For instance if you start with a darker color in the center, then paint concentric circles from that point with a lighter and lighter version of that same color, this could express a need to lighten a load, or movement from a difficult place to a much more carefree spirit.
However you choose to express your feelings in this step, make a statement. Scream from the page that you are alive and have something important to say – even if it is only to yourself. But above all…
Here is how I approached today’s mixed media prompt:
I decided to switch things up a bit and pulled out an 8×8 canvas to work on. Then choosing a few colors that made me happy, I placed random dots around in no particular order.
Using a wide flat brush, I made several swipes down the canvas, then across, being careful not to let the colors mix too much. (I really like how they join yet maintain their individuality. Certainly a personal statement if I have ever heard one!
I then added in some circular marks with white paint to express how we are all a part of this world, following the same circle of life. We feel that we are so unique in our problems and our struggles, but if you look closely enough you will find that there is a connection within them all. These struggles repeat themselves throughout history, providing a connection if we are willing to see it… like circles on a page.
A few black and purple marks made an appearance here and there, symbolizing the struggles of the past that have been pushed to the back of who we are. The things we experience throughout life, both good and bad, will always be a part of who we are. It shapes us and gives us a unique perspective on the world. It is these perspectives that empowers us to help others and impart hope. This is God’s unique plan for our pain. Sometimes He allows it to help us grow and He uses that growth to guide us to others who need our perspective.
I needed a bit of contrast, so a fluorescent pink made an appearance next. It is those contrasting experiences in life, the people who are so not like us at all but we can’t help feeling a connection of some sort, that give the greatest complement to our existence. Don’t fight them. They can offer you great perspective and variety that may not ever become part of your world otherwise. They help you to see outside the box and to consider options that may not ever occur to you.
These symbols, marks and colors can be changed and transformed throughout the creative process, symbolizing a change in perspective or even a change of heart. Working through our feelings in this way can be incredibly healing and thought provoking. Bringing the reality of how we feel deep inside to the forefront, where we can see it more accurately for what it is, allows us to look everything over from a more discerning stance.
Letting the paint rest now, and absorbing the lessons I am learning through the process.
May I encourage you to do the same? Create a work of art this week that tells a story.
This story doesn’t necessarily have to be about you, maybe it is someone close to you. But use color to express those things that are hard to put into words. Work through a problem, or express an emotion.
As you continue to create in this way, you will begin to build a visual library that is individual to who you are. Personal symbolism is a great way to create immensely emotional works of art. People will feel something when they view them. It might not always be what you felt while creating it, but if your emotion gets them to feel theirs, you have done your job as an artist.
your creative guide~lisa
Have questions? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org