Thursday, September 19, 2013

Going abstract

Like most artists I have pile of painting experiments that just didn't go anywhere. This was one where I was playing around with some new colors, mediums and tools.  No plan, no direction, no composition.  In other words, the painting wasn't organized according to any rules.

So I began to add more colors.  I created the round shapes by dipping objects into paint and stamping them on.  I created linear textures by using a grouting tool, scraping it through wet paint.  The rest was just strokes of colors using various brushes.

But the painting got too busy.  The composition wasn't holding together very well.  Too much going on.

I added some lines to see if that would help. The white shapes and lines were supposed to create some rhythm.

Still not working for me.

So I toned the whole thing down with the dominant colors, violet and green.

I began to add some collage items (old book pages) because I like the layers.

Still worried about my composition I decided that I needed to emphasize the triangular shape. I warmed up some white paint with yellow ochre and painted it in some of the negative space.  I also "blurred out" some shapes I wanted to push into the back ground. I used a marker pen top to stamp on some more little circles in dark purple to further develop my pattern.
Moon Dance                      16 x 20
Mixed Media on Canvas Panel
I created an overlap by painting more yellow circles (with white and purple details) over the collage paper pieces and declared it done!

Then I stepped back to evaluate:
1.  What rules of composition did I follow?  The Golden Triangle - very popular in the Renaissance.
2.  What points of color theory did I follow?  Cool colors recede and warm colors come forward.
3.  What Elements of Art are evident in my painting? All: Color, space, shape, value and texture.
4.  What Principles of Design are most evident?  Rhythm & Pattern.

During my next few blogs I'll explain a little more about composition and how to organize a piece of art.


  1. Hi Karen,

    I like your blog and the colors in your paintings!