Abstract artists are known for getting ideas for their work everywhere. If you notice someone taking a photo of a crack in the sidewalk or staring at a piece of rusted metal, chances are good that’s an abstract artist at work, collecting ideas for lines and colors and textures. Even if we don’t depict objects realistically in our work, we are constantly observing the world around us. Today we are talking about the process of gathering and using visual ideas in creating abstract art.
What do we mean by a visual idea in abstraction? It starts with observing something and then using that visual information in your work—not in the sense of literally reproducing it, as you might with realism, but translated into aspects of your abstract work. A visual idea can be thought of as a distillation of something you have observed that enters your abstract work in a way that is removed from its source. Visual ideas can spark imagination and serve as a point of departure into new ways of using techniques, composition, and the visual elements.
Many times, we take in visual information in an unconscious way, gazing at things without mush awareness or analysis or focus, and sometimes these images do come through as we work intuitively. But to use a visual idea consciously, it helps to observe consciously. In abstraction, visual ideas can be taken from any situation you are in—whenever something strikes us as visually interesting, if we have the time and focus to and intention to really examine it.
You are most likely already working with visual ideas if you are observant of the visual world. But it can be interesting to become more conscious or analytic about what you are staring at, at least every so often, and seeing what changes that may bring to your work. Nurturing visual ideas so that they grow their original source or in seeing how they appear in your work and that of others can be exciting and deeply creative.
Thanks to everyone who has been sharing the show and donating! If you would like to donate to the Messy Studio Podcast donate here.
When you buy art supplies at Blick remember to use our affiliate link to support the podcast! Bookmark this link and then you don't even have to think about it again. This is one of the best ways to support the show. It takes a few seconds and costs you nothing! The Blick website works exactly the same way, but we earn 10% every time you buy art supplies.
What's new at Cold Wax Academy?
Rebecca and Jerry are busy planning the Summer Quarter of their membership program which begins on July 13. These exciting sessions will explore Personal Voice and Composition and continue the topic of Professional Development with some special guests. Member Critiques and Painting Clinics, Cold Wax Academy's new feature, are ongoing. You can join the membership program anytime and catch up with past recorded sessions at your own pace. Please visit http://www.coldwaxacademy.com for more information
Also-- stay tuned for information coming soon about Rebecca and Jerry's newest project, Espacio, dedicated to providing beautiful living and working spaces for artists and writers. Espacio's first offering is Casa Clavel, a modern, fully equipped house opening this September in the beautiful cultural city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. You can learn more and make a reservation by emailing [email protected]. A dedicated Espacio website is coming soon!
Here is what a member named Sandy has to say about her own experience with Cold Wax Academy:
"Rebecca and Jerry have presented the most professional, authentic and structured approach to a creative activity I have ever come across. Their selfless sharing of all their knowledge and encouragement is a gift in my life unsurpassed."
Have an art related product, service, or event you would like to advertise on the Messy Studio Podcast?
Email Ross at [email protected] for current mid-roll advertising rates.
For more from The Messy Studio:
For more from Rebecca Crowell:
The Messy Studio Podcast is a Tick Digital Media Production.