For some artists, bringing meaning to their abstract work is hard because they lack ideas, or direction, or a true sense of connection to the work. But for others the problem is the opposite. They have so many thoughts, feelings, and references they want to work with that they become overwhelmed and frustrated. Today we want to talk about the value of focus in your ideas for abstract work, and what happens when your they are too complex and create blocks in your expression.
Often, to bring personal meaning to abstraction people develop complex stories with a range of ideas they want to bring to the work. These references may be personal or may be broader world issues like climate change or war. Ideas are certainly important, but it takes focus to express meaning in abstraction. Working in abstraction is not a great approach for dictating how the work will be seen and interpreted. Anyone looking at your work will have their own interpretations; that is the nature of abstraction.
It is the beauty and challenge of abstract work that it is not read like a story, but received as a complete impression, so it needs to work visually foremost. Your ideas are important as guides in choosing the aspects of form in your painting, in arriving at the composition, shapes, colors, lines, and textures. But realize that having too many ideas can negates the ability to create a strong visual statement.
Like so much in art, limitations allow us to go deeper. A focused, simple idea is less likely to become too literal because it allows for an expansion of thought. When you try to pack in too much, your viewer has less room for involvement. Clear ideas on your part can act as excellent guides in your choices. But then you need to step back and let it be what it is to another person. This is a key attitude in working abstractly.
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What's new at Cold Wax Academy?
Rebecca and Jerry have just launched their Fall quarter of live, online sessions with a special focus this time on member participation, plus informative sessions on a variety of other topics such as photographing your art work and using Procreate. This month also marks the beginning of Cold Wax Academy's 3rd year of teaching sessions, meaning that the member library now has over 80 recordings and other instructional documents available for members. To access this wealth of information and to take part in upcoming live sessions, please visit the membership page at ColdWaxAcademy.com and sign up for one of the two levels of membership available.
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."
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