Pushing Past Comfort


Since spending weeks coming up with individual skull creations (about 13 in all), there hasn’t been any time to think about much of anything else.  But over the weekend, I was bitten by the abstract bug! I couldn’t help myself, and had to dabble in some acrylics!    You have  probably noticed how it seems to be difficult for me to just  do one thing, and seems necessary for me to mix it up a bit or I’m just not happy with whatever I’m creating!  The layers and layers are what grabs me, my motto being – if it doesn’t feel right, add another layer or two!  Keep adding until it looks good!  I’m the one always saying, I like things simple , but when creating a piece of art, it always seems to ask me to go further!  Remember, I paint intuitively!  The piece tells me what to do!

While walking through a gallery one can always hear people saying, they could paint that (abstract).  Go ahead!  I hope whoever tries it, will have a smooth transition from whatever medium they use.  I love abstract, but I really need to be working with my inner child, and my right brain to be able to be free enough to paint them!  The balance, not just in colors, but design – isn’t that easy for me!  Not having a subject matter, or having one to abstract, is a challenge for sure.  Isn’t a challenge good for us, for loosening us up, and allowing us to push past our comfort zone?  That is why I journal, to try things out, to work out ideas, and color combinations.  But the best intentions don’t always pan out.  Sometimes it seems more successful than other times.  Again, that’s how we discover new techniques, leaving  our old stagnate ways behind!  So I started looking up artists who have made their careers in abstract art, and when the abstract movement  started.

A little history about abstract expressionism…

*Abstract Expressionism was the first American post World War II  art movement.  It put New York City in the spotlight of the western art world instead of Paris!  Robert Coates first applied this term to American art in 1946, however,  Alfred Barr was first to use the term in 1929 in connection  to artwork by Wassily Kandinsky.

*“ At a certain moment the canvas began to appear to one American painter after another as an arena in which to act. What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event.


One could spend hours, days, maybe even weeks, or months  reading about this subject, and still not have learned about all the artists that were instrumental in creating abstract art, or everything we might like to know about abstract expressionism.  Most likely that’s what “Art History” is all about in school!  But I never took it, and so I’m learning about it on my own.    The internet is a fabulous place to connect to all the resources on this subject, and several of my art teacher friends have mentioned the names of artists in the twentieth century that have been an inspiration to our craft.  I especially love looking up different artists, and their particular style, finding art I’m drawn to, or artists I admire.  Artists such as Robert Richenberg, Robert Motherwell, and Hans Hofmann intrigue me and make me want to try more things, to experiment, and stretch past my comfort zone.

As I work with the images of three bottles, trying to abstract them, paint them, and make the entire painting interesting and cohesive, I struggle with getting it lighter and more vibrant.  This piece definitely needs more time than just one day, and most certainly it will be the focus of my attention for at least another day.  Things don’t always pull together as quickly as planned, this is proven by looking  into my studio.  Tomorrow being another day, there is much work to be done, and many more experiments to try!

*Resource – Wikipedia

A Penny for Your Thoughts...

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