Sunday, June 10, 2018

Thinking Abstractly

In October I attended a workshop designed to help representational painters think and work more abstractly. Our instructor was the painter Mark Daniel Nelson. He guided us through exercises in flattening space, massing values, cropping and generally prioritizing inspiration over technique. Mark was an excellent instructor. While I never intended to become an abstract painter, I'm trying to incorporate these concepts in my paintings. It is difficult to break old habits, but I'm trying to approach each painting from a different point of view. Here are a couple of the first paintings I completed after the workshop.

My reference for this was a photo I had taken on a trip to Barcelona. It was a busy street scene, but I was able to find big shapes, simplify areas and mass values to organize the composition. 

"Watching the Dance in Barcelona", 12" x 9", oil on linen

The challenge with this painting was combining the patterned background with the objects on top of it. I focused on the shapes and flattened the space.

"Mod Oranges", 14" x 18", oil on linen   SOLD

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