Archive of ‘Abstract Art’ category
Remember that tendency towards simplicity I mentioned yesterday? We’re continuing on that theme today! Wisconsin based artist Robert Atwell creates striking paintings using shapes so simple they are almost instantly recognizable, yet still remain ambiguous.
Atwell draws upon his graphics background to great effect– the bold colors and simple forms communicate to the viewer instantly, although we may not know exactly what it is we’re seeing, we know we recognize it. A swing, a kite, a camera, who knows? It is in the not knowing that the art is found.
To see more of Robert Atwell’s work, please visit his website. You can see his work in person at his representing galleries Gilman Contemporary in Ketchum, Idaho and Simon Gallery in Morristown, New Jersey.
All images via the artist’s website. Artist found via Gilman Contemporary.
Or maybe it would have been more appropriate for this to be Painting 8. This seventh painting in my series of small color studies, Feminine Wiles, is based on Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8. Elizabeth Taylor plays Gloria Wandrous, a promiscuous party-girl model with a propensity for attracting wealthy suitors.
Although Taylor has been said to have disliked the film, her performance garnered the actress her first Oscar. Gloria is a character filled with passion and sexuality, but flawed in her own humanity. I thought it was so fitting that the palette of the film should be so full of fleshy pinks and peaches.
Elizabeth Taylor as Gloria Wandrous in Butterfield 8, acrylic on canvas panel, 6×6
To see more of my Feminine Wiles series, check out the archives here. Oh and Feminine Wiles has received its first bit of press! The Woven Tale Press included a spread on FW in their latest issue! So exciting!
Butterfield 8 image source linked above, art by Lesley Frenz aka Artsy Forager.
As human types, we are in a constant state of flux. Even when we think we aren’t moving, we are constantly evolving in this direction or that. In these paintings by Los Angeles artist Allison Miller, we see the evolution of her process, the results leaving me feeling slightly off kilter in the best possible way.
In order to gain a fresh perspective on their work, many artists will turn their canvases on their sides or upside down. But they don’t always leave them that way to continue painting. Miller allows those twists and turns to be evident in the final painting– leaving us with paint that defies gravity by dripping up and compositions that delight no matter which way the canvas is turned.
As people, we too are molded and shaped as our circumstances twist and turn, allowing us to be carved into our most recent incarnation. But soon, our human canvas will rotate once again and we’ll add yet another layer to our composition.
To see more of Allison Miller’s work, please visit her website.
All images via the artist’s website.
It’s often a challenge to put a finger on just what it is about an artist’s work that draws me in. But in the case of the work of Jessica Bell, I’m pretty sure I can pin it down. There is something in her visual language that I’m connecting to, something in the way she is communicating leading me down visual pathways into her process.
Maybe it’s the way she plays with color, planes and simple shapes to evoke a certain place or point in time. Or perhaps it is her use of visual and physical texture in subtle and spare ways. Or the process of layering only to conceal or reveal as needed. Whatever it is, there is a richness and complexity to her work that indicates an artist physically working through each composition on canvas. An organic, evolutionary process that I find so intriguing! Each piece seems a capturing not just of a work of art but a record of art making.
To see more of Jessica Bell‘s work, please visit her website.
All images via the artist’s website.
Let’s switch gears a bit, shall we? Looking back over this week’s posts so far, I’ve been in a bit of a nature-obsessed-state, so how about we throw in something different? I spotted the the work of this artist last week on the Little Paper Planes blog and knew I wanted to feature her work pronto! In these mixed media pieces, Gianna Commito is creating a playground of planes and patterns.
Just a simple shift in line creates a skewed perspective that leads us down the path to another inverted plane and then to another and another. It’s like a geometric rabbit hole that I am happy to get lost in! There’s a natural correlation to cityscapes and architecture, but I see parallels to the natural world as well ( there I go again! ). Towering cliffs and slot canyons, redwood burls and nurse logs. We are all just planes resting on top of more planes.
To see more of Gianna Commito‘s work, please visit her website. Her work can be seen in person at Rachel Uffner Gallery in New York.
All images via the Rachel Uffner Gallery site.
I am daily amazed by the talent I find in my foraging each day. But occasionally, I see one painting by an artist, think “oh that’s nice!”, then go to their website to be completely blown away. The work of Spanish-born New York based artist Pepa Prieto astounded me with her visual movement, texture and lively sense of composition. I can’t get enough!
There is so much going on, so many corners and nooks to explore in each piece, each one is like a virtual fun house and I want to get lost in them all! The artist paints these pieces intuitively, evoking a particular memory or moment in time, “a detailed snapshot of my inner dialogue”. What a beautiful conversation she is having.
To see more of Pepa Prieto‘s work, and you know you want to, please visit her website. Happy weekend, Artsies! What are you up to? We’ll be checking out Eureka’s local ArtWalk on Saturday, excited to share my finds with you next week!
All images via the artist’s website.
Like many women of my generation, I somehow missed An Affair to Remember until Meg Ryan brought it to my attention. It was beautiful, witty, romantic and sappy, just like a great chick flick is supposed to be. And Deborah Kerr’s Terry McKay was completely captivating and one of the first iconic female characters I thought of when beginning the Feminine Wiles series.
With her warm auburn locks and creamy complexion, the film’s wardrobe designer Charles Le Maire wisely capitalized on her natural palette by using autumnal peaches and oranges in her costumes peppered throughout the movie.
Deborah Kerr as Terry McKay in An Affair to Remember, acrylic on canvas panel, 6×6
The character is smart and sassy, beautiful but down to earth and practical. Characteristics perfectly portrayed with a warm, simmering palette.
I have no idea how many of these I’ll do, but am thinking of broadening soon into more contemporary film characters– maybe even by decade? Um, hello, Molly Ringwald anyone? To see more paintings in the Feminine Wiles series, check the archives here.
Film image linked above, art by Lesley Frenz aka Artsy Forager.
We are more than the color of our skin. Who we are inside and what we do are so much more, yet we’re often instantly judged on this one small detail. In his current series, Puerto Rican born artist Edgar Sanchez Cumbas explores in paint and mixed media the idea of discrimination based on skin color.
We often begin our lives being teased for what makes us different– maybe our skin is pale thanks to a Celtic heritage or perhaps we’re on the other end of the flesh color spectrum and feel excluded due to a complexion much darker than our contemporaries. Instead of embracing the beauty in our diversity, in our longing to belong we ostracize. We lose the ability to see not just see beyond color but to see all color as equal and equally beautiful.
Sanchez Cumbas explores these ideas through his sculptural paintings, the artist builds up thick layers of color and texture, which are then obscured by a large swath of color. Only small hints at the layers beneath remain visible.
To see more of Edgar Sanchez Cumbas’ work, please visit his website.
All images are via the artist’s website.
While I have a great love of work with lush, chaotic patterns and texture, there is always something so lovely and intriguing in work that embraces visual economy. Barcelona based, German born artist Sabine Finkenauer breaks down the world into simple lines and shapes, creating a signature visual language that is a little whimsical, a little retro and altogether lovely.
There is a childlike playfulness to her work, but her use of space and palette bring a sense of sophistication. Light-hearted enough to seem like Sunday afternoon doodles, looking closer and at her body of work as a whole, you can see the thought and calculation as she works her way through her use of space, line and color in drawing, painting, collage and sculpture.
Want to see more of Sabine Finkenauer‘s work? Please visit her website. Wouldn’t it be lovely to see the world in such a simple way? I’m making that a goal this week– ignore the distractions and see what is simply before me.
All images via the artist’s website.
Another week, another painting in my Feminine Wiles series to share with you! Feminine Wiles is a series of small abstract color studies based on iconic female film characters. My introduction to many of these films and characters came through my mom, with whom I share a love of sappy love stories, witty characters, and gorgeous design. One of her favorite character turns ( and mine!! ) is Barbara Streisand as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl.
images found here here here and here
I’ve always loved the palette of this film– filled with warm earthy browns and oranges, highlighted with delicate pinks and passionate reds– but when thinking about this project, I was struck by the reoccurring use of lavender hues on and around Fanny. Of course, this could have something to do with how the cool hues so beautifully compliment Streisand’s creamy complexion! But I like to think that costume designer Irene Sharaff and the production team were delicately clueing the audience in to the fact that the character of this young girl from Henry Street was destined for greatness.
Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl by Lesley Frenz
acrylic on canvas panel, 6×6
Purples hues are often associated with royalty, riches and power. So it isn’t surprising that Fanny would often assume a lavender glow. She was a star, but unlike Jo Stockton, one of her own making. She was confident in her talent and passionate in her pursuit of fame and stardom, even at personal loss.
Funny Girl still found here
In the end, despite setbacks and heartache, Fanny perseveres and shows that the strong will always survive. I’ve always thought there were great lessons to be learnt from Funny Girl– of tenacity, talent, love, humility and perseverance. Oh and let’s not forget that unbelievably beautiful voice!
To see more from the Feminine Wiles series, check out the archives here. Next week, a polarizing character and one of the most iconic! Hint: drapery.
Film image sources linked above, art images by Lesley Frenz.