Open Lines

I usually start compositions with closed curves. That is, if the curved lines were to be extended, they would make a shape, like a circle or an oval. In today’s experiment, I began with open curves. If we extend these lines, they would not converge to make a shape.  I tried to keep this in mind throughout the process of composing this watercolor. I did create some closed space by overlapping lines. I also widened some brush strokes so their lines (ideally one-dimensional) became (two-dimensional) shapes.*

I added spiral lines within one of the enclosed areas, to “bring it to life” (see the spiral in yesterday’s experiment).

Watercolor: Abstract - Open Lines

Open Lines
Watercolor Abstract
16″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

 


*  It occurs to me that an interesting follow up on this experiment would be to compose an open-line composition in pencil within which no lines could converge to make two dimensional shapes.

It’s A Dog’s Life

This year, I’ve begun many of my watercolor abstracts with arcs and other round brush strokes. In this experiment I began with more boxy strokes. My first ‘random’ strokes were purposely rectilinear. The outline reminded me of a dog.

Watercolor: Abstract - It's A Dog Life - Initial Strokes

It’s A Dog Life – Initial Strokes

I spent the rest of my painting sessions trying to obscure the dogginess of the composition. But after I painted the purple and yellow stripes to that end, I was reminded of another dog-like creature – a hyena.  I gave up trying to obscure the animal and added a central spiral, a symbol that represents life, in certain cultures.

Watercolor: Abstract - It's A Dog's Life

It’s A Dog’s Life
Watercolor Abstract
16″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

 

Untitled Abstract 012520

I began this experiment with a sweeping blue arc, then a minor gray blob. If you rotate the canvas below by 90 degrees counter-clockwise, you can see that the original brushstrokes trace the outline of a skull. I toyed with the idea of constructing an abstract portrait, but those first brush marks did not inspire further development in that direction.  I next scribbled some purple (ultramarine violet, to be precise) and even splattered the remainder of that color onto the paper. I laid down some yellow, hoping to accentuate the purple strokes. I added other layers of random strokes and filled in some spaces with solid color.

I could not arrive at a title for this work. I wonder what images you, the reader, see.

Watercolor: Abstract - Untitled Abstract 012520

Untitled Abstract 012520
Watercolor
12″x16″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

Indecision Resolved

It may not appear so, but I worked on this piece for several days. My first brush scribbles danced around the idea of faces. I contrasted the linear strokes with gray and blue washes. I created three or four faces consciously, but there could be more of which I am not aware. The canvas looks a little bare, so I kept thinking about what more I could do to add to the design. Having overworked paintings before, I decided that I like this one the way it is.

Watercolor: Abstract - Indecision Resolved

Indecision Resolved
Watercolor
12″x16″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

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