Back to Abstract?

I’ve been working on a couple of watercolors. The one below is a combination pen and ink and watercolor. I guess that makes it a mixed media work. At any rate, I don’t really know if it is abstract or not. It is definitely nonrepresentational – of the visible world.

Using my icons

I chose to use squiggly lines for the olfactory sense; musical notes for the sense of hearing; concentric arcs for sound waves; interlocking “C”s for memory; a long pen-and-ink arrow – because Paul Klee used it, and it can be used for anything from a phallic symbol, to a means of directing the viewers attention; I use the spiral as a multi-purpose symbol – it is a form that occurs in nature quite frequently, from galaxies of stars, to hurricanes, to undersea creatures.

Expression of an idea

Although I have not blogged recently about autism or my older brother who is autistic, I am fascinated by the concept of the invisible, impenetrable barrier that prevents me from understanding what is going on inside his head. I have played with this idea in previous studies, but today I tried it on a grander scale.

Divided paper

The paper is divided diagonally with a double line. This is the barrier. From the upper left corner, I drew one line to a point 2/3 of the way down the right edge of the paper and another to a point 1/3 of the way down the paper. The result appears as if they are guides for a perspective drawing. My intention was to show different planes, as in a cubistic painting. This aspect of the painting didn’t seem to work out.

I purposely chose muted colors for the upper half of the painting, which represents my world, as the observer. Below the barrier, is what could be happening in the world of someone who is unable to communicate. I used more saturated colors for this portion.

Today’s study

Abstract watercolor study of barriers

Abstract Barrier Study
7″x10″ 140# Rough Watercolor Paper

Questions for abstract artists:

Do you have an idea in mind when you begin a painting?  Is your mind engaged, or do you use an automatic process?

Questions for anybody:

Do you consider the above study an abstract work, even though I used a quasi narrative means of composing it?

I would value any feedback.

2 thoughts on “Back to Abstract?

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