Another Fish Story… I mean Study

Thoughts about abstraction

Yesterday I painted a study of hands that were doing a specific job: taking a fish and preparing it to be eaten. I’ve been thinking of how I would go about abstracting the image of these working hands. Working from my image, I could try to convey some of the following ideas: preparing food to eat; taking the life of a fish for sustenance; showing that many people think fish is what comes in shrink-wrapped plastic containers at the supermarket; or other narrative ideas.

However, I don’t think this is the way to go. In the case of the study below, I worked from a photograph that I took. There must have been some reason that I snapped the picture when I did; something that attracted me to the image before my eyes. I don’t think that I had a narrative in mind at the time. The visual image probably didn’t even get to my conscious mind. The composition attracted me. Therefore, it is reasonable to start with the image and not a backstory.

My starting point in the abstraction process therefore would be from a design standpoint. That is, I should begin by looking at the shapes in the study (of the fingers, the relationship between the hands and the fish or some visual element) and try simplifying them to a single line, two at most (as Paul Klee advises). 

I must think about that during the next few days. In a way it is similar to the problem of abstracting gestures into meaningful lines. However, the message sent by images of working hands is a little different that that sent by expressive gestures. I’ll have to think about that too.

Today’s study

Hands Preparing a Trout

Working Hands – Preparing Fish
7″x10″ 140# Rough Watercolor Block

 

2 thoughts on “Another Fish Story… I mean Study

Leave a Reply to davisbrotherlylove Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: