Portrait ala Kandinsky

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I am trying to wean myself away from portraits of my brother Mike. Mike is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. Although I haven’t seen him is a couple of years, and sporadically before that, he is still in my head.

One way to remove oneself is to abstract. One of my favorite abstract painters is Wassily Kandinsky. Whereas Kandinsky sought to capture a reality beyond the visible world (1), I am trying to display a visible reality in as sparse a way as possible. Kandinsky said “We painters of our time cannot suddenly abstract from the shapes that nature offers us.” (2)

Perhaps I can apply Kandinsky’s lessons in another watercolor experiment, but today I am attempting to do precisely what he said shouldn’t be done.

Watercolor, Oil, Gouache: Abstract Portrait

Kandinskyesque Portrait
9″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

I leave it up to the viewer to decipher the symbols in this painting. Refer to the following posts for clues: Mike Crying, Young Mike, In Transition, Stylized Portraits, Klee and Jawlensky-Influenced Portraits.

  1. Helmut Friedel The Invention of Abstraction in Vasily Kandinsky edited by Helmut Friedel and Annegret Hoberg, pg 24
  2. Ibid pg 23


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