Abstract Painting: a Powerful Artistic Language
Discover an art that does not attempt to represent external reality, but seeks to achieve its effect using shapes, forms, colors, and textures. We asked four painters what Abstract Art means to them and in what state-of-mind they fine themselves when creating. Whether they call it an emotional, cerebral or visceral art form, they all share one thing — They never know what the final result will be. Be prepared to think more abstractly!
Trusting your gut instincts
Yama – Founder of Kahmili
What are the main motifs and sources of inspiration for your artwork?
I moved to Boston from Israel 3 years ago, following my spouse who got a job opportunity. Before that I was an independent interior designer, and the move tore me from my career, family and friends. Yet, the first couple of months in that new life were very exciting to me, but as we got into a routine, I entered a very dark and lonely period, painfully learning how connected I was to my homeland’s language, culture and day to day habits. To cope with that state-of-mind, and now that I had spare time – I could finally devote myself into writing poetry, something I always wished to do.
As I worked on publishing my first poetry book I was looking to find a visual representation to each poem, and started exploring different materials, colors and textures – wire, textile and canvas – until I finally found myself in abstract and figurative art, proven to best represent my inner world. I since produced a series of artworks, exhibited in several galleries across the nation, including NYC and Boston. I also opened my own studio where I teach hands-on art and crafts.
While I was in an emotional turmoil on the first steps of my journey, I know today that it could not have been different for me, and that the challenges I met greatly contributed to my art and the way I express myself. The exploratory process of finding the ‘right’ type of art, media and content is definitely a never ending journey.
How do you approach the combination of shapes and colors?
I can’t say if I have a single way to approach a new painting or other type of art. I rarely have a clear idea where the creative journey will take me. When I paint, I start by layering the base colors until I get the right texture that ‘calls’ me to add clearer shapes on it. I treat colors in a very intuitive manner, hardly ever planning what will go where. I guess this is one of the reasons why the outcome is so abstract, it is a mere subconscious stream of shapes and colors that bubbles through me and find its way to the canvas. This is also quite the same for how I complete a work, I just ‘know’ I’m done.
You lead a series of very diverse workshops, including knitting, photography, clay design, embroidery and much more. How did you get into all these creative skills?
I was always attracted by art, craft and design, I used to hang around in galleries and attend different art and hands-on crafts workshops. I always insisted on having my own space at home where I could create and explore (sometimes even on the expanse of the dining room 🙂 ). I spend a lot of time in craft shops and fairs to get inspiration and materials which I later experiment with at my own small-scale studio. When I find a material or a type of art that I could emotionally connect to I tend to dive into it, immerse myself in it until I find my own creative voice with it.
Harmony through colors and shapes
Andrada – Founder of Andrade Studio Art
You give great importance to materials and mediums to convey emotions and stories in your paintings. Can you tell us more about this?
I like to incorporate different materials in my paintings, especially handmade paper and fibers, they give a unique feeling to each work. The textures created make the viewer want to touch the painting, feel the creative process, it is a call for self-reflection.
My painting process involves multiple layers of paint and mixed media or raw pigments. Almost all my artworks have very sophisticated textures, all dedicated to my dearest inspiration: the powerful, dramatic and serene natural world.
I am also in love with the underwater world. I’m an avid diver and I cherish the total quietness that can only be found there. So when I cannot dive, I create my special reef and deep dive into my own work.
How do you want people to feel when viewing your paintings?
I wish to create a different emotion in each person depending on their mood and personal story. Everyone should see and feel something different. I find it very difficult to explain what my work is about or what inspired me to create this or that particular piece. When I start a work I don’t have a very well defined idea in my mind. I just paint and my inspiration comes during the process. Sometimes it’s a song, sometimes memories, sometimes a poem, it varies. I like to incorporate words in my paintings, words that I hear at a certain time and stick with me for a long time.
What have been some of your most successful (and even unexpected) experiments?
Because I get bored very easily, I do a lot of experiments and feel the need to change my style very often. I always search for new methods to improve my work. One of the paintings I love the most is “Blue Hole”, one of my best accidents. I worked for a long time on this painting and because I didn’t like it, I was ready to destroy it; then something happened: I suddenly saw the most beautiful blue spot that made me think about the Blue Hole in Belize (Blue Hole is a famous diving spot in the Caribbean Sea). Now I keep the painting on my wall and after many years, I still find very mysterious and inspiring each time I look at it.
How would you describe the harmony and mystery of your paintings, from colors and light to shapes and images?
I use colors and light in the same manner as a musician uses notes to create harmony. Then a simple brush stroke or knife movement can create a special mood, induce mystery to a painting. The colors harmonized with the shapes and the lights give birth to a connection that makes them work together and create harmony.
How Cezanne stated, “When paintings are done right, harmony appears by itself.”
Art as a form of therapy
I have been on a healing journey through art these last few years. My Father passed away in Aug 2013; Art journalling and painting became part of my grieving and healing journey. Art is very meditative & therapeutic. I didn’t really start painting till early 2014 after I traveled to Costa Rica on an Art Retreat after my Father’s passing! My style of Art is very intuitive, playful and from the heart. I don’t have a plan when I start painting and like to experiment with different mediums, lots of layers and textures.
Your colors bring magic to your paintings. How do you approach the use of colors in your artwork?
I’ve always had a love for Color & Creativity from a young age. I went to college for Fashion Merchandising & Design at the University of Rhode Island. I lived for 7 years in New York City working for various large Fashion Companies including; Levi Strauss & Co., Capelli New York, Coach Inc. and Victorinox Swiss Army. In 2011 I was laid off from my Corporate Sales Job in Boston from Victorinox Swiss Army. This truly was the best day of my life! I was burnt out, tired and didn’t realize how miserable I was till I was out of Corporate America.
All of my work is very intuitive and I use colors that speak to me. In all of my artwork I don’t really have a plan when I begin and use lots of layers and textures. My goal is to spread some happiness in this world.
What are your preferred painting method and material to work with colors?
I’ve recently moved into my own Art Studio space with 12 other Artists in Amesbury, MA in Aug 2017. Now I have space to paint big and am not painting on my kitchen floor. I even bought an easel for the first time too!! Painting big is my new love with heavy body acrylic paint; Golden is my favorite brand but I also like mixing it with craft paint such as Martha Stewart’s Paints found at Target. I love painting on canvas/wood using acrylic ink, fluid acrylics, spray bottle with water, mixed media & lots of texture created from credit cards, found materials, forks, stamps,skewers, bubblewrap, etc.
I love playing with new mediums and recently started experimenting with alcohol inks on Yupo Paper. I love the unexpected! In 2018, I’m looking forward to playing with gouache. It’s been on my list of mediums to try along with painting on masonite. A lot of my inspiration for my artwork is from my travel adventures including, Costa Rica, Morocco, Italy and Mexico.
You create colorful hand painted Christmas ornaments. What makes Christmas so magical for you?
I’ve been busy this Holiday Season and have been having fun creating hand painted ornaments. Christmas is a magical time of year to spend with family, friends and the ones you love. A lot of people can become stressed during the Holidays but we all have a choice on how we want to feel. In my new Art studio I started Creative Workshops for people to come and release their inner creativity. I believe we are all creative but we need a space to play and tap into that. A lot of my friends are in Corporate jobs where they are stressed out and tired. My Art Studio space is a place to come and unwind and let your creative juices flow. New for 2018 will be Free Form Creative Expression Workshops.
Abstract is an artistic language
Lisa, Founder of LisaCarney Art
When did you realize your attraction for the Arts?
I have always been doodling and singing. But it wasn’t until I finished college in marketing that I realized that I needed to take seriously what came naturally to me. So, I started singing in Rock bands and decided to treat myself and continue onto university in visual arts.
How did your skills and style develop along the years?
Trying different techniques and mediums has allowed me to discover that I like to work spontaneously with acrylics. And this is how I’ve been working for the last several years. So, I guess my skill and style developed by cultivating this approach.
Abstract art is seen as an “artistic form of language”, what’s your opinion about that?
I totally agree. Abstract art is very personal.Weather it be emotional or cerebral, it is human expression.
What are your artistic plans for 2018?
To stop working against myself. For years I have struggled to cut my body of work down to one style. But that’s just not me. I would be bored to death if I only painted floral landscapes. I’m like a tornado when I create, I take everything in my passage, whip up a few paintings at a time then let them out into the universe.
Looking to make your passion come to life? Join Keenobby’s community of makers in just a few clicks.
This holiday season, give the gift of a Keenobby experience. From terrarium workshops to weaving workshops, we have an experience your loved one will enjoy.
Written by Keenobby