These images are details; I haven't shown you the paintings yet. They are sections taken from the four other plein air paintings I did at Waskesiu a couple of weeks ago. The details relate to a conversation we had in the Abstract Expressionism class back in August. It was a conversation that not only validated some of my own thoughts, but actually clarified my thoughts which were, up until then, rather incoherent in my own head. :)
The instructor, Alicia Popoff, is a very accomplished and well respected abstract artist, but she absolutely wanted everyone in the class to create the work that they wanted to create. Although the class was focused on Abstract Expressionism, she wanted to be clear that if we were more comfortable with a representational approach, then we were welcome to work that way. She didn't want us to feel bound to abstraction. Now here is where I felt like standing up and hugging her... she said that in reality, to a greater or lesser degree, ALL painting is abstract!!! Whaaaaa???!!! Lightbulbs!!!
She said that as soon as you take something that is three dimensional in life and reproduce it in two dimensions that it is automatically abstract. Even if the work is representational. Even if. WOW. Now obviously there is a huge, huge difference between Christopher Stott's photorealistic work being abstract and Jeane Myers' expressive work being abstract, I get that, but still- I loved this statement!
As I mentioned, I have had similar, incoherent thoughts in my head regarding my own art, so to hear a real, live, professional artist say this! Well, it was a huge moment for me! HUGE!
Yes, I am a representational artist, but I have often felt that when I break my work down what you have is a bunch of abstract marks that add up to create the story of the landscape. And that is what these details are... abstract glimpses of paintings... finished paintings that hold the full story of what I saw and felt when I was on the beach for those days in September. And they are kinda abstract!