Finding the abstract

Posted on April 4, 2012

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These forest images are part of a new project, a series of paintings based on a forest’s patterns over a very specific time period. When I look at these images I see patterns of light and shade, and rhythms of repeated forms. Sure, I could paint a realistic image but I find abstract images, that have been based on the real, are more evocative and allow my mind space to wander and make my own connections.

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My first step in pulling abstract paintings from these photographs is to simplify to the essentials, whether it is rhythm and pattern, or color and form. I have been using filters and other adjustments in Photoshop to simplify the photograph’s information. Next up is drawing: sometimes in the computer (I like Illustrator and vector drawing), sometimes with charcoal, pencil or pens, in a sketchbook, in a computer, or over a printed image.

Once I’ve found some promising forms the fun will really begin as I twist and layer and coax them into giving up the forest’s secret music.

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