Last week, I shared my progress in understanding artistic principles as I worked on an abstract canvas piece. (If you missed it, see https://crapsmanship.com/2020/08/09/progress/.) I worked more on the canvas today, covering up a few parts I wasn’t happy with and adding some texture using a piece of screen material and some gold paste. I haven’t decided if I’m finished with it yet, but I’m liking the improvement. Now to decide which way I want to hang it. What do you think?
I used an app called “ArtRooms” to “hang” the picture in a home setting. I used the free version of the app, but you can get rid of the watermark with a paid subscription. I like them both of the imaginary settings for my art. I just wish my house looked that good!
BFF and I recently bought two big canvases (70% off at Michael’s!) for the studio, and I’ve been experimenting with an abstract piece. I used to say that abstract art was easy — just slop some paint on a canvas. But it’s surprisingly hard. My photos today will show you my progress on the big canvas, which was also my first time painting on an easel. I am now much better at:
avoiding making all the colors look like mud,
being willing to paint over a section I’m not happy with,
knowing I need to find balance,
varying the sizes of my marks, and
understanding that the piece needs to look good from afar and look interesting up close.
I still very much struggle with the ending — knowing when the piece is finished.
Here are several photos of the piece I’m working on right now. It starts with an attempt, then a total paint-over, and finally a direction to go, even though I’m not finished.
Tweaking the circles:
Eliminating the circles:Starting over:
Trying it in a vertical position:
Better, but not yet finished:
I’m also learning that art isn’t about the finished product, but rather the process and progress. Good learning!
I’ve been drawn to abstract art lately, and it looks so easy to do. Just slap some colors on the canvas and call yourself an artist. NOT! This process has surprised me with its challenge. I’ve been watching the instructional videos of Betty Krause — her work is luminous, the colors are gorgeous, and her tutorials are explicit. (See her YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_LtcQkDngMzTtnGtdl1gxA.) So I’ve tried to follow the general direction of her work. Here are two of my attempts.
The one above started life as a filler paper for a frame. I painted it with gesso, and then, ala Betty Krause, filled it with random marks using colored pencils.
I used water to spread the pencil marks around. Big slashes of black acrylic paint came next.
Here’s another one I made, following the same steps as I’ve described above.
This one’s hanging in my half bath with a wrong-color mat. Once quarantine lifts, I’ll need a trip to the craft store to try out different mat colors!
This project was the epitome of crapsmanship — working, reworking, and reworking until I get something pleasing. My original intent was to do something abstract in black, white and gold. Strangely enough, I started with a baby blue background on an 18X24 canvas. I had read that starting with an unexpected color can add interest. The picture below isn’t my canvas, but it does show you the color I began with.