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Working Without Knowing

By March 9, 2017Art

Have you ever felt yourself spinning round and round?

You’re sure with all the movement you must be moving forward. Yet, in your dizziness you can’t see the way. Making a painting is like that. I must keep working even without knowing where I’m going.

I had an unexpected phone call this week from an artist I’ve never meet. Her voice had the texture of time as she told me about how she had spent her life as a realistic painter. Now, she had a longing to free her work and explore abstraction. She had seen my paintings in the “Emergence” show and wanted to know how I’d made them. I explained to her about working in layers of color. I tried describing the sensation of emotion that propels the work.

A few moments into the call I realized that wasn’t enough. So, I asked her if she cooks without a recipe?

Abstract work happens when you’ve deeply explored the medium and yourself. Then feel compelled to mix it all up like ingredients in unexpected ways. The recipe is important, but needs to be left behind if something new is ever going to happen. Mary Oliver wrote in Upstream that “In creative work – creative work of all kinds – those who are the world’s working artists are not trying to help the world go around, but forward.” She goes on to say “Its concern is the edge, and the making of form out of the formlessness that is beyond the edge.” It’s a wonderful dizzy place indeed to go beyond the edge.

This painting I’ve been working on has that dizzy spinning feeling. Here are some work in progress shots for you to see how it has moved forward. It isn’t finished yet, it might be getting close.

I hope it will be done in time for the Open Studio…maybe… I just never know.

Abstract, oil painting in progress
Abstract, oil painting in progress
Abstract, oil painting in progress.
Abstract, oil painting in progress.

And a few detail snaps… because intricate, tiny brush strokes are sort of like herbs and spices in a painting;)

Abstract, oil painting in progress.
Abstract, oil painting in progress.
Abstract, oil painting in progress.

Author Siobhan

Artist

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