Friday, October 24, 2008

Hard To Swallow

Carnival I and II
acrylic collage on paper
both 16 x 20

She always had difficulty convincing her mother that her abstract paintings were non-objective. Upon further thought, she realized it wasn't just her mother.
She cringed when her mother thought that yesterday's paintings were about her teeth.
She hopelessly tried to defend herself with that ever useless monologue, "No mom, my work is strictly formal. It's only about the elements of art; line, color, shape, texture, and space."
But she only saw her daughter's ongoing and upcoming visits to the dentist. She couldn't get passed the teeth and gums. It was too hard for her to swallow.
Her art unexplained,
out there in a world that is confused,
only causing more confusion
and she wonders why.
Is it really only about nothing?


Distressing Delilah said... some people think a piece of art just has to be about something they see in there mind!! Beautiful work!

Anonymous said...

"But even if a canvas is strictly abstract -- that is to say neither representing, interpreting or transposing any reality from the external world, this cannot prevent our imagination from discerning subjects in it -- such as those shapes that people fancy they see in the clouds -- that had nothing to do with the painter's own intentions. The abstract painter must do all he can to avoid such representational accidents, though of course he cannot be held responsible for the spectator's whims."

Kelly's Korner said...

The thing that I like about your abstracts are that they are pleasing to look at, and I'm sure everyone sees something different in them. Sometimes they remind me of something and sometimes they don't. I think it's cool to get the artist's perspective if there was indeed something behind it... but if there's not it doesn't make it any less personal. Even if you are just doing a study of geometry your paintings look like their is love behind them, whereas some abstracts look like someone just threw paint on the canvas and slapped a price tag on it! :)

thorngren said...

I like the part about representational accidents. How can one avoid them?
Is there really anything that is about nothing?
I suppose it is natural to search for meaning in the things that we cannot understand.
Truly, my work does not represent anything other than what you see...........

Anonymous said...

This is rather thought provoking article found on a Google search about the meaning of abstract art.
If for no other reason, I really enjoy this blog because it encourages me to think about visual art in broader terms. I love these discussions.

"If a piece of abstract art is to have significance for anyone other than the artist, it needs to have something that will retain the viewer's attention, draw them in, keep them looking, and generate an emotional response.

As a viewer of abstract paintings, ask yourself the following questions:

* Am I trying to figure out what it looks like or represents rather than allowing something to emerge from what I see in front of me?
* What are the elements, colors, and textures of the painting?
* How do these interact with each other?
* What emotions do the painting evoke?
* What is the title of the painting and how is this influencing what I see?
* Have I allowed enough time to make a connection with painting?

As an artist creating abstract paintings, ask yourself the following questions:

* Do I simply want my abstract painting to be beautiful?
* Do I intend this abstract painting to convey something specific to the viewer?
* Do I want people to extract their own meaning from it?
* What in the abstract painting is going to do this?
* How do the elements interact?
* Do I want to guide the viewer's interpretation with my choice of title?
* Do I want to write a statement to accompany the painting explaining how I created it, what my thoughts were while I made it, or what I see it conveying?
* Does it matter to me if they don't "get it?"

Lawrence Quigley said...

It's funny that no one asks for the lyrics when a bird sings.

When you have to explain a piece, the war is over. Like Mishima said in Sun and Steel (paraphrased) "Words destroy reality." Art by itself in inherently incomplete-it needs the viewer and what they bring to the work.

MB, I need a couple of more beers before I can pontificate further.


Norma's Nonsense said...

I'm not an expert on art, its meaning or lack of meaning. However, I know when I look at your art, it makes me smile and I want to look at it more; and wish I could do it. Just keep creating from 'you'..........

Abby Creek Art said...

Fantastic paintings! Both of these are beautiful, Mary Beth. I love what you wrote true.

I have to add that Schatzi is pretty stylin' with that Fall hat.:)

13moons said...

I love Carnival 1.

Hmm...maybe those last paintings are about MY teeth. I have an abcess right now, so I'm probably due for more teeth falling out dreams...maybe I'll even paint about them.

As far as I am concerned, a painting speaks for itself. What is the use of giving explanations, when all is said and done? A painter has only one language. ~Pablo Picasso