100 Abstract Studies

Since taking a workshop this summer, I have playing around and experimenting with painting abstracts. One of the ways I practice is by creating small studies nearly everyday. My goal is to create 100 of these small works...I am currently up to 32! Here are a few examples from one of my sketchbooks:

Some turn out interesting and some become just a mess. It has been so freeing to not worry about making 'ugly' paintings and just practice new ideas, study color combinations and make expressive marks. I love what one of my teachers (Nancy Hillis) said about this, that what we call ugly might be something new trying to be born. And so funny too, some of what I didn't like at all, other people loved. Ah the beauty of art... 

Taking this attitude into the studio has helped me to relax, trust, and put a little fun back into going to work. As I have been transitioning from a purely intuitive/creative process painter into studying technique, color theory, composition etc I can find myself trying to make art in the 'right' way. Sometimes this causes a) me to get uptight and b) the work to suck. Learning to integrate what I am studying with my own intuition and creative spirit is an ongoing process.

I took some of this creative experimentation out for a spin on these two paintings. Both will be heading off to the Oregon Society of Artists November "200 for under $200" show. Every painting in the show is 12"x12" on a 2" wood cradle panel. All they need now are titles!

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