The Laws of Nature

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Abstracted objective painting

One of my favorite artists, Georgia O'Keeffe, once stated "It is surprising to me to see how many people separate the objective from the abstract. Objective painting is not good painting unless it is good in the abstract sense. A hill or tree cannot make a good painting just because it's a hill or a tree. It is lines and colors put together so that they say something. For me, that is the very basis of painting. The abstraction is often the most definite form for the intangible thing in myself that I can only clarify in paint." Much earlier this past year I experimented with the Fibonacci spiral based on the Golden Mean ratio of 1:1.618 (the study to the left is one of the experiments). This proportion is completely mathematical and, therefore, abstract. There's a better explanation of this in one of my earlier blogs. Although this painting is only a study, an interesting effect and new meaning occurs because I've imposed abstract design on the eggshells. Are they spiraling down a drain? Are they rising up through a tornado? Are they tunneling sideways? There's force, direction, dynamism. It's not just about broken eggshells, but about something acting on them causing them to move in a spiral. This implies not only volumetric space but also time, the fourth dimension. O'Keeffe offers us a valuable lesson in how to make our work dynamic, meaningful, and original.

11 comments:

Margaret Ryall said...

I get O' Keeffe's quote, but then again I get a lot of things about her work and her life. I appreciate your posts which raise the level of discourse about art as well as your response to my posts too. It is so important to understand where our work fits in the larger scheme of things.
I have more thoughts on the role of beauty in art on my blog today. Loving the discussions...
Margaret

Myrna said...

Wonderful painting. Your combination of creativity and intellect add so much to the blogging world. Keep us thinking!

RHCarpenter said...

I know - they are going down the disposal after making dozens of egg creams :) I like how you are taking your signature pieces - the eggs - and working more with them to arrive at something totally new and that must be what happens when one works with a series of so many paintings. You had the start of this whirlwind/tornado/vortex effect in the previous painting and now have worked even more towards it. Looking forward to what comes next :)

Kathy said...

Thank you Margaret, Myrna, and RH for participating with me on this artistic journey of understanding and creating. I love reading your comments and your blogs!

Dan Kent said...

I love the colors in this one. It is amazing to me that you consider this to be only a study. I just love the colors in combination with the Fibonacci spiral. You have the color, pattern, and depth of each individual eggshell. Beautiful work!

Dan Kent said...

Hmmm. Hope you don't mind the second comment. I've visited your blog before, of course, but now I've taken the time - about 45 minutes I think to read many of your posts. Very thought provoking. I'm at the student stage of course. Not much time for philosophy when I'm trying to make the darn pen go the right direction and learn the fundamentals of painting and color. I have admired many of the artists I've seen on line, and try to learn from them, but try to be uniquely me as well, and hope even more so with time. Anyway, I think I am your student now. :) I am complimented that you've visited my blog - honored, and a bit embarrassed too!

-Don said...

Thanks for sharing this excellent quote from Ms. O'Keeffe. My favorite part is the end of the last sentence:

"...the intangible thing in myself that I can only clarify in paint."

And that is why I paint...

-Don

Kathy said...

Welcome to my blog, Dan! And, thanks for your thoughtful and generous comments. I enjoy viewing your work and can't wait to see what you do next!

Kathy said...

Don ... yes, you hit on the part of the quote that affects me most. What a wonderful way to put it!

Carolina Moon Arts Studio said...

hi Kathy, i have viewed as many of your eggshell paintings as I can and have to admit this one is my absolute favorite! I love the dynamic motion you have put into it. If you look at it long enough it looks like it is actually moving, cycloning down into a vortex! Excellent! Thank you for sharing all your thoughts about painting. I learn something new each time! c

Kathy said...

Thanks so much, Carolyn! This is the Fibonacci Spiral.