Abstraction & Emotion

abstract oil painting
Abstraction, oil on canvas

When I was a child and wanted to be an artist I definitely thought I would be a realistic artist. It didn’t take me very long, though, to realize I didn’t have the patience to painstakingly practice the art of realism.While I enjoyed drawing eyeballs and other realistic images, I never got the hang of putting it all together to draw a person or landscape.

I think now, with my years of high school and college education under my belt, I have a better handle on realism. Things may not turn out perfectly awesome all the time but I can paint in a realistic manner. (Maybe that was part of the problem – I was drawing as a child instead of painting).

Overall, I think I just don’t like realism all that much. People who can proficiently paint life-like images are talented and inspiring, I just don’t want to be one of them. I’d rather have my paintings remind you of something you like or something you’ve felt.

So while I may claim to paint people or landscapes, they may not actually look like them. Or my art may be completely abstracted, full of different colors and brushstrokes like in Abstraction above.

Part of me used to want to dislike abstract art. I really enjoyed realism as a child and I really wanted to be good at it (without overexerting myself on trying). Over time I found that the colors and brushstrokes used in a work of art meant more to me than the full image. That the work that went into making the art was just as important as the end result.

Abstraction was meant to be completely abstract. Just bright colors and white spaces. And even though I didn’t have a particular emotion or feeling in mind while I painted it, I think something is still communicated.

Art as a Feeling

In some ways art helps me express things. It helps me understand what I’m feeling. That’s what my senior portfolio was all about. Even now I want my art to show some sort of emotion. To get the people viewing it to see something familiar in my work.

That’s what art does for me anyway, and I would like my art to do the same. When I see a work of art that’s interesting to me, it really speaks to me in some way that I think of how it relates to my life or my feelings that day. Music does the same thing. There’s just something about seeing a painting or hearing a song that expresses exactly what you’re feeling. Knowing that someone else is able to put into words or brushstrokes what you’ve been thinking in a less eloquent way is reliving. For me at least.

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