Currently, I am tackling a 60”x78” canvas in my dining room, it’s going to be an abstract painting and it got me thinking… People often say to me (referring to abstract art), “I don’t get it, I don’t understand.” Here’s my honest statement and earthly explanation to hopefully help. This is where my art, inspiration, and calling comes from.
First off, here’s a verse, a statement, and some comparisons I use to remind myself of this passion that I feel must be expressed.
“Here’s another way to put it: you’re here to be light,
bringing out the God-colors in the world…” Matthew 5:14 The Message
I was created in HIS image. He is the GREATEST artist (LOOK AT NATURE). Therefore, because I am created in HIS image, I too am an artist.
Blank Canvas = The potential to create a gorgeous design that will
leave a lasting mark
Color / Paints = Life
Black = Suffering, trials, pain
White = Purity, innocence, forgiveness, fresh starts
So, there are the basics. Now, let me get into the process, the journey.
The blank canvas makes me excited, exhilarated, and a little nervous. But, I get to be its creator. I get to dream and envision its possibilities and potential. Then, I get journey with it (hours, days, months, years) to be intrinsically, intuitively involved in the final masterpiece.
Intuitively adding color, adding LIFE, I pick the painting’s personality. The colors that will most complement each other. The colors that will make the painting awaken the viewers’ eyes, move hearts, and make minds stop to ponder some of me - the creator’s decisions. This is the most exciting part! I LOVE COLOR, it’s life giving. Did you know light is where all color comes from? The spectrum or something like that (I’m an artist, not a scientist). I, you, we are called to be light (if you didn’t remember that, refer back to the verse at the top of the page from The Message in Matthew).
So, when I begin to add the color, I use different brushes and different brush strokes. The paint is applied. Its consistency may be thick, watered down, runny, sticky, or... The application is a puzzle to figure out. What concoction of color and composition will work well to create an intriguing design? When I sort of get the color placed, then come the value shifts – more intense in some areas, less in others. Strengthening and weakening. Pushing and pulling. Now, that the painting has been strengthened, what’s next. It’s time for the darkest colors, maybe even black to be added. *Note, black is a neutral. When a neutral is added next to a color, the color is strengthened. It is proven that when you look at a painting, the first thing the eye sees is the variation of lightness and darkness. The lightness and darkness creates interest for the eye.* Black is probably the scariest for me to put on canvas. It is so concentrated, hard to cover, and can overtake a painting if not careful. But, once black has been placed then comes the white - another one of my favorite parts. I can go back. Forgive some areas, create fresh starts, and soften dark areas.
This process can cycle many, many times. Color, push, pull, black, white, until I feel like the painting is complete.
I love to dream. I love to create. I love to ponder. So, I meditate on the idea, the metaphor that the beginning of me was a blank canvas, God made me come to life with God-colors. Through the process and journey of life, he has guided me through circumstance (value shifts, push, pull, black, white). Because of deep dark and white light times, I am more interesting, more ABSTRACT. I’m a continual painting and design taking shape, taking form. He watches as His masterpiece unfolds. He will see me through to the end. Making sure I am finished and ready for the ultimate gallery opening.
I hope this gives some insight into my understanding and process of making abstract art and the deep desire in me to create.