Thursday, March 8, 2012

Abstract Workshop #3

Give and Take         J. C. Phillipps       2012

You thought I'd forgotten all about my abstract paintings, hadn't you?  Well I didn't.  Nope.  I was just busy will my collage illustrations and those illos take up a lot of space in my studio.  Now that I am (very nearly) done with the book, I decided that I would get back into the abstract game.

I have decided that I am drawn to rectangles right now.  I can enjoy as many circles and round things in other people's work - but I keep coming back to the rectangle in my own.  I think it has something to do with loving my flat brushes.

I actually did Soft Rush first.  (Below.)  It was much bigger, but soon became a hot mess.  Still, there were areas I liked a lot.  So I pulled out a smaller mat and started moving in around the paper Ouija board-style searching, searching, searching.  This is not an uncommon trick among artists.  If you don't like your big painting, see if there's a small painting hiding somewhere in there.  And there was!

Soft Rush            J. C. Phillipps              2012

One of the things I'm trying to focus on while delving into this scary world of abstract is balance.  Active space v. calm space.  Dark space v. light space.  I find that in order for me to be happy with my abstracts there really needs to be a good portion of calm space.

Soft Rush is a very different color palette for me because I'm not really a pink girl.  But I started with a photograph of a blue window sill against a brick wall and that's how the pinks came out.

I tried to get back to my happy place in the world of blues and browns for Give and Take. (top) I started completely cold on this one, not having a clue as to what I wanted to do, only that I wanted to use blues and browns.  I laid down the back wash of colors first and after that dried, I just let it tell me what to do.  Put a blue rectangle here.  Lift some color there.  Leave some areas calm.  Darken these boxes.  No!  Too dark!  Lift!  Lift!

For a while I thought I might need to add some black lines.  But I made a print of it and put the lines in and thought it looked messy and complicated.  There's something light and floaty about it now, and I like that feeling.

I have a "show" at the Simsbury Library in April, which means my art will be hanging on a wall in the Simsbury library.  I thought it would be a good place to try out the abstracts.  I bought some nice bamboo frames at Jerry's and love popping the pieces in there.  Paintings always look so polished when they are framed nicely, don't they?

I have a really big frame I want to fill too.  Nervous!!!!

I think the trick is to plan on messing up some pieces of paper, then it will come.  Kinds like Field of Dreams, "If you splash some paint on the paper, the art will come."

Happy Thursday!


Äiti said...

These are great...I love hearing about your process and your honesty about working outside your comfort zone.

As you know, I am a pink girl and was instantly drawn to Soft Rush. But, once I saw Give and Take framed, I was quite moved by the glow there on the left side...changed the whole thing for me. I loved it.

Julie_c said...

Thanks Shirl. I'm still very uncertain when it comes to these paintings so your positive comments mean a lot.

Angela said...

These are beautiful Julie. They look calm and balanced to me. I think it's pretty darn cool you are applying your talents in another area!