This weeks subject at Avon Valley Artists Group was Abstract Art. We all find this very difficult and so we try to offer members a starting point of some sort, and in this case, it was small squares cut from glossy magazines with just tiny parts of the picture showing, mostly based on circles. Members were asked to build a piece of abstract painting from the small piece of design that they chose. We also suggested that they could tackle the subject in any way they liked if they found this easier,
Readers will know that I tried to get into the swing of things by painting a very loose representation of a field of poppies (see post dated 13th February) with very mixed results. I am determined to enjoy the process even if the results are no threat to the likes of Kandinsky, so before the group meeting I had another go. Still using the idea of surface texture, I was going to apply some gesso to the paper, quite thickly in places to give some texture, but on opening the tub, I discovered that the remaining third had dried hard in the tub. Not to be daunted, I used a tube of 'Fix And Grout' instead, which in some ways was better, because the paint is nicely absorbed by the gritty substance. This does not happen with gesso.
Whilst the grout paste was still wet, I used the end of a thread bobbin to make circles in the paste, and used a pencil end to draw lines in it. Then I left it to dry thoroughly. When dry, I concentrated on solely producing a visually pleasing arrangement of colours, and then used the top of a spray bottle to add circles in both white and black to the design.
Armed with these two test paintings, I went to AVA no better prepared to tackle another abstract painting, but as always, willing to have a go.
At least I feel that my attempt was a true abstract, lots of members resorted to pattern making, which I am not sure is the same thing. It was suggested that we base our ideas vaguely on circles, and I did try to keep that in mind when producing the painting.
'Blossom' Mixed Media on paper
Approx 28 x 38 cm
For anyone interested, I first washed the whole of the paper with a variety of colours including Qinachridone Purple, Ultramarine Violet, Teal Blue, Pthalo Blue and Pthalo Green. When it was completely dry, I washed over the surface with a watered down PVA paste and stuck a piece of crumpled white tissue paper to the surface. I rollered it down with a lino print roller to give very fine veins across the surface.
Again, when dry, I added white 'Fix and Grout' paste into which I embossed some circles using a bottle top.
Using the same combination of colours and plenty of 'Opera Pink' I then 'painted' the picture.
when the painting was dry, I then stuck a scattering of small dots made from a sheet of painted paper with a hole punch.
As normal, I then lightly splattered it with white acrylic gouache and felt that maybe it was finished.
I think we are all pleased that the subject does not appear again on the programme this year1