Abstraction is Heaven


on Fabriano 300# quarter sheet

This painting started out as a plein air on my patio hoping to capture my azaleas in full bloom. I was tittering away (bored out of my mind!) with a simple drawing and then laying in some color. I was uninspired to say the least. Then it hit me why am I trying to depict these flowers in a realistic way when I prefer not to? I was bored out of my mind trying to get the look of realism in these flowers. If you are wondering if I am making excuses, I can have done it: Daring Watercolor #7 way too fussy for me. As I painted that iris, I never felt the creative zing that I love to paint with.

I decided that saturated wet on wet was my technique of choice for this painting. I discovered something magical in this session. I think it would be easier to outline what I did.

  • I wet both sides of paper using a plexi-glass as my surface, it sticks like glue. My surface stays workable up to 2 1/2, this session was an hour long.
  • I always use fresh paint from the tube, your colors are more vivid.
  • I constantly turned my board around and I brushed on color only where I knew it belonged, intuitive painting through the entire process.
  • I kept turning and turning the board seeing it as a puzzle rather than what I “should” do.
  • I applied colors only when I knew what belonged at that particular area. I actually “see” the color, sometimes I feel the color should go there, all intuitive.
  • I didn’t paint this with a particular orientation in mind.
  • After the painting was finished, I turned the painting around and around until the correct orientation revealed itself.

I truly liked this process because it was as though I tricked my mind in reacting and accessing the creative in me rather than relying on my left brain for design decisions. I have an inner design and color scheme that often befuddles me. It will often turn negative and I fight against the inner critic that says something isn’t balanced. Then I do the hard work of trying to balance a painting or make it better. Sometimes it takes relying on the creative intuition for the solution, it was easy for me to tap into that with this technique.

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.


25 thoughts on “Abstraction is Heaven

    1. Keep at it and be careful that you don’t envy other artists or keep your eyes on what they do or can produce. Once I let that go, I was able to concentrate on my own work and perspective. We all have a creative voice to share and being true to oneself is to find our own. The first step is not to compare yourself to other artists or wished that you can do what they do. It goes beyond just techniques, paint or paper, it is a creative perspective and emotion all its own. It takes work and you can do it 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. magnificent Miss M! love the fresh free fury with which you expressed to us the glorious saturated color!! bold. said like you meant it. …. bored. Then NOT! perfect 🙂
    **** I would Frame this one. ***
    I thought about it, wondering how. how to optimise its assets, camouflage anything that was required.
    So. I’d suggest … a white double matt (adds depth/dimension) and the matt be about 4-5 inches at least wide. 5″ Then the frame… off white. not dark. but a soft pale silvered pewter look. wide frame. not narrow, nor ‘ornate’ Just simple.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this one too. Interesting to hear also about the process — and in particular its shifting orientation while you were working. Sounds like a great way to paint. If you frame this one, it will go well with the waterfall that you said you’re framing. The two would look super together.


    1. I am finding that once I have accessed my creative side (right brain) more and more it is easier and easier to reach. I think that the left brain does have an important job but knowing how to tap into the right more is the ticket, at least for me it is. Painting saturated wet on wet gives such a wonderful soft look which I love. You can go back in once the painting is bone dry and add more definition or dry brush to liven it up to the degree you want. Sometimes I leave it alone because that soft look is just what I want.


  3. I love this painting. When I work from life or photos, I find it hard to abstract – but I work at it. Abstraction, even nonrepresentational, tends to lean toward whatever I begin to see as I work. One thing I’ve done in the past that was fun is to start by drawing with my off hand. Everything goes wonky right away,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I am finding that it gets easier to go abstract when I let the inner creative rule the how and why of an abstraction. I am learning how to tap into that but it can be difficult because our left analytical brain wants to connect the dots right away. I have been tricking myself (and stretching) to get into that mode.

      Liked by 1 person

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