Monday, March 28, 2011

abstract design and concept

about 12x6 pastel on Uart

I said that I would write more about reducing shape and simplifying.
Reducing and simplifying is not just about eliminating detail (although I will talk more about that later) it's much bigger than that.  To work out my ideas I  revisited the Friday's painting in which I lost my focus.
Why did it not work? The main reason was because the concept (a tumultuous Spring sky and the way the light played on the landscape) was not supported by a good abstract design. Good abstract design which appears in strong compositions is the key upon which all good paintings are built. Creating a notan helps and I hate to admit it's a step I skipped that Friday afternoon. So now I have redone it.
Just using my memory I created new sketches and  grisaille. With a limited palette I made a new pastel with a better design and feel.  Now I think I will go back on site and try it again in plein air.


Najma Velshi said...

Hi Loriann,

I am enjoying your daily posts immensely-I paint very instinctively, and with limited academic training.

Love the colours in your work.

loriann said...

Hi Najma!

Thanks for taking the time to read my posts each day. Painting instinctively is a very good way to paint. Learning the reasons why paintings work and don't work will always strengthen your work. While academic training can be helpful, it doesn't guarantee the passion necessary to make a painter love the process. So keep painting and learning! I will visit your site when I have a moment!

SamArtDog said...

You are so right! You've proved that simplifying does not mean skipping steps. Thanks for yet another good lesson.
Btw, the light makes this one a real fave!

Caroline said...

You are simplifying yet if you look closely at your work there is a lot to actually look at. To me I am still seeing detail, shape, good composition etc. Was it in your last post that someone mentioned how dynamic painting within a square shape is, that it creates a different energy. I am thinking about trying a square canvas later on as I am interested to see the difference. I have painted in a square before and it was great. Lovely painting Loriann. Thanks for the thoughtful post.

Double "D" said...

Hi B,
You know, you really should start charging
for your lessons and reminders. Your information is
always so insightful and useful.

Where does the word notan come from. Is it french?
I've always called them thumbnails, roughs and initial sketches. I think Carolyn is right, as you simplify your paintings it allows the viewers to use more imagination
and thought that fills in the details. It's a more exciting experience for the viewer.

Always love to see your "notans".
It's a beautiful pastel with a lovely simple focal point and composition. You must be feeling better, yes?

Anonymous said...

Hi Lorrian,
Right on-absolutely correct-about having an underlying abstract design & doing notans.
Hopefully you will keep your notans in a small
portfolio. It would be interesting to build up a
collection because not only will it provide ideas for future paintings it will serve as a roadmap of your
artistic journey.


loriann said...

Hi Sam, You are so right. When you simplify you can not skip fact maybe it's more important to have good planning. Thanks about the light!!!!

Thanks Caroline! Painting on a square is my absolute fave. Good planning is essential. Tension in a square is so very different. Much harder to work on, but sooooo exciting! Good luck!

loriann said...

Hi PB,
Thanks so much . I am delighted to hear that my posts are useful to someone as knowledgeable as you!
Ok, here is my explanation of notan. A notan is a black and white design that translates light and form into flat shapes- just design. I think it is based in Japanese design. A notan helps you find the patterns of light a dark. I did a number of very quick notans that identified 4 values.
Good stuff, eh?
As for my health update... today I taught for the first time since December 17th!!!! After 2 1/2 hours I was exhausted, yet continued and went to PT. Rested, then back to the studio. Rested than outside to paint. I am much better, yet my stamina is stuff for the hamster. I am working hard to strengthen the cut back muscles and at PT I am finally up to 2 pound weights!!! Yay!
Life is great! I think that by summer I will not even remember this!
Thanks for asking PB! You always rock! -b

loriann said...

Hi NJ, that's a great idea! Right now they are in my sketch book..let me think about this..hmmmmmmmm.