One Week

I think Saturday was the hardest. Usually, we did something just for fun on Saturdays. Went for a long walk or a drive or to the park or something.

And this Saturday, I finished an afghan and was sad all day.

Yesterday I went for a walk and now my house and walking pants are full of ticks. Serves me right, I guess, for going outside.

I have been hatewatching abstract artists on YouTube. I was hoping they could help me with color theory, but really, just getting into Adobe Color has helped with that.

There are two things I dislike about these artists–the reason I hatewatch. One is that I want them to explain how and why they decide to keep going. Because I have watched a lot of videos where the artist had a really nice painting and decided it needed more layers. And then had an ugly painting.

And, like, sure, maybe we’re having an aesthetic disagreement on what is lovely or when something is finished, but since they don’t (or can’t) articulate why they’re keeping on keeping on, it’s hard to say.

Yesterday, I saw a woman painting on these two olive green abstract pieces. They were ugly. Like so ugly you couldn’t look away. But she was talking through her process of deciding when and how to add more green (no!!!!!) and as much as I didn’t like the paintings, I think I got what she liked about them, what was pleasing her. And at that point, I wasn’t hatewatching anymore. I was just watching the interesting process of a person making some painting I didn’t like. I still don’t get why she liked them, but I trusted that she did and that they were doing for her exactly what she wanted them to do.

So, that was nice.

But the other thing I dislike about these abstract paintings is that a lot of these artists seem to think that “abstract” and “unintentional” mean the same thing. Like, if your painting starts to mean anything, then you’ve failed.

And I think you should have reasons for what you do. And with something like abstract painting, I don’t need for you to be trying to capture, say, the essence of a soul in distress. But “I’m doing this because it’s fun.” or “because I like it.” is good enough for me.

But, like, you must have some reason for doing the thing. And it irritates me to watch so many videos where art seems to happen solely by accident, without any reason from the artist.

One thought on “One Week

  1. When we’re talking about abstract art it all seems to get lumped into one category: abstract. But there are really two types: (1) the non-representational (it isn’t supposed to be anything) and (2) an actual abstraction of the subject matter.

    Take Mondrian & Rothko, both from the color field painters of abstract expressionists — Mondrian’s squares, that was his simplification of trees. Rothko: those were just colors that really didn’t represent any subject matter. He was more interested in how the colors acted/reacted when viewed.

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