Saturday 19 December 2009

Abstracting the Landscape

Whenever I visit a gallery it tends to be the abstracts that draw my attention. If you had asked me why that was, or what I thought made a good abstract I am not sure I could have told you and maybe it was for this reason that I had toyed with, but not felt confident enough to produce abstract work of my own.

This year I have met two abstract artists here in the Pyrenees Orientales, each of whom has a very different approach and style and recently we have begun to meet and paint together once a month.  It is through working with these two women that I have begun to really appreciate the difference between painting for the sake of the paint and painting to make pictures. I have taken my first few steps into this new world of paint.  In producing three abstracts of my own I have started to appreciate just how much the abstract relies on the paint and its application. The abstract has to speak for itself, there is no picture telling a story only the paint and its effect on the viewer.

Composition, colour, texture, layering, mark making – each element of the abstract painting is all important if a successful result is to be achieved.  I suppose what I was struggling with was the question of how I would know whether I had achieved a successful abstract and only time will tell whether I can answer that for myself.  In the meantime, just take a look at the styles of my two friends.

First there is Jennifer Lussman who has been working this way for a long time now.  Her strong abstracts resonate and glow, textures are really important and the work very tactile.

Then there is Mary Jose.  Mary started out as a watercolour artist and has only made the move to abstraction in the last year, using a pouring technique to create her pieces.  She  has a wonderful colour sense and builds up thin layers of paint to create her effects, bringing in brush hand knife work in the finishing stages.

Encouraged by these two women I have produced my first two pieces that you can see here and at the top of this blog.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of paint for the sake of itself as well as using a very limited palette on a black background.  I am now proposing to look at ways to simplify my landscapes and my husband has suggested I call the process ‘extraction’ rather than ‘abstraction’ ! I rather like that idea.


  1. Hi Annie
    really enjoying your work just discovering you from Marks fb

  2. Annie
    Im interested in what you are talking about Ive been painting for 18 years now and very attach to abstract yet all the different styles have there appeal the main reason for painting for me is all about my Feelings
    So when i view art i feel it
    its what you get inside. your story
    your feelings