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Ian's Challenge - March

This month’s painting for the Ian Challenge is entitled Untitled 5.

It is one of several abstract pieces inspired by morning walks through Saddle River Park. All with the exception of this piece they are portrayed horizontally suggesting a landscapes.

This painting developed from the torn edges of the paper I had found in my drawer. I wanted the edges to play a part in the painting. I believe this may be one reason why most of the elements are vertical in the painting.

When painting an abstract piece, I don’t go into it with a predisposed idea. It is more of a dialogue between me, and the canvas telling me which direction to take with it. This interchange happens through visual impulses and what feels right. The canvas size, shape and sometimes color initiate the conversation. It ends when there is nothing left to say. Working with watercolor made this very difficult at first because it is such a direct medium.

When working with oil, the process is reversed in a sense. You can work from dark to light, whereas in watercolor the opposite is true. The white of the paper dictates the whites (or lighter areas) of the work and you proceed to work in the darker areas. So for this reason, painting a non-representational piece in watercolor presents a dilemma. How do you begin to paint to an end result when you don’t have any idea of what that end result is?

You just start talking, thinking, and working through the discussion until it either ends well with a good conversation and achieve a final piece or badly and ends up in the trash.

I think its best not to inhibit your impression on my art by manipulating your ideas and feelings with my words. Rather I would prefer that you have your own exchange with the painting drawing your own conclusion from it. They might be the same as mine and they might not. The important thing is to engage in conversation to broaden one’s horizons and perspective.


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