Ian's Challenge - December - Abstraction

Abstraction is the last watercolor in a series of work investigating color as a way to convey depth and spatial dimension on a flat surface. At that time, I was also interested in color field painting, process art, and surrealism. I consider this piece to be the most accomplished of the series because it contains and speaks to all the elements I was exploring.

I was first introduced to art not in a museum or book but in church. My local parish church is a visual realm in which the air itself glows from the light permeating the stained glass. The interior space details an alternate reality. It evokes a presence. I was entranced by the space and I loved being there. It was transformative. Since then, art and spirituality have become synonymous.

At first the great masters of the Renaissance captivated my interest. Their work displays an ingenious use of paint to depict a familiar, believable realism. As I learned more about art, I became less interested in the lure of realism and the scientific methods used to create the illusion of reality.

I began searching for a subject that would inspire those same feelings I felt being in that nonphysical space I experienced in church. Realism is narrative and a false reality. An illusion of what is.

Abstraction however, evokes emotion and expression. The color, texture, and dynamics within the piece become the subject. What you see is real. There is no illusion. There is often nothing within the piece that is recognizable, thus it is true to itself. What you see is what you get, or is it? Abstraction is confrontational. It demands from the viewer to look, to contemplate, to suspect, to wonder, to turn inwardly for answers. That’s what I love about Abstraction.

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