Monday, February 5, 2018

Abstract or non-abstract

I feel confused about the definition of abstract art lately. It is assumed that abstract art is characterized by showing elements in a completely different way, either through lines, geometric figures or spots, but never in a realistic way.  Although in this style the distorted elements may be allowed to bear a certain similarity with the real ones, what exceeds certain limits should never be considered abstract. There are other names for art that, even showing what it really is (a flower is a flower, a bird is a bird, etc.) does not belong to the realistic style.

It is true that sometimes it is difficult to classify a style, however we should stick to certain parameters. For example: the blurred image of a flower is not an abstract, but it is a stain that represents a flower. Perhaps it is because abstract art is considered more contemporary than others, but in recent times many describe what is not abstract.

It is assumed that abstract art is based on simplicity, even in a large composition, it should be difficult to identify the meaning of each element itself. It is supposed to leave a certain interpretation released to the imagination and to what the very composition of forms and colors represent,  it is like an own and hidden language of the soul that can not be assimilated to what we see with our eyes in reality and, for this reason, each artist develops a different language that is far from the rest of styles.

When we make an abstract work we move away from the traditional point of view, for which we need an important dose of internal freedom that helps us to disassociate ourselves from the old school. We must be able to reflect what we see, feel or think without using traditional visual tools. It can take years to achieve an abstract style that identifies us, it is an interior and creative path totally different from traditional art, it is a path full of stones, since any appreciation of what we do will be highly subjective. To do this, we must learn to know the strength of a line or a color, what it means for us, without taking into account what the rest of humanity considers correct or not in painting. Unlike traditional art, no one can take us by the hand to learn or tell us that that eye or that flower is not well made. Only we know what and how we want to show it.

I must admit that sometimes I also commit the imprudence of describing some of my works as abstract when, deep down, I know perfectly well that they are not really. But, what we can't do is to qualify as abstract what is not at all, for example:

This is abstract, shapes and colors and really don't have to do with reality:

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This is figurative abstract, there are elements that resemble to much the human body:

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This, even when I call it abstract, I honestly do not consider it that way, it could almost be a naive minimalist style:

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And this is not abstract at all, it does not matter if the lines are not entirely correct, or if the image is blurred, or if it does not have many details, or the reason we want to invent, can be anything other than abstract:

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My friends, if you want to paint abstract works the most important thing is to let yourself go, forget everything you've learned and find that sublime connection between lines, spots, colors and your heart.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A different touch

Hi friends! I want to show you Selena Wagner's photographs today. As we have said on other occasions, the same object can be portrayed in many different ways and this depends on the artist's vision. We can see many versions of famous monuments or emblematic sites, but only a few can show a different point of view. This is what happens with Selena's, she shows us a different and personal version highlighting the symbolic characteristic of the composition. Although the composition itself is extremely important, in this case we find certain elements that make the difference, sometimes because of its symbolic meaning, in others because of its aesthetics in combination of visual lines and because of having found the artist an out of place element that shows a different result than normally expected.

The best conclusion we can draw is that Selena has her own style, a style that comes to us through her own vision of the world and her great ability to rescue the symbology either through elements, shapes or lights. I invite you to click on the photos to enlarge them and to know more about this great artist.

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Light and Beauty

Today, I want to show you  Joseph Kelly's artworks. Photography about nature is one of his main lines (but not the only one), nevertheless this artist is more interested in what a capture transmits or moves than in the forms themselves. 

Each photographer shows the world from his/her own eyes, so it is extremely interesting to know that external vision, from another perspective, that maybe we ourselves would not be able to see. In his works, Joseph shows us a world of color and light, perhaps as a representation of his interior through the external objects he captures. Beauty is the common denominator of his works, which, although at some point they have a touch of drama, this only highlights the beautiful. 

Click on the images below to enlarge the pictures and know more about him.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

When elegance is present in all its forms

Hi friends! It's a pleasure for me to show you Scott Kemper's photographs today. On many occasions, when I write about an artist, it isn't difficult to choose some of the works to show them here, but this time it has been really difficult to choose. The first sensation I had when I looked at Scott's galleries  was that of wishing to be in the places he portrays.

The images he captures, all without exception, take us to the right place with elegance and simplicity of the shapes. The elegance is detached in each of his works creating a perfect balance for the eye. The balance of the composition is subjugating, and the simplicity I mention is that which avoids recharged elements and leaves, simply, those most important ones, which really mean something relevant and that, somehow, being the only ones existing inevitably lead us to place with which we identify those parameters.

This artist plays with one or more elements, all important for what he wants to express, as if he had placed them there on purpose. We all know the icons' (and landmarks) importance, those which our mind knows and identifies with a particular place or situation. In his photographs Scott recreates this icons in an exceptional way and with sublime elegance, there is no noise or confusion that disturbs or distracts the viewer, in his photographs there is only what must exist.

On the other hand, the choice of colors is exceptional (remember that they are photographs and not paintings, so you have to get those colors that exist in reality). We all know the importance of colors as well, as each of them tells us something special and takes us to a different feeling. Well, there is no mistake in the colors, there is not a single color that leads to errors and makes us feel something different from what the artist has intended. As if we could imagine something and turn it into reality, Scott Kemper that sensation transmits in his photos.

And so, it was very difficult for me to choose only 3 of his works to show here since all deserved it, but you can see that by yourself clicking on the images, enlarging them and visiting his gallery. You can also visit his site Enjoy it!

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Captures with style

Hi friends! I want to show you John Franke's photographs today. It's a real pleasure to see his galleries since it is as if he had captured the best of all the places where he has been and he has done it with style and a personal vision. As we have talked about before on this blog, as a good photographer, he has been attentive to everything that could come to surprise him making really amazing shots of what would have gone unnoticed by anyone else.

Although his range of works is very wide and in all cases his works are great, what has caught my attention is his appreciation of nature. He can find those details that make the difference, he can give body and life to the intangible, like the fog, which is extremely difficult to achieve and that is what makes us feel not only that we are in that place but that the place is something magical. 

How does he do this? Well, in addition to having a good eye and talent is to have a very clear idea of what we want to get. Of course we all perform experiments, that's a way to learn, but within those experiments we want to get something specific in general. We all have a personal idea of beauty and aesthetic as a goal that we want to achieve in our works, It is our particular idea of the world and is what we seek to recreate reality in a photograph. Our personal vision of the world and of life are expressed in our works, both in photography and in painting, and it is what marks our personal stamp. So, I invite you to click on the images to enlarge them and know more about this talented artist. Don't forget to visit all his galleries to know his wide range of works. 

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Friday, March 3, 2017

Colored pencils: The unjustifiably little admired way of expression

Surely we have all worked with colored pencils since this is practically the first thing given to a child start expressing him/herself. Perhaps that first contact of children has left an wrong impression, as it is a basic medium, we don't have to worry about how much water, oil, turpentine or other product to add, nor the drying time, nor so many other details that must be taken into account with other techniques to which we accede being already a little older. But, my dear friends, working with colored pencils is not so simple and the work that can be done with this medium goes far beyond what our nephews can do.

There is a whole spectrum, a range of works that can be done by the skilled and talented hands of those who know how to use that medium, which would really astonish us if we were only able to take these works to their proper level: the level of true artistic expression. This technique can be as realistic as working with oil and as abstract as working with acrylic, It only depends on the hands that perform the work. Personally, I admire artists who work with this medium, almost more than anybody they have be very clear what they want to show and shape, no mistakes are allowed since these are almost impossible to solve without spoiling the work.

This medium can show us the smallest details, or work with reinforcements of shadows, lights and contrasts, we can sail exploring all possibilities and these are, in truth, almost endless...

But words are insubstantial when it comes to talk about something visual, that's why I want to show you Maryann DellaRocco's artworks as an example, a talented artist who uses colored pencils for her works granting them all the expressiveness and emotion and even more that could be done with other mediums. As she says her work is an "emotional thing" and seeing her works they undoubtedly are the product of her heart and feelings, what I insist make the difference between artists. I'd love if you could visit her site:, where she tells us about her work, motivations and life and what could make us more understand her beautiful art. She also says that she enjoys capturing the joy seen through children eyes, which is very interesting since the vision of this artist has a very special load of innocence but not devoid of reality.

Let's enjoy her works clicking on the images below to enlarge them, that will make us know her better, as well as the wonderful range of artwork that can be done with colored pencils.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Art vs. Commercial Art - We all need to eat

"Creating" is one of the things that characterize an artist, but that term is rather ambiguous. We have the need to bring out what we have into our heart, our mind and our body in a different way. Sometimes people like our works and others don't, as well as we create works that are fantastic for everyone except us ourselves.

The problem raised in this post is that an artist also needs to eat. Based on the fact that everyone needs to pay their bills, rent, mortgage, food, etc., we find the great and terrible obstacle that must be faced by every artist and that is: earn a living with his/her art (it should be clarified that some artists have some styles and make works that are for the taste of almost all audiences, so these lines don't really involve them).

It is quite difficult to make a living with art, at least if we talk about the kind of art that comes out like a whirlwind of our interior and that makes us unique. As this is difficult, then we start working as commercial artists, making illustrations, drawings, pictures, photographs, among other things, that people in general consider nice or pleasant to have at home. People don't usually like to have a dramatic scene hanging on their wall, even when that scene speaks from inside, performs a social or internal criticism or establishes clarity to certain principles. Buyers prefer, in general, to see something that doesn't make them think too much and if it's so that has to take their thoughts to something positive, even if this is inconsequential in fact .

Then we have a great dilemma, we want to earn our living as artists with what produces our intellect and our spirit but we must adapt to the rules of consumption and "create" according to the buyers taste. Are we artists still doing this? Are we betraying ourselves? Is there a limit? Is there a balance between our artwork and our style and what we adapt to sell? Should we separate the type of work we make? I would say that depends on each case, but in general we should separate things.

We shouldn't change completely our style to fit with a fashion or a special buyer. It is our own style, the one we use to narrate and show our creations, the one that gives us an identity. We can't betray ourselves so much. So, how do we deal with it? Well..., let's continue working with our own and personal creations while creating a different line of works that we could call "commercial" but never let other people get confused. Otherwise, art itself is devalued and becomes a simple decoration product or a brand sale, among other things, but it isn't what it should be anymore: "a soul true expression".

I put myself as an example since criticism must begin at home. I have different lines of work, many ..., but I think that few of them really express art, even if some others can be considered like that for the rest of the world.

This is one of my commercial works, even this style can have some heart on it, but it is what it is:

And this is one of my paintings, perhaps it hasn't  so much details as my commercial works but it comes from my soul:

So, what is important here is to separate concepts, areas and works. We have to be conscious about our changes and the reason that leads us to make one or other kind of work. We should not lie to ourselves, our commercial work can be wonderful and even performed with a perfect technique but it's not coming from the original fire that burned our heart when we started with art. 

Nothing better for an artist (at least for those who aren't famous) than earn a living with commercial art but, please, never forget why you started in art, what took you there, what you felt when expressing yourself, in short, do not lose your identity and the way to yourself.