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Learning from exhibitions – abstract and big art

Its Arts Week. I have my exhibition, but I also have the opportunity to view many, many more exhibitions, all in Thomastown. Thomastown is very much the visual arts centre this week. There is huge variety, and lots to see. Actually, you won’t see better art in one location, anywhere else on this island. It’s just fab.

I won’t list it all. But…. It has me thinking. First of all – the future is BIG. There are some big pieces (in both mills, and the water garden). Not just big, but beautiful. I have been going bigger, especially with my waves, but the largest sheets of paper are imperial – 78cm by 58cm – or thereabouts, but these pieces Im talking about are 2×3 meters. Wow. (Oils and acrylics/ and mm) So it has me thinking! Space! How to go about starting a really big piece. The paintings Im talking about are representational, not abstract. I mean Wow.

But there is also abstract. How do I feel about abstract? I am a representational watercolour landscape artist. So, how do I feel about abstract. Well you know, splashes of paint, squares and triangles, garish colours….found items! Now Im looking more closely at it. I’ll be honest, I don’t have the benefit of an art education, and… I am not keen on the idea of art as a medium for social change (not all change is for the better!). Nevertheless Im looking more closely at abstract.

How do you judge a good abstract painting? I don’t know, I suppose I could google it. I could do an art appreciation course. For now, I am looking at abstract to find what I value in a landscape. I mean – perspective, depth, composition, colour, tone and contrast. Now Im beginning to see all of that in some abstract art, and I like it! So it has me thinking!

I like what I do, but sometimes I feel I need to experiment more – to push out the boundaries. Make a note in your diary to come to my exhibition in 2024, maybe I’ll surprise you (and myself).