Art Creates Illusions by Abstractions

AbstractPost There is something about the view of my wet paintings laying sideways as they dry on the racks in my San Francisco beach studio that just fascinates me. This oil painting of the Johndrow Vineyards on Howell Mountain, commissioned by the Montage Deer Valley Residences, looks quite abstract from this angle. And this view provides a point of entry, an understanding, of the relationship between representational and abstract art. The reality is, all art is an abstraction. Representational paintings are simply an illusion created by abstractions. They are not real but people relate to them like they are,  just like a movie can transport your reality. Paintings are just different shapes of colored paint stuck on canvas. As a painter, I find the non-representational aspects of visual representation equally compelling and lush as the representational aspect of painting. I love the mood and the qualities conveyed by simple shapes and forms.  They convey feeling although we don’t know what they are supposed to “be.” Now left brain folks have a harder time getting their heads wrapped around this concept.  Why?  Because they experience the world in terms of symbols. Symbols represent ideas and thoughts, not feelings.  If they understand the idea, then they can connect with the art on that level. But if the idea isn’t spelled out and it is more of a feeling, logical folks get lost. I’m guessing that Spock from Star Trek would never become a collector.  And it’s no surprise that precious few of my collectors are engineers and or accountants.
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