Blog (3) 03/05/2012
When someone sees one of my abstracts they might like it or they might not. But they usually ask what it's 'meant to be'. I've tried to answer this question in various ways but the answer I've settled on, for now at least, is just to say that it's simply meant to be a painting. I usually add that I'm not trying to be in any way dismissive when I say this but that this is the most truthful answer I can come up with.
What they mean, of course, is - what is the painting meant to represent? They're looking for some representational value in the image that they're viewing and get puzzled if they can't find one. They're used to looking at paintings which are 'of' something and find abstracts confusing. This isn't quite as true as it used to be of course. People are becoming more and more used to abstract painting but I suspect that people who can take an abstract in their stride are still very much in the minority.
Sometimes I or another viewer might see an image in one of my abstracts. But it's an image which has emerged accidentally. Not that that makes it any less valid. But if it's valid to ask what an abstract painting is 'about' or what it's supposed to 'be' then couldn't one ask the same questions about cloudscapes or flowers? What do they represent? And how about birdsong? What's that 'meant to be'?
Souldog 1 is an abstract painting in acrylic using a mixture of technioques.
Copyright © 2012 Trevor Womack and his licensors. All rights reserved.