While Abstraction has always appealed to me, I’ve been afraid to let go of the subject therefore so far my work has been about abstracted reality rather than being purely abstract….
Visiting Patrick Heron’s exhibition in Margate’s Turner Contemporary Gallery, I found this extract which expresses perfectly the freedom I had been searching for before I allowed myself to paint in a fully abstract manner.
A few years back, I visited the Abstract Expressionist Exhibition at the Royal Academy and once again began experimenting with Abstraction….
But shortly after, I was again subservient to the subject matter, even if still abstracted
My mark-making was expressionistic and my colours were non-realistic but still I kept myself tied to the subject…
When I explored the translucency of the medium and the reaction of mixing media my work became more abstract but still I remained bound by the subject matter….
I was most free when I explored textures as by its very nature, texturing the subject makes it more and more of itself and separate from what inspired it…
I seemed to be almost there….Abstract but still bound…so what was stopping me?
Love of the subject?
Lack of ability?
I think that was partly my fear. If I didn’t have a subject matter how would I know what to paint? More to the point….how would I know if what I was painting was any good?
In October 2019, I went on a course organize by The Royal Watercolour Society with a local artist, Jane Lewis, and I first learnt about activating the surface…
And to move away from …. the what. And to simply worry about … the how. Focusing on the mark and only the mark. And in this way I began to explore how to find my own language.
Finally, in November 2017, I decided to dive in and explore pure Abstraction. I put aside the distraction of subject (as Patrick Heron says) and through an online painting workshop just introduced by Dr Nancy Hillis which I had been hearing about, I joined The Studio Journey.
And that’s when my Abstract journey truly began.