Monday, December 7, 2009

Abstract Painting, Living Exponentially, Shift Happens

Making sense of all that comes in... can be overwhelming... or, on the other hand, you can focus on the inside and listen to yourself...
More Painting
Lately I have been quite busy, I finished six paintings for the miniature show at Kaewyn gallery, and was happy to deliver those right before Thanksgiving. All were acrylics and incorporated experimental techniques I have been playing with: more texture with different materials and intense color. If you are local, stop in for a treat, as there are a great variety of artists works to be seen; the show is there until January 16.

This last week I participated in the ongoing painting critique group I joined about four months ago. What's really inspiring about this group is seeing the diverse work of the group, as there are very different styles (from realism to abstract and in-between) and different media (oil, watercolor, acrylic, gouche, pastels). Taking three more new paintings to the group meeting, it was reinforcing to get positive support for the direction my painting is going, aka, abstractions, more texture, intense colors, getting better at composition. The painting with the reds, yellows, blues is one I took. There is some thread of connection to the paintings lately and I contemplate where I'm going with them, it feels like a series or several may be emerging... I think they have to do with transit from one state to another, the hidden or unseen coming to the surface, among other things...

More Being Outdoors
Determined to be out more often, some recent outings about town I enjoyed with camera and paints... Despite the really really cold weather, in both cases, worth the views, colors and inspiration...

Shift Happens
The UN Climate Change Conference representing 192 nations is getting under way in Copenhagen, and there are positive signs (firm pledges for change from nations) the outcome may be in positive new directions (AP article). AP says over 15000 delegates and 100 head of states are attending and this makes it the largest and most important climate change conference ever. I mention this because of the title of this section, "shift happens..."

I found the You-Tube video below on the progression of information technology to be fascinating and a reminder of the pace at which we live. It was researched by Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod, and Jeff Brenman, remixed. It questions the meaning of living in an "exponential world" (exponential = "a variable or unknown quanitity" per the dictionary; wiki say, a proportional growth rate). The final conclusion was left off this version of the video...but, I selected this version because it has better graphics. The conclusion to the question/data is "shift happens."

A friend sent it to me yesterday. I hadn't seen her in ages and was thrilled to run into her at the bookstore, where we got into a conversation about "overload", too much coming in, too fast a pace we live, environmental tragedies (dolphins being ritually killed, wolves being shot, oh there are too many to count), it saddens the soul. And how, sometimes it is just time to shut out the incoming and listen to your inside, and remember how connected we really are. And that, yes, shift happens. Slowly. Slowly. Not without some loss, it is difficult turning a huge ship set on a course. But shift happens... personally, and in the world. I always remember Gandhi saying: "You must be the change you want to see in the world." And maybe just be the change you want to see in yourself. And share it out.


Anonymous said...

I just love that red painting - reminds me of a flower, and also of the time back in 2000 when I went to an art class intending as I thought to paint flowers in miniature using watercolour pencils and little pans of paint. But the tutor wanted to teach 'pushing the colour' as she described it and I bought a LARGE pad of paper and some acrylics and one tiny flower became a giant and filled the page; I really looked at all the colours involved and shades and shadows and learned so much. You have reminded me of those days and I must find my samples.

Climate change - I listened to announcements during the night on BBC World Service on the USA stance and how your President (can't spell his name) is moving things forward. Then this morning - aviation - not cutting the number of flights but cutting engine emmissions through more efficient technology. That's the way to go, I believe; efficiency and not waste.

Thanks anyway for your thoughtful post; I;ve gone on long enough in reply!

HeartFire said...

Now that's what I'm loving about abstracts - the ambiguous nature of them, that the viewer will interpret based on their own experiences and knowledge, which can be SO different than what the painter was thinking. I know this to be true with more realistic paintings too, as they can be metaphorical, but it seems even more so with abstracts... I would be interested to see the flower painting it reminded you of.

It is heartening that slow but sure progress is being made... hope you watched the video, though it may sound dry since it's about technological advancing, but well done & captures the attention of how things have escalated.

Paula McNamee said...

The color, texture and energy in your abstract feels like a burst of joy. It's beautiful. I'd love to live closer to you and see them all in your gallery show.

HeartFire said...

Thanks Paula, I wish you did too.