When the image above first began to take shape, it seemed as though the weight of the air was pressing down, creating a pocket of intense heat. But that vision transformed itself and soon the calming blues were bubbling up out of that spot as if out of a cauldron heated by the earth itself, bringing light and a peaceful clarity. Letting the work speak for a while was important in knowing where to take it.
The same was true of the Golden Path, below. There really was a path of golden grasses snaking gently through some lowland held by the county for flood control. The s-curve with the blue water in the background called, but it took some time to hear.
These two almost-abstracts are a little change of pace. The first started as a door in a yellow stucco wall, and the second as a broken guardrail near one of my favorite beaches. But those reference points are largely irrelevant now.
It is interesting how non-representational art can demand both more and less of the viewer. Abstracts have the potential to become eye-candy — color, composition and textures to please the eye, without any representational component from which to draw meaning.
However, even without an external reference point, some abstract art evokes feelings and reactions, and forces the viewer to find meaning in it. It is a mystery to me how to accomplish that on a consistent basis, and to make abstract images more accessible and understandable beyond their appeal of color and form.
We no longer trust beauty as a serious means of investigation. But it can be ... In fact, beauty can be incendiary; it can be subversive; it can make us cringe.
-- David Maisel, Photographer
"It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it." -- Anais Nin
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders of the universe, the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race.” -- Rachel Carson