"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Real Abstraction

Working from the center out seems to be the way I paint best. I know of artists who paint from one upper corner down to the opposite bottom corner, completing each section before moving on. I was basically taught to work over the entire piece throughout but it reaches a point where I need to concentrate on small areas and let it build from there. This section took almost four hours. I am always astonished when I look up and see how much time has gone by while I concentrate on a small section - sometimes no more than a couple of square inches. In the case of painting fabrics it becomes a lesson in abstraction, although even painting a small section of hair or skin can result in abstracted pattern and colour when seen up close and out of context with the rest of the painting. This is not going to be a "painting in a day." Few of my pieces are. Some of this will need refining and more or less definition. Undoubtedly it will not turn out anything like my original
intention so I wait and wonder as much as anyone about what the finished painting will look like.
I sometimes feel as if there is someone else inside who takes over when I pick up the brush.


  1. It's fabulous! It looked like a finished state in your last post, simply beautiful! Even though she is realistic, there is an abstract quality to this. Terrific!

  2. Lovely sheer effect with the fabric Karen! Can't wait to see how it looks when it's completed.

    And no, I don't eat ALL of the odnuts - my neighbors though are starting to gain some weight.

  3. Wow, the detail that you've put into that fabric is remarkable! It really looks as it you could just pluck it off the canvas.

    Thank you for righting such a interesting and informative set of posts about this paintingand your creative process, I'm finding them extremely interesting and informative. Also thank you for taking the time to leave advice on my blog, I will strive to follow it :)

  4. Those are the BEST paintings, Karen, when you get in the Zone! This is a beautiful piece, and I can't believe how you achieve the sheerness of the wrap. Stunning.

  5. Karen, this is looking fantastic, i can't wait to see it finished your work is always outstanding. I know what you mean about someone taking over I feel the same way :)

  6. I know what you mean about time flying when you are in your "zone." Many a Keirce kid has been marooned at events because I lost track of time and forgot to pick them up! The 4 hrs. was well spent. You are achieving the translucency of that fabric. It's looking wonderful!

  7. Love the sheerness in her dress. She's a beautiful girl...wonderful portrait

  8. I love it!
    This is realy going to be a wonderful piece of art!

  9. This is absolutely stunning! Your work is gorgeous and I think that the time is very well spent. :) Beautiful face, lovely colors. Perfect!!

  10. Gorgeous! Her face, the sheer and shimmery fabric, everything. It's so interesting to read about your process, too.

  11. I just KNOW this is going to be stunning!

  12. Karen, this is coming out beautifully! The sheerness of the fabric is perfect. Thank you for sharing your process. Can't wait to see it when finished.

  13. Hi Karen!.... This one is already on the way to becoming a knockout!

    Finding and staying in "The Flow" is different for every serious artist I think. It is pretty much a personal zone or space... that defies outside influence and it certainly blocks out awareness to the passage of time... completely!

    And regarding abstraction? Abstraction forms the underpinning of all successful works of art.Isn't it strange how reality emerges geadually... from these small pockets of seeming abstract and unrelated areas?

    Your own work interestingly uses abstraction so joyfully... even beyond the ordinary painting process to include the "
    Idea"... ie Lyndia's "spit" portrait -wonderfully abstract and playful!

    Good painting!
    Warmest regards,

  14. very nice piece Karen! You work with such fluidity. I'm in awe!
    I agree with you and Krista as well sometimes when I pick up the pencil and am at a loss with direction....someone seems to take over and as long as I don't fight it everything turns out perfectly!:)

  15. Hi Karen! Thanks so much for your tips re art supplies in the US, I'll b sure to try out your recommendations. I usw W&N Naples Yellow already so I'll stick with it and avoid Gamblin's version.

    This portrait is looking great, I'm really impressed by how you've captured the transparency of the material so accurately. The edges seem to be glowing...looking forward to seeing the finished piece!