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#30×30 Day 03 : New Mexico High Water

June 3, 2021

I quite like the abstraction of these rock formations in New Mexico.

The trick is making them into a painting that reads. Here, my main goal was using color to make clear depth planes. Each major step back into the painting’s layers has its own color, with the color change getting more dramatic the further away we go.

I should say – the trick with abstractions like these rocks, is probably allowing yourself to paint them EVEN MORE abstractly. I expect one day I will push this kind of stylized landscape even further.

I hope one day to put aside representation entirely – but I’m not quite ready to try that. I’m still too in love with narrative painting. (Or still too connected to ‘what the viewer thinks’.)

An older artist once told me – everyone who keeps painting long enough, ends up painting non-objective abstraction.

I think it’s a natural reaction to the state of the art-world. We’re inundated with photographic (and digital) imagery these days, and it’s about to get worse with AI generating imagery. (Don’t believe me? Mark your calendar – five years max we’ll have AI creating infinite landscapes in our movies and video games, and synthetic AI characters on television.) (I mean, we actually have that already. I just mean it will be commonplace, and convincingly real.)

So, that’s kind of ok weird right? AI generated content is going to replace (or de-skill) concept designers, architects, and industrial designers – just like self driving cars and rolling drones are going to replace long haul truckers and delivery drivers. But – that will mean we should have more time for personal art making? Possibly? Hard to say.

Anyway, this topic is going way off into left field! So that’s my Day Three, and I think I’m popping over to the Facebook group now to see what you guys are painting :)


2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 3, 2021 11:38 AM

    The abstraction is in nature. Abstraction in art comes from the material properties of the medium (that watercolor has visual properties of watercolor, oil paint of oil paint, etc.) and from visual perception when separated from ideas of thingness. Ever been momentarily puzzled by something you saw? One example would be something that is exceedingly well camouflaged. At first the “thing” might be hidden, but once identified it appears. I once saw a disappearing and reappearing turtle in some woodland foliage. It “disappeared” even though I knew it was there, depending upon where I stood as I was looking at its position. Then when I got a little closer, it rematerialized.

    In art we always take the image apart by some means. It’s not just going to jump on the page — though there are times when one wishes it would! So that process of disassembling the visual information is literally to “abstract” it from the visual/perceptual whole. The shape, the tonal properties, color changes, etc., these are all abstract elements. The picture is “representational” in as much as one sees “a landscape,” “a flower,” “a turtle,” etc. There are, nonetheless, many Richard Diebenkorn fully abstract paintings that people routinely (and rightly in my opinion) “read” as landscape. They possess many of the visual features of the scenes that Diebenkorn passed each day in his California setting, and from his fertile and intelligent imagination certainly he was influenced by those daily sights.

  2. Angeline permalink
    March 7, 2022 3:41 AM

    Hi Marc, I see granulation colours in the sky and wonder if it is ultramarine because I remember you once mentioned that you find it weird to see granulation in the sky. I enjoy reading your posts and watching your videos so much !

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