My Make Believe Abstract World


Two photos turned upside down, offering abstraction.


Don’t become overly enamored with nature. Don’t fall in love with another artist’s work. Don’t be mesmerized by a photograph. Your painting is not there. (Robert Bissett)

Apparently I live in a world of make believe and knowing – I have never told anyone.

As an artist – an artist who paints abstractly – I thought it was a normal thing. I paint what I imagine, what I believe and sometimes what I know for sure. I paint essences – who I might choose to love, what I love, what I think, what I do, what others do and even what we all do not do. I paint what I know to be true in my own world.

I cannot speak for your world because although we might see the same things, we do not see things the same. This is the essence of all art – even realism. Your realism is not exactly mine, mine is not really yours. What you might select as an image taken directly from life, just as it is, capturing a moment in time, could still seem to be an interpretation to me.

When I turn a realistic photograph or painting upside down or sideways I see an abstraction, and that is always my preference. It is an involuntary response. I see things differently.

Recently a good friend hung a very old painting of mine on an aubergine purple wall – I saw it new for the first time. In it I saw previews of growth that has happened since I painted it. And I see essences  in my art – art done years ago – that I now finally understand. I might have been clueless at the time it was painted, but the message was inside me somewhere. Maybe I was incubating it, waiting for its birth some fine day when I was ready to meet it and read. My instructor, Homare Ikeda, at Denver Art Students League says that all the paintings we are ever going to do are already inside us, and when you think about it, of course they are. I sort of imagine them, all stacked up like messages, each waiting for its message to be sent out to the universe. Is that a weird thought? Maybe not.

STING, my favorite song writer and singer, admits that lyrics he wrote many years ago are just recently understood. By him. For instance, the well known song he wrote titled FRAGILE is now heard by many as a tribute to the victims of the  World Trade Center events of 9/11 – seemingly written for them – for us –  years before it happened.

People are containers for countless feelings and premonitions and “knowings”. Art is a way to bring them to the surface and capture them. That is the essence of abstract art – it is more than the way the paint is applied, more than the shapes, more than the  daring innovation. It is a communication from the deep. Of course it is – it has to be.

Welcome to my world.