Pure Imagination

March 9, 2011

In April the Topeka Art Guild Gallery has scheduled a show called Pure Imagination.  I’d like to enter it but there is one problem.  When it comes to imagination, I’m not sure I have any, which I realize is a strange thing for an artist to say.  When I paint I like to see the subject of my painting in front of me, a landscape, still life, etc. or a photo of what I plan to paint.  I look at abstract paintings and wonder, “How did something like that enter the artist’s mind?” since I am sure my mind could never have come up with those blobs of paint and lines.

Nevertheless, challenges cam be interesting, so I decided to try to paint something without looking at whatever it was supposed to be.  Fortunately, I had a head start.  During my recent cleaning spree I found a piece of masonite, which had to be many years old, on which I had painted a sort of abstract background.  Furthermore, by cutting only a bit off on one side (which husband was willing to do) it would fit and look good in a frame I already had.  Now all I had to do was think of something to paint on that background.

The wooden frame had a small gold line around the painting so I decided to use some gold and bronze paint along with several other colors.  I have been reading a series of books by Neta Jackson in which the women express their religion with praise and the uplifting of hands and arms.  Maybe I could make some upward sweeps of paint and call my creation Praise. 

But upon looking at what I had created, I saw that essentially nothing had changed.  I am still a landscape painter at heart.  Those upward swirls of paint looked like a bush.  I added a few narrow twiggy lines to make the bush more recognizable and named my painting “Plant Forms II.”  I have posted it on the Rural Midwest page along with a painting I began outdoors last fall but only recently finished called “Bittersweet.”

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