Tag Archives: abstract painting

Color Field Painting

Color Field painting is a style of abstract painting that emerged in New York City during the 1940s and 1950s. It was inspired by European modernism and closely related to abstract expressionism. The movement places less emphasis on gesture, brushstrokes, and action in favor of an overall consistency of form and process.

If you saw my post last week, you know that I painted a rather intense orange painting. The style of the painting is called color field. This week after working with orange, I wanted to give my brain a new challenge and work in all grays.

Although there may be forms or shapes that are recognizable to some people, all colors were made from mixtures of red, blue, and yellow plus white and black. The colors changed by adding more red in some areas, for example, and more blue in others. There are even touches or green made in the same manner.

painting showing color field painting

Days of Gray, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30 x 3/4 inches. Ann Hart Marquis

After spending some time on the painting, I think that all of the gray is a little monotonous and may need to be made a little more intense. I do, however, like to gray down my work. So let’s say that this painting is not finished. Suggestions are welcome.

You may see it again if you are on my newsletter list. You won’t see it in another post because I have decided to give my blog a rest for a while. I want to concentrate on my newsletter which will go out monthly.

I will be posting my new work on my website as I finish a piece and I always love comments.

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Thank you to all of my readers, especially those who continually took the time to share their comments.

How Many Variations of Orange Can I Mix?

I have just completed the second week in my abstract painting class. Last week I posted a painting done in many hues of green. One of the suggestions that the teacher makes is to challenge yourself and use colors, tools, marks, shapes and images that we have not used before.

For the last several months I have been painting Ireland which means that I used mostly greens and blues. They are cool paintings like the country—lot of grass and water everywhere.

So this week I did a painting with as many oranges as I could mix. I didn’t give a lot of thought of how to vary oranges, I just mixed tints: tones, and shades of orange with a touch of magenta thrown into different places on the painting. There is no way that I could have done an orange painting without somehow reducing the intensity of color.

Painting showing variations of orange.

The Language of the Sun, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30 x 3/4 inches. Ann Hart Marquis

Speaking of magenta, when it is mixed with cadmium yellow, an interesting warm orange develops. It is one of many interesting variations of orange.

Another objective on this painting was not to include a horizon line. Since I used a 30×30-inch canvas, I had a lot of canvas to cover with this interesting and challenging color.

I have included a link to an orange color chart that demonstrates  the variations of orange that can be created. I am not sure where their names came from, but it is interesting to view.

I particularly liked Coquelicot, which is the French name for the red-orange flower that grows all over France. The color Cinereous is interesting also. So much to learn.

Of course, I then had to investigate the symbolic meaning of orange. “Orange aids in the assimilation of new ideas and frees the spirit of its limitations, giving us the freedom to be ourselves. At the same time it encourages self-respect and respect of others.

Orange is probably the most rejected and under-used color of our time. However, young people do respond well to it as it has a degree of youthful impulsiveness to it.”

Who knew! I thought

This week I think I will go with gray to try to calm down my impulsiveness.

Romantic Painter

I am a romantic painter. I have found definitions of “romantic” such as  a sensibility; primitivism; love of nature; sympathetic interest in the past, especially the medieval; mysticism; individualism.

I am also sentimental. Webster defines someone who is sentimental as a person excessively prone to feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia.

That brings me to nostalgia. I am nostalgic and find myself attracted to the Irish notion of a gentle melancholy that permeates life. While I reflect on Ireland and my Irish paintings, I am also thinking about why I am drawn to certain subjects, places, or ideas.

Such thoughts drew me to one of the first paintings that I ever did. I was on a painting retreat in France with no experience at all. Each day we would be driven to some exquisite location to paint. We would arrive and scatter, painting whatever we were drawn to. One could have chosen a lovely view, goats, a forest and other people.

Ruins was done by romantic painter Ann Hart Marquis

Ruins, acrylic on canvas, 11×14 inches.

I wandered around and found a three story 19th century home that was in ruins. What happened to this house, I wondered. Why didn’t this seemingly once lovely place undergo repairs? What was its story? Of course, that was what I decided to paint.

I have learned that I am drawn to emotions and events that I perceive may exist or have existed. That is one reason that I am drawn to Ireland and spent so many years in France. I was and am enchanted by the history, the way people lived, the myths, the beauty of both structures and raw nature.

I think that the classical definition of all of the above can be summarized to this description:

The Romantic embodied “a new and restless spirit, seeking to burst through old and cramping forms, a nervous preoccupation with perpetually changing inner states of consciousness, a longing for the unbounded and the indefinable, for perpetual movement and change, an effort to return to the forgotten sources of life, a passionate individual effort at self-assertion, a search after means of expressing an unappeasable yearning for unattainable goals.

I especially like the part about unappeasable yearning for unattainable goals. If I ever get a clear idea of what those goals are, I will let you know.

 

Oil Pastels

Almost two years ago I took an online Abstract Landscape class taught by Pauline Agnew. We used acrylic paint, and soft oil pastels and baby wipes.

During this class I painted exclusively on watercolor paper. I choose not to use canvas because when used with acrylic paint, they cannot be preserved with acrylic varnish. They need to be framed. We spent some time on Monet-like water lily paintings. I didn’t like mine particularly at the time.

Since I have now finished all of my paintings for an upcoming exhibit, I had some time to play with the oil pastels again. I did another water lily scene which I like much better than the former paintings.

Painting of water lily pads done with oil pastels

Water Lily Pads, acrylic and oil pastel on paper, 12 x 12 inches.

Oil pastels are a very different from soft pastels. They are greasier and from what I have read, do not work well for a realistic painting. They are good for expressive and impressionistic work because they glide so effortlessly and are very vibrant and creamy.

They can build up some subtle or dramatic texture as well, which you may not see with soft pastel. I have read that they lend themselves wonderfully to all sorts of techniques from scraping and stippling to color gradations and overlays.

As for mistakes, once you put them on paper or canvas, they are difficult to remove. I used baby wipes to spread around the color or to try to reduce it, but they cannot be removed completely.

I used Mungyo Artists’ Soft Oil Pastels because they were inexpensive and I didn’t know if I would like them. That was a good move on my part, because I don’t particularly like to work on paper and I don’t want to frame my paintings. They were an interesting experiment and I have friends who love them.

A Month in Paris

I just had the very good fortune of spending a month in Paris. Fortunately for us, it was just as beautiful as ever without any signs of conflict or tension. The Parisians were friendly and gracious. I am writing this as I hear about the bombings that just happened minutes ago.

I went to Paris not to paint (or even sketch) like I usually do in France, but to soak up all that this beautiful city has to offer. I did not take a sketch book, but my birthday was at the beginning of October, so Tim gave me one as a gift. I used it twice while I was there, which was fun for me to do.

We went to as many museums and galleries as our brains and legs could accommodate. Paris itself is an art museum. There are pieces of beauty on the bridges, streets, walls and fountains.

Most of the time while we were there, the sky was a light blue or a blue-gray. The Seine River was its usual blue-green. Paris was cool and damp, and a total contrast to New Mexico, except perhaps for some gorgeous sunsets.

home from paris

Photography by Tim Anderson, 2015.

In Paris I was hoping to be inspired by the colors of city, the river or whatever came my way. But the image that came up for me was La Vie en Rose” (life in pink), which basically means seeing life through rose colored glasses and having no regrets.

I looked back through all of my paintings and realized that I have never painted in pink. It is not my favorite color. But that is the inspiration that I came home with. After the unfolding of the events on Friday in Paris, it seems that I may want to reevaluate my plans.

Mark-Making

This past week I was in Phoenix, AZ attending Art Unraveled, a creative week of workshops and an art retreat that takes place every year. I always like to take workshops and classes. It helps me to grow as a painter when I can be inspired by new ideas. It is an adventure for me.

I spent my time taking classes from the abstract artist Joan Fullerton. Her style was fun, interesting, and effective. It is her belief that “abstract art encourages the imagination to run free. Inner and outer worlds collide making a space for new awareness to grow.”

Joan taught several mark-making and layering techniques that were what I was hoping for. We worked in mixed media which included acrylic paint and medium, acrylic paint pens, oil pastel, charcoal and ink. Each work started with random mark-making. We then used our materials to create whatever inspired us.

Ann Hart Marquis-Abstract 2

Abstract 2, mixed media on canvas, 14 x 18 inches, 2015. ©Ann Hart Marquis

I worked on stretched canvas and watercolor paper. The paintings above and below are on stretched canvas. They both developed rather quickly, in about 1½ hours. They may be finished, but I never know when a painting is done until I have lived with it for a while.

Ann Hart Marquis-Abstract 1

Abstract 1, mixed media on canvas, 14 x 18 inches, 2015. ©Ann Hart Marquis

They seem a little busy to me. What do you think?

Perspective and Inspiration

Tomorrow will be my last day in Soréze. This past week has taken a burst of energy to finish one more painting, walk around Lake St. Ferreol as many times as possible, find everything that I have scattered around this big house and pack.

Soreze, France

Soréze, France

I have painted as much as I can, gone all of the places that I wanted to visit, and eaten all the yummy food that I wanted. I have walked almost every day and now I need a new pair of shoes. It is time to come home, which I always do with mixed feelings when I leave France. I come to this area and stay so long because I love everything, including having the opportunity to paint at all hours of the day and night.

Traveling gives me new perspective and inspiration. While I have been here, I have experienced a desire to change the way I paint to a more abstract manner, and I have. Here is painting #8.

Untitled #8, acrylic on canvas, 14 x14 inches. Ann Hart Marquis

Untitled #8, acrylic on canvas, 14×14-inches. ©Ann Hart Marquis

I feel that my work is moving quickly in a new direction and I am not sure where that will take me. I have found a painter in Ireland who does abstract landscape workshops, so maybe I will go there next year. If I do, I will probably need to visit briefly in France.

To Paint More Loosely

Although I consider myself an abstract or sometimes an impressionist painter, one of my goals for this trip to France is to paint more loosely, more abstractly.

All too frequently in a quest to represent a subject with the correct perspective, color, and composition, I tend to go for precision instead of flow. The countryside of southern France generally consists of two types of landscape. One is rolling hills and fields planted with numerous crops (below, right). The second is hilltop villages or fortrages (below, left). In the following paintings, I wanted to combine some of the essence of both in an abstract way; loosely.

Hilltop Village and French Fields

This is the first abstract landscape (below) that I did here in France (painting #4) and it was fun to do. I liked the feeling of not wanting to be precise. I had the landscape in front of me, I decided on my palette, and I just let the paint flow. I did very little after the first application of paint. It was fun and I finished it in about half a day. Painting #1 took three days.

Untitled, acrylic on canvas, 14x14 inches. Ann Hart Marquis

Untitled, #4,acrylic on canvas, 14×14-inches. ©Ann Hart Marquis

The second one was a little more challenging because I wanted to change my palette somewhat, but not completely. I also wanted to try painting in less intense colors. This is how it turned out. I also did it relatively quickly.

AnnHartMarquis, Untitled, Painting #5

Untitled, # 5, acrylic on canvas, 14×14-inches. ©Ann Hart Marquis

In these two paintings I primarily used a palette knife, which allows me to to just layer one color of paint on top of another until I get the effect that I want. My next painting is going to be more architectural, so I will see how much I choose to stay away from using a brush. I am just having fun with little thought of how anyone will respond to what I paint. But I always appreciate your feedback.