Category Archives: Abstract Landscape

Abstract Landscapes with Paint

I have a simple program on my computer called Microsoft Paint. I started looking at it recently as an alternative way to crop images that I have photographed. This weak I opened it one evening and spontaneously decided to click on a brush and found that I could easy draw with it so off I went until I discovered colors and different tools.

Many of you may already create with apps and/or art programs, but I had not until now. After being totally drawn to my process, I found that I could easily and quickly create forms and abstract landscapes similar to what I have painted. I created both images below in about an hour. I found this program to be another way of playing and being non-judgmental about my art.

Ann Hart Marquis-Paint #1-Microsoft Windows Paint

Paint #1

I also found that I used the same method of thinking about value, intensity and color that I use with my paintings. As I played with lines and form, I discovered that I could easily tone down intense colors by layering colors or overlapping them.

Ann Hart Marquis-Paint #2-Microsoft Windows Paint

Paint #2

This program is not one that I will now incorporate into my art practice, but I think it will be fun to use from time to time to just play.

Are any of you using an app or program to play with art?

Finding My Own Personal Style

I seem to be examining my psyche in paint these days. I was feeling somewhat unsettled that I keep trying new ways of expressing myself, but continuing to feel that I had not quite found my way. I was feeling that I had not yet found my personal voice.

I was pleased to find an article in the magazine LensWork* that put my mind at ease. It was written by a very discerning photographer, Guy Tal, and it applies to all of us pursing a creative endeavor. The name of the article is “Forget Vision.” These are some of his words:

“Forget vision, forget personal style, forget unique voice; these are not goals, they are by-products. The most meaningful art you can make is not about a particular look, subject matter, or visual effect, but about the way you respond to and interpret the world.”

He goes on to say, “Searching for a vision is futile; it is a moving target. The only way to find one’s vision once and for all, is to stop evolving as a person and as an artist.”

Ann Hart Marquis-Winter in New Mexico-personal style

New Mexico, Winter #2, acrylic on canvas, 10 x 20-inches, ©2015. Ann Hart Marquis

I feel that my work is changing and evolving almost every time I pick up a paintbrush. I am relieved to hear someone say that finding one’s personal style is a somewhat frustrating goal. That is what I have been feeling for a while. Now I know why.

I would love your comments.

*Lenswork, Jan-Feb, 2015, No. 116.

New Mexico Abstract Landscape-Winter

As some of you know, in my current series I am painting the colors, shapes and light of New Mexico. In a sense, I am not interested in the actual landscape that I see. I am still in the process of distilling the setting into its purest essence.

This is my first New Mexico-Winter painting. Although all of the leaves have fallen off the deciduous trees, there is still a touch of green and orange to be seen. The skies are frequently covered in grey clouds that are almost white.

Ann Hart Marquis-New Mexico Winter #1-abstract

New Mexico Winter #1, acrylic on canvas, 10 x 10 inches, 2015. ©Ann Hart Marquis

This is a much more abstract landscape than I have painted before. I sometimes wrestle with the concept of abstract art. One idea is that it neither represents anything nor is representational. My paintings do not represent anything except images that I conceive. They do not come from an actual scene or a particular place, rather they are a mélange of impressions of how I perceive New Mexico.

It snowed here recently—a rare occurrence in Albuquerque. I am planning now to do a white abstract landscape. Let’s see what I come up with.

Feedback on this painting is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Abstraction of the Landscape

In my current series I am painting the colors, shapes and light of New Mexico. In a sense, I am not interested in actual landscape that I see. I am interested in distilling the vistas into their purest essence. When I paint, I strive for an abstraction of the landscape.

As Georgia O’Keeffe put it, “Objective painting is not good painting unless it is good in an abstract sense. A hill or tree cannot make a good painting just because it is a hill or a tree. It is the lines and colors put together so they say something. For me that is the very essence of painting. The abstraction is often the most definite form for the intangible thing in myself that I can only clarify in paint.”

Ann Hart Marquis-New Mexico II- abstraction

New Mexico-Late Fall #2, acrylic on canvas, 18×24 inches, 2014. ©Ann Hart Marquis

When I look around me I see the unadorned brown shapes of the extinct volcanoes in the western horizon. I see the greys and blacks that the lava flow left behind. There are also the restrained reds and oranges of the adobe houses that appear all over New Mexico. There are the ochers and siennas of the high desert plateau. This time of year the landscape is stark and muted.

I see the colors of the landscape bathed in intense light which I somrtimes find harsh. But it is New Mexico and it still is the land of enchantment.

My studio and online Holiday sale is still happening now through December 31, 2014. The above painting is available.

I’m on the Cover of Stone Voices!

Last summer two artist friends from Chicago suggested that I submit a portfolio of some of my paintings in a call for submissions that the art and literary journal Stone Voices was requesting. At that time, I was not familiar with this journal, but I looked at the it and the guidelines and decided to go for it. The request was for images that explored the concept of The River.

I had just completed several paintings that explored moving water or objects floating in water, so I already had the images that I hoped were suitable. After the winners had been selected, I was sent an email that said, “If your name is not listed below, your images were not chosen.” I carefully scrolled down the list of names and much to my surprise there was my name. Of course I was very pleased. I scrolled down further and again to my amazement one of my paintings had been chosen Best in Show. This is it:

Adrift, acrylic on canvas, 24x24 inches.  ©2012, Ann Hart Marquis

Adrift, acrylic on canvas, 24×24 inches.
©2012, Ann Hart Marquis

Because I was included on the winners’ list, I had the opportunity to send in a complete series of paintings, my artist statement and my bio for the possibility of being included in upcoming issues of Stone Voices. I submitted my series. Next I was told that my portfolio was accepted and would be in the Spring Issue. I received a preview document online of the magazine and was again taken aback to see that one of my paintings was on the cover. When I received my copies of Stone Voices and was very happy to see a ten-page spread of my work.

 

AnnHartMarquis-Stone Voices-cover

Ann Hart Marquis-Stone Voices, Cover Image

I suppose the moral of this short story is to say there is nothing like good friends, and if you don’t take some risks, you will never happily find yourself in an unexpected place. One of my favorite personal sayings is, “All they can say is no.”

Have you ever taken a chance that led to somewhere that you didn’t expect to go?