Tag Archives: abstract landscape painting

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.

A History of My Art

Sometimes when I am rummaging around in my studio I come across a painting that I haven’t seen or thought about for a while. When I look at the date of the painting I am sometimes surprised.

One such painting is a small work that I did in 2008. I do remember that I painted it in the winter and that it was a New Mexico scene. It is cold here now and at this time I am working on a New Mexico abstract series depicting how I see the winter landscape. It is interesting to me that I painted one lone winter scene about seven years ago and now I am doing a series. I like this little painting.

Ann Hart Marquis-Road Home,  January, New Mexico

Road Home, January, acrylic on canvas, 11×14 inches, 2008. ©Ann Hart Marquis

Except for what I have sold, I have kept all of my work since I started painting 15 years ago, including my drawings. They remind me of where I started, how I tried new things, how I endeavored to be a better draftsperson and how I experimented with color. They provide a history of my art. Above all, my older work reminds me that I have produced many images in a variety of styles trying to figure out how to create an interesting painting.

What I didn’t do when I first started painting was to paint in series. Art schools and marketing concepts suggest that to be successful, an artist “should” work in a series. That is because supposedly the best way for artists to get recognized and develop an identity, is to cultivate a distinct style. It is said that here is no better way to do that than to begin creating art in multiples.

I have done several successful series, but I still like to paint something totally quirky and enchanting to me that goes with nothing except the fact that I consider it a good painting. Here is one of my favorite paintings that just stands on its own. It is part of a collection in Phoenix.

Ann Hart Marquis-Red Bridge-acrylic

Red Bridge, acrylic on canvas, 16×20 inches, 2008. ©Ann Hart Marquis

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.

Response to My Surroundings

A generally agreed upon definition of abstract art is the use a visual language of shape, form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.

Along those lines, I am now doing a series of paintings that are a response to New Mexico. Right now, as in many parts of the world, the landscape is brown and dark, fall is almost over, and the sky is frequently grey. I am on my second painting and my process has been to look at nature and choose paint colors based on what I see. Then in a response to my surroundings, I just start putting paint on canvas using a variety of brushes and tools. I play with paint until I think the painting is “finished.”

Ann Hart Marquis-New Mexico, Late Fall-acrylic

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

I realize that my finished product is a result on what is going on unconsciously and consciously. I guess that you could say that I am painting both the inner and outer landscape. It is rather exciting to not know what I will end up with.

In my continuing foray into the abstract world, I find that I still like to see that comforting horizon line. It is difficult to lose it and still call a painting an abstract landscape.

I would appreciate any feedback.

Abstract Landscape

My abstract landscape painting class continues through the month of October. The pace of the class is actually perfect. We have an assignment every day. One day we paint or do a mixed media piece and the next day we have a chance to catch up with assignments and gather ideas by looking at other abstract painter’s websites or watching a particular art video. One video we watched was by Colorado artist Krista Harris. I was struck by something she said about knowing when a painting is finished. “Work is never really finished. You let it go just so you can get on to the next one.” I can identify with that.

This week I had three painting assignment, each different from the other. At the beginning of the week we painted a landscape from a photograph that was taken on the road from Dublin to Cork by our teacher Pauline Agnew. It was the first actual painting and was not to be done in a particularly abstract way. The most challenging part for me was the sky. I do not usually go into such detail in my own paintings. Here is the painting:

ann hart marquis abstract lnadscape

Road from Dublin to Cork, acrylic on paper, 20×24-inches.©Ann Hart Marquis

The following assignment was completely different but also an abstract landscape. It was a mixed-media piece using charcoal, ink, and acrylic paint. Again we used a photograph of what seemed like an overgrowth of trees, limbs, and leaves. I thought at first it would we difficult for me, but I very much enjoyed the project and will do one again soon. Here it is:

Under Irish Trees. mixed media on paper, 20x24 inches. ©Ann Hart Marquis

Limb to Limb, mixed media on paper, 20×24-inches. ©Ann Hart Marquis

You, like my teacher are free to offer opinions. I would appreciate it.