Monday, March 28, 2011

Abstract Design

 Art by San Base

abstract: (adj) ...of or pertaining to nonrepresentational art; using only, lines, colors, generalized or geometrical shapes, etc.

I'm thinking in the abstract these days.  So far my punchneedle has been very representational - landscape scenes and folk art birds.  My mind seems to see things all in neat formal patterns.  A tree here, carefully balanced against the sky and the mountains.  Not that there is anything wrong with that -- BUT these days I feel the urge to just put color and thread down on fabric in all sorts of patterns.  I want to feel the freedom of free-form shapes, of colors that I don't normally think of 'going together'.  I want to start a new journey!
Art by Georgia O'Keefe

I've been using the internet and books from the library to look at what constitutes abstract.  I've found that some of the designs are free of any desire to convey a thought or mind picture while others represent 'something' in their abstract forms.  I would love to look at an object or a landscape and be able to translate it in my mind (and eventually down through my fingers) into an abstract design.  To tell you the truth I'm not sure I can do it -- after all these many years thinking one way.  Can I turn my mind inside out (which is what it feels to me) and make stitchery that doesn't represent something 'real'?  Can I create my own reality through needle and thread? 

"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality". - Pablo Picasso


  1. you CAN!!!!! Gilly (great post btw)

  2. I bet you can do this! Your definition puts the emphasis on "nonrepresentational" which is true, but I feel more than that from an abstract piece. I always see or feel see something, perhaps different from everyone else, but something. For me abstraction doesn't always convey "nothingness". For example, the two pieces you posted -- the first one reminds me of a warm, dark inner room, perhaps a cluttered attic. Then the second one is definitely floral in nature for me. Not everyone will see the same things, perhaps not even see anything at all. Abstract art to me means the artist has left interpretation of a piece open to the viewer. From the artist's point of view, it's always fun to learn what viewers see and feel in a piece. Can't wait to see what you come up with, Penny!



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