Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cubist Doodling

Every once in a while, and it seems more often recently, I give in to an irresistible creative urge. I doodle! Here I work over a couple of previous drawings, adding embellishments to turn observed figures into something more abstract, an artificial cubist design. Cubism, a style introduced a century ago by the painters Braque and Picasso, is based on the idea that an object can be shown as if viewed from a variety of vantage points, as if you'd walked around it and recorded several views. Perhaps partially overlapped, - sometimes broken apart and rearranged.  The background may be further divided in reflection of the fractured parts.

In artificial cubism, you start with a complete view or perhaps multiple objects then extend the natural lines of those objects out into the background, or repeat shapes and edges even through adjacent objects to break the surface up into interesting shapes.  Down playing the 3-d aspect of the subject and reordering the design you put more emphasis on the surface of the work, making your work much more abstract.

Here's a portion of tempera painting that started life as an ordinary drawn  waterscape.  The piece has been  changed from the original concept by superimposing a grid over the whole thing,  introducing some arbitrary color and some interesting pointalist texture.  It's a painted "doodle"!   It may be either unfinished or overworked at this point but in working over a mundane view there is the possibility of a new direction,  a work worth analyzing or perchance a bit of poetry.

"Do not copy nature too much. Art is an abstraction."   Paul Gauguin

"If you work with abstract painting for a period of time, you may come to think of it as a melody, a song, a piece of beautiful music."   Judi Betts

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