Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Study in Black and White Mark Making Begins

Back in the beginning of this year I began my search to find my own painting style.

I spent many hours on Pinterest, introducing myself to all styles of art. I found I was drawn to abstract art, especially that of artists from the Abstract Expressionism movement.

Abstract Expressionism is a post–World War II art movement in American painting, developed in New York in the 1940s. It was the first specifically American movement to achieve international influence and put New York City at the center of the western art world. Its emphasis is on spontaneous, automatic, or subconscious creation. – from Wikipedia

"Squares with Concentric Circles", Wassily Kandinsky (1913)

Without knowing ‘what was what’, remember I majored in business, I always loved this painting. It is by Wassily Kandinsky. I didn’t know who he was, I just knew the colors and circles spoke to me! 

Turns out I also like the work of his contemporaries – other members of a group called the “New York School”.  Read more about them in a previous blog post I wrote.

Franz Kline 

My very favorite artist is Franz Kline. He worked in mainly black and white. His large marks just excite me. I’ve decided, I want to grow up to be just like him!

"If I feel a painting I'm working on doesn't have imagery or emotion, I paint it out and work over it until it does.  "   ~ Franz Kline

Besides the simplicity of the black and white, it’s the large gestural mark making that appeals to me. Unfortunately they aren’t as easy as they may look, at least not for me. I am in my head too much, I need to loosen up.

I did a bit of research and found it might only take some practice. Seems as you practice the strokes you can build muscle memory. According to Wikipedia, “…when a movement is repeated over time, a long-term muscle memory is created for that task, eventually allowing it to be performed without conscious effort.”

So I began my study in black and white mark making.
These are a few of my first experiments done on 5x5 watercolor paper. I used mostly india ink, gesso and markers. I loved the results but these were done pretty quickly. Unless I did quite a few at a time I found I was left hanging. I missed my color. 

B&W Study 5x5 on watercolor paper (2017)  © SGTurner Art

I admit I did cheat a couple times and went on to add color to the markings. I try to fight the temptations but it is so hard!

Here is one of my recent pieces which I added watercolor to – subtle blue and purple - so dreamy!

 Prints and some originals in this series are available for purchase.
Contact me if you are interested.
I will continue to work in this study, experimenting with mark making and large gestural strokes with both brush and pen – but I can NOT promise it will be only in black and white. I am craving my colors!

You can see my daily updates on Instagram 

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