Why I Made the Switch to Abstract Painting

In the past 12 months, I completed a sketchbook-based project, using those sketches to create the paintings in my studio instead of dutifully copying landscape colours and scenes from photographs.

The reduced information contained in my sketches left the door open for thought, imagination and experimentation, and this has led my painting style more and more towards abstraction in the later months, accelerated by a short course in abstract painting with Mary O'Connor at Artform, Dunmore East last October.

You may have noticed a new look about the place here too - I've now overhauled the website to commit to the direction my paintings and all my instincts have been yelling for, finally updating the tagline to state my place as an intuitive/abstract artist and lightening the colour palette to match the new brighter works.  I've decided not to go back, you'll be seeing more of this now.

It's rather fun.  Exciting to say "yes" to it for the new year.  It's been difficult though, I've quite often felt a need for change but worried that it's not allowed, or a proper artist wouldn't just change their style.  But it's been through extensive stages of experimentation and solidified process, if I'm honest, for a good bit more than a year.  Happy accidents (and learning from some howlers) and learned techniques, mentorship and feedback, sales and encouragement from other artists.  And, at the end of the day, I can do what I want!  There's been times I thought "I'll stop here", after a painting I liked, but then I would freeze and not be able to recreate more like it, the process wasn't quite done cooking yet.

As someone who didn't go to art school, I think this has simply been the process of discovering my own visual language, creating the type of work that naturally wants to come from me, filled with my own thoughts and memories of change and passing time, quietly inviting you to explore yours through the painting.

So, it may stay here, it may not be done evolving yet.  But I think it's here or hereabouts that I ought to be.  I have a lot planned for 2024 so I know the work has bedded in.

It was interesting to read the blog I wrote at the start of 2023, I really had no idea what would come of the Fieldwork project.  When I think of what came out of the year, I'm really glad I made the time to find out.  Read that blog here.

You can view the newest available  work in my shop, here

1 comment

  • It’s good to be open to change. Go where your heart takes you.

    Bill Black

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