Revealing and healing through abstract
Abstracts are mysteries...Not only in a sense of how open they are to interpretation depending on viewer's eyes but also from the perspective of how they are created. I took abstract in last 6 months on the journey of intuitive approach, inner perspective, personal self-discovery and its therapeutic power. It took me a while to understand the connection that is formed between the creator and abstract shapes, colours combination and composition. There is so much more deep there...
The abstract I painted recently took me on interesting journey. It was linked to one of my approaches I guide people through and called "slow art journaling for emotional healing". The main concept is allowing the artwork to rest for few days in order to dig deeper into selves and wounds we rather do not touch. Somehow I thought that I can take that approach to the bigger format of the canvas and go beyond the journal.
The process I experienced was stretched across few days on purpose. Each stage was developing itself and allowed to reflect as well as connect with intuitive side. It is a rather difficult task to reflect on it now because it happens only "there and now", in a moment that is a flick of time and paradoxically when time stops to exist. There were 4 days of building this canvas and I guess some practices could be repeated and developed more in depth.
Day 1- I started with just intuitive choice of colours for the moment I was standing there in the front of the blank space. The blank space makes you to look inside as there is nothing in front of you. That white space is provoking and scary at the same time. It asks you to look deeper, wants you to run away and stay at the same time. So I stood, looked and picked up the brush. During this stage some first shapes and lines appeared. I did not plan in my head "I paint this"- it had simply poured out of your mind, it had to be free from your will and ego enforcement. As this stage was the beginning of processing some emotional imbalance so the imbalance came out in the art process. I painted shapes I did not like, I did not see them connected in any way to what was going on inside my mind, but with all that I carried on for about 20-30 minutes. It is a stage of discomfort and seem to be the incubation for what coming next. I left the canvas with deep lack of satisfaction but also the trust it will move on eventually.
Day 2- Looking at that work next day gave me a new perspective. What I could see was the disconnection and visual imbalance. The work was a demonstration the lack of joy but I spotted few areas that were having "potential", something about them that drew my attention. I focus on them. On those small spaces but more powerful than the rest of muddy parts. I looked at those patches and marked them. The areas I wanted to keep stand out against big parts of mud. I marked them (the muddy areas) without worrying if there is any link with a composition, colour - I felt they needed to go and that was the main point. On the mental level it was like opening up-facing the things I maybe did not want to see but got exposed to them. It was facing the truth and looking at painful parts of self. So I marked it all with charcoal and left.
Day 3- That was a big transformative part in more "visible" way. The starting point was using a contrast colour (in this case it was cream) to cover up fully the muddy areas. They started disappearing, lifting the heaviness up. Then I started merging areas I covered up with those I wanted to expose. Half way through the process I got rid of the brushes and painted with my hands only. Moving paint, pushing it, interacting with the texture of the canvas, working from different angles- looking at canvas from sides as well - not just "facing" it. I turned the canvas in many directions few times, trying to feel when it visually look more connected to myself, listening what my personal visual language was understanding. The longer I worked on it more integrity was taking place on the canvas and inside my mind. Things gradually started to shift and pass. There was a movement from darkness to understanding the need of acceptance.
Day 4- The last day I focus on final touches and details that not only completed the final abstract but were pieces of "reconciliation"- the was no major visual change to composition and colours, rather adding and accenting. Moving from paints to inks, pens and pastels also let me shift from the "engaged" state to the finishing phase when we simply accept what is there. There was also an involvement of deeper breathing that let me to look at each part of the artwork as the journey and fascinating story of transformation.
Feel free to try this approach yourself or develop more on it. I hope it can bring you the power of transformative art and encourage to see "beyond the picture".
Wishing you the most interesting journey!
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