A Watercolor A Day
I’m painting a watercolor a day for The 100 Day Project, and doing art daily has encouraged me to try different painting techniques, including abstracts.
If you follow me on Instagram @JudyRobinsonArt, you may have seen some of my abstracts.
More than anything else, painting abstracts lures me into thinking of experiences I’ve had and places I’ve been.
Abstracting about Experience & Color
I’m thinking of colors that come to mind, such as the mountain view from atop Mt. Le Conte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. So I start with those colors of purple, green and hazy gray and begin painting.
I’m considering what the experience calls to mind and not totally thinking through all the elements of the piece.
As I paint, I mix in gratitude for being fit enough to hike the six steep miles to reach Myrtle Point. I mix in a touch of intensity for the elevation – more than 6,500 feet above sea level. I recall the sound of the birds flying by. The swifts swoop just overhead. I could hear their wings flap and their heads turn to look at me. The falcons call out. These are all color inspirations.
Sometimes my memory of an experience includes smells, like fresh rain on stone or dry dirt on hiking boots or flowers in bloom.
It’s a great way to revisit a place that initially was a real joy to experience. Painting these recollections magnifies the view.
Energy in Abstract Painting
Creating abstract paintings refreshes and energizes – and I hope for you, too, as you view my work.
I spent much of my professional career teaching and designing instructional materials and online courses. I had to plan weeks and months in advance (and write every little breath and detail of these plans) to coordinate a range of learning objectives and variables.
Doing abstract watercolor painting is liberating and exhilarating. The work celebrates the moment of creating — a specific feeling, time and space.
How to Learn Abstract Painting
As I’ve explored abstract painting, I’ve watched YouTube videos, read many a book, and taken a few online courses in watercolor abstracts.
One technique has you select paints and then free the pigments with water to perform their magic. If things are slow, tilt the paper to let the colors flow and merge.
What do I see in the image? What do you see in the image? It’s not really a Rorschach test but rather a moment of dancing, performing pigment.
Seeing More in Abstract Painting
I painted an abstract and saw a healthy gut microbiome. Perhaps that was because I’d been reading about healthy eating and nutrition. Did the thoughts influence my painting or did the reading influence my perception of the painting?
After completing another watercolor abstract, I considered what it might be. I was at a loss. When I asked two friends, each immediately identified the abstract as an underwater ocean view. They both saw a similar theme and I had missed it entirely.
It’s fun for me to create abstracts art. And equally fun to leave it to you to decide what you see.
My abstracts, usually the original piece, can be purchased at JudyRobinson.art