Think Abstract Art is Easy?

Abstract art is not easy. I came across a great quote that accurately describes the ability needed to produce this form of work. It happens to be from one of my favorite creatives…

“Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colors, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential.” —Wassily Kandinsky

(Special ‘Shout Out’ to Jud: It takes more than your paint sprayer! But I will gladly take it off your hands. Could use it to paint my dining room chairs.)

Mr. Basket Maker Speaks: Saturday Night Art Walk Take Over

I mentioned to Lynne that I would like to write the next art walk. The reason for this, y ‘all will find out a little later. First issue on the table for me was to get familiar with Lynne’s style and format of her “Saturday Art Walk” posts. So, I re-read her last edition to brush up on her style.

I like how she gets everyone in the mood by describing the glass of wine that she is sipping on. I actually heard from several followers of these posts that they get out a glass of wine themselves and read along, sipping their wine. Sounds like she is onto something so I will do the same this evening.
Anyway, here is how the last Art Walk started out with Lynne…

“What I’m drinking tonight? A nice Italian Sangiovese. And if you are like me and mispronounce roughly 85% of wine names, here’s how you say this one: SAHN-dJOH-VAYZ (Note: Spelling is based on my interpretation of how it sounds. May be different in the dictionary but I’m confident it’s pretty close.)”

Yeah… don’t expect any of that stuff. Here’s how we are doing it tonight:

What I’m drinking tonight? This evening we are popping the top off a local microbrew called Calf Killer (it was named after a river where a long time ago calfkiller-beer-logo herd of cattle tried to cross a river during a flood. Bad idea. I don’t have to tell you what happened). The hand crafted brew is named Scorched Hooker.

Not to be confused with the “Scorned Hooker,” this hooker is burnt, dark and bitter— guaranteed to satisfy your need for a dark hoppy companion. Just be glad I didn’t choose another one of their beers as its name would have never made it past Lynne’s censorship. I knew I had to tame it down to get it by her. (Don’t worry folks, this is a one-time deal. You will get your regular Saturday Night Art Walk back next time.)

What I’m listening to? I had this brilliant idea of taking the recently downloaded music files from one of my older laptops and play it on a random mix. Some of this music I haven’t heard in over ten years: Up came Fat Boy Slim, Cinderella (not the one with the glass slippers) and Ween, where the main verse says something like “If you really love me you baby, help me scrape the mucus off my brain.” What’s kind of funny about that one is that it’s played as an old time western country song.

This sounded like a good idea…at the time. Now that I’ve set the mood, let’s get on with it. So my theme for tonight is the Art of Lynne Talbot-Taylor, my talented wife.

Seriously. The reason I wanted to do the art walk this week is because I am very proud of my wife and want to celebrate her art. With all of the work that was involved over the last 3-4 years with our big move to Tennessee, it kind of put her passion on the back burner. She was more occupied with her freelance design work to keep the bills paid. But now, as time went along and we started to settle in it became time for her to start getting back in the groove. And this girl has her groove on!

She’s been painting and painting and painting — sometimes until two or three in the morning. Trust me… her favorite music group the last two months (it changes often) Gramatix at three in the morning can get a little annoying. But I digress…

Now that we have a large enough area where she not only has her office and studio, she also has open space where she can work on large pieces, and she has been taking full advantage of it. On an earlier post I snapped a shot of her ‘starting stages’ on two pieces:


Later in this post I’ll show the finished painting and you will be sure to be surprised. What is so interesting is the process — and how these paintings are ever-changing and gradually evolving.

When you look at abstract art and see a patch of color, your mind says that that was put directly on the canvas and that’s it. But the fact is, it may be many, many, many layers of paint below the final color you see. This constant layering of colors can be frustrating to watch. There were many long nights while she painted and would ask “what do you think”? And I would reply, “I think it’s done.” No more than a minute has passed after I said that and “boom” she’s mixing new colors of paint!

My reaction is usually “Nooo! Half the painting is gone!” I learned real quick not to get too attached to the way a painting currently looks if there’s no signature at the bottom (and actually, she says when she signs it, it’s done but I have seen her several times still working on it after the signature is placed).

But I have now seen that with her paintings (and with majority of abstract as well, I recently learned), this tedious, yet important process adds more and more depth to the creation of the final piece. Darn, Lynne is once again right!

What I learned the most in watching her work for weeks on end is that I didn’t understand all that is involved in abstract art. And I’m sure you have heard that people say “oh I can do that” and then when they try, they find it looks like total crap. I see now it is difficult. It’s a long process and that long process is what adds to the depth of the work and gives a painting life. The abstraction is the ART and it’s something nobody has seen before.

I will say that sometimes when she is frustrated that it’s not looking a certain way I will hear her declare, “That’s it. I’m going back to traditional painting—when the tree looks like a tree, it’s done!” She then walks off for a minute or two, and quickly comes back to tackle some more.

So you saw the picture above, this is how those two paintings ended up:


Can you see now what I’m talking about how everything changes and it’s about the layers? These are the end resultless of two weeks of coming back to the canvas every day, for hours at a time, making changes.

All this is why I wanted to do this Saturday’s Art Walk. Many people, including myself, don’t really understand what abstract art is. I do now. It’s an emotion, a feeling, a visual you have never seen before. I could go on, but now for the best part of all. Lynne and I packed up nine pieces of her work to bring down to a previously scheduled appointment with an art center that houses the Berger Gallery in the next county over from us.

The director and assistant started looking through her works and were picking some out for display in the Art Center with all the other artists. And then the director said he really liked the two large yellow paintings (the same ones above) and asked Lynne if she happened to have thirty-some-odd pieces. “Yes, I do” Lynne says. Then the director asks her if she would commit to a solo show in 2017.

Wow! A 45-day solo show… I’m so proud of you Lynne. You’ve got almost a year and a half so no excuses. Finish up the dozens of paintings you already started and you will be ready to go.

Below are closeups of those two yellow paintings so you can see the detail. Below the white paint, there are hints of color. As she says, “if you want it to be white, you use white paint.” Meaning, there’s lots of color underneath and to get that depth and not “flat white”, you need to take the time and build up your colors and then paint the white where you want it. That way, it’s not flat white, but dimensional white. (Her words.) ©2016 Methodical Melody



Thank you for letting me be the guest writer for your Saturday Night Art Walk.