Friday, March 27, 2015

Mondrian, the Verticals and the Horizontals

A note by Mondrian: If the masculine is the vertical line, then a man will recognize this element in the rising line of a forest; in the horizontal lines of the sea he will see his complement. Woman, with the horizontal line as element, sees herself in the recumbent lines of the sea, and her complement in the vertical lines of the forest. (his remark on his two paintings ‘Sea’ and ‘Trees’, both made in 1912.

* source, famous Dutch people life quotes: note in his sketchbook; as quoted in “Mondrian, -The Art of Destruction”, Carel Blotkamp, Reaktion Books LTD. London 2001, p. 70.

I decided to use these thoughts of Mondrian as the base for my abstract tree paintings. As I slash and slash my canvas to get those sharp sword-like (masculine) lines, I like to think about the images of war. Soon, a little war of words (with lots of laughing) started at home. My beautiful very feminine daughter and two grand-daughters would have loved to be Joan of Arc. They believe they stand upright in life...forget about the docile, reclining, beach or forest floor feminine image......Oh, dear, am I rambling here and forgetting about the paintings?
In these paintings I kept both Mondrian's lines and Kandinsky's colour theories in mind. Here we have the advancing yellows and the receding blues to animate the picture surface. Though abstract, nothing appears to be only on one level. As I mentioned in the previous post, I always abstract from something, in this instance nature, so that my paintings will recall reality.

Tall Trees I

by South African Abstract Impressionistic Landscape Artist Marie Theron
12.5 x 17.5cm (5 x 7 inches)
Acrylic and recycled acrylic skins on canvas

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Tall Trees II

by South African Abstract Impressionistic Landscape Artist Marie Theron
12.5 x 17.5cm (5 x 7 inches)
Acrylic on canvas

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Tall Trees III

by South African Abstract Impressionistic Landscape Artist Marie Theron
12.5 x 17.5cm (5 x 7 inches)
Acrylic on canvas

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Forest Rain, an abstract image.

Now I am really into abstraction all of a sudden.  This is my painting "Forest Rain" done several years ago. To abstract something, you start with here. I will present these posts as lessons in abstraction, because many artists ask the question: How does one start an abstract painting?

"Forest Rain" by South African Impressionist Painter Marie Theron
200mm x 300mm
Watercolour and Acrylic paints on thick watercolour paper.
Remember, an artist goes from reality to abstraction. I first made definite organic type of lines representing plant life. In my past posts, I have painted many realistic trees. To view some of my realistic trees, go HERE or HERE. The image "tree" is therefore already somewhere in my mind, in a place where information is stored. 

I often visit galleries or go through newsletters and blogs to view abstract works...and there is one very common lack in many of them: there is no depth. To my mind Kandinsky was the King of Abstract Painting. But take note, he studied the value of colours. He knew which were advancing colours and which were receding, and so the surfaces of his abstract paintings were alive with depth and perspective and movement. An abstract need not be a series of forms and lines all on one plane. Go HERE to view Kandinsky's beautiful works.

Once I have a framework drawing, it is time to start creating. First I do some automatic painting: I cover the format with patches of colour and get rid of the white surface. I love a real mess without sense at first. Chaos! After that, I go into "flow". I think of the theme, in this instance it was a forest during a shower. Some edges are dull and some objects just a blur! There are smells and sounds and so much to see and there is depth in a forest. I enjoy the process of trying to create that feeling.

I do hope that you can feel the atmosphere in this painting. In the weeks to come, I will create abstracts where I begin with tree outlines and then abstracting them from there. I will try to describe the process of creating them and hope it can help others to experiment.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Back to Bokkoms

Every time I open my blog, I notice that certain West Coast topics remain the most popular of my posts, even if new visitors pop in. These are the most-visited themes: Paternoster, Langebaan, Saldanha Bay, waterblommetjies, sutherlandia plant, and bokkoms. I have moved away from the West Coast, but I kept my home there and try to return there often. It is also available for holiday accommodation.
188 Sanderling....from our  "long beach" you can see the beautiful Table Mountain.

Since I am no longer living there and travelling the west coast regularly, I have started on many new painting themes, working in sets of 15 to 25 paintings. There were the bunnies, the stitch cartoons, the impressionistic ladies and the children. And now to honour the West  Coast once again, I painted a series of bokkoms.

The full history, process and use of bokkoms were explained in earlier posts which contained these images:

Bokkoms, read about them at this link and here

I thought I would present the Berg River at Velddrif by using a clear blue for the background? Here you can see the resulting paintings.
The three makes a good set for a narrow wall!

I am just endlessly living by the slogan (first heard from one of my lecturers long ago):  NEVER BORE THE EYE.

Thus the next step was for little fish to go all modernistic and Delauney-like, this time to reflect the colours of the little boats (bakkies, we call them) which bring in the fish for drying.

There is a tradition on the river: anybody, even a child, who needs food may collect a fresh harder or two for supper from the brimful boatloads.  In this way the community is supported. “Harders” is what they are called before they are salted and dried. I love the dish and nowhere is there a better place to eat them, than correctly prepared at a Bokkom Lane restaurant on the Berg River’s banks. These are a very fast acrylic sketch and some ink sketches on canvas, depicting my favourite meal.