Tag Archives: abstract art

Just think about it! (24)

I enjoy creating and posting abstract images and often feel that it would be appropriate to attach the following extract from Kandinsky:

‘The spectator is too ready to look for a meaning in a picture—i.e., some outward connection between its various parts. Our materialistic age has produced a type of spectator or “connoisseur,” who is not content to put himself opposite a picture and let it say its own message. Instead of allowing the inner value of the picture to work, he worries himself in looking for “closeness to nature,” or “temperament,” or “handling,” or “tonality,” or “perspective,” or what not. His eye does not probe the outer expression to arrive at the inner meaning. In a conversation with an interesting person, we endeavour to get at his fundamental ideas and feelings. We do not bother about the words he uses, nor the spelling of those words, nor the breath necessary for speaking them, nor the movements of his tongue and lips, nor the psychological working on our brain, nor the physical sound in our ear, nor the physiological effect on our nerves. We realize that these things, though interesting and important, are not the main things of the moment, but that the meaning and idea is what concerns us. We should have the same feeling when confronted with a work of art. When this becomes general the artist will be able to dispense with natural form and colour and speak in purely artistic language.’                                                                                                                                                                                    (Kandinsky  Concerning the Spiritual in Art)


Filed under Abstract photos, Art, Imaginings, Just think about it!, photography, Quotations, Thoughts

Abstract 174 ‘Pale face’

This abstract was derived from a natural seaweed pattern.


Filed under Abstract photos, Art, Colour, Imaginings, Nature, Pattern, photography, Shore, Uncategorized

Around the Barbara Hepworth Garden (2)

Continuing from two days ago, below I am offering a further selection from the Hepworth Garden.  I would stress that these two selections provide only a taster of a very special experience.

Two Forms (Divided Circle)


Torso II (Torcello)

Stone Sculpture (Fugue II)

Square Forms (Two Sequencies)

Hollow Form with Inner Form

See also Around the Barbara Hepworth Garden and The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Garden


Filed under Abstract photos, Colour, Minimalist, Nature, Pattern, Texture, Uncategorized

Around the Barbara Hepworth Garden

Barbara Hepworth (1903-75) was an internationally renowned sculptor whose finest work was produced in the years between the end of World War II and her death in 1975.

She was a prolific artist whose work can be seen in public places throughout the UK as well as in galleries and museums.  The recently opened Hepworth Museum in Wakefield (2011) houses 44 full size model prototypes in plaster and aluminium, made in preparation for the works in bronze executed from the mid-1950’s to the end of her career.

Works appear in public places and collections across the world, from the US and Canada, through Europe, to China and Japan in the Far East.

Hepworth was an abstract artist who worked in a variety of materials  – wood, stone, bronze and marble.  She produced flowing, rhythmic sculptures that created impressions of objects rather than simple portraits of the objects themselves.  She was drawn to smooth natural shapes rather than angular geometric blocks, although there are exceptions.  She focused a good deal on the impact of light (and changing light) on her work.  The characteristic pierced holes in her sculptures allow the light in and create a certain airiness a solid block would lack.

Three quotations from Hepworth will, I think, help an appreciation of her work:
‘I rarely draw what I see, I draw what I feel’.  This is equally true of the sculptures.

‘Everything I make is to touch.’  This seems to me to be so important with sculpture.  And the joy of the Hepworth Garden is the access to the works  – the opportunity to touch.

‘I like the story to be implicit in the work and you make your own sense of it.’  I feel that the titles are often not helpful in terms of conveying what the sculptor had in mind.  Does that matter?  Sometimes I feel it would help!

Hepworth 1b



Cantate Domino

Hepworth 19.a jpg

Ascending Form (Gloria)

Title Unknown

six forms

Six Forms

See also The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Garden


Filed under Abstract photos, Minimalist, Nature, Pattern, photography, Texture, Trees, Uncategorized

Just think about it! (2)

‘Abstract paintings and drawings [and photographs] tap into a fundamental, primitive part of our existence  –  the part that experiences life without words, beyond language, transcending definition.’    Art is Fun

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Filed under Abstract photos, Colour, Just think about it!, Minimalist, Pattern, Quotations, Sayings, Texture, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Art in St Ives

St Ives sky

St Ives is dominated by two natural elements, the sea and the sky –  perhaps especially the sky.  The visitor is immediately aware of the seemingly excessive amount of sky, the vast panoramic skyscapes and the transitory shapes of the scudding clouds.

The quality of light is energizing and stimulates in many a wish to be creative, a need to capture some of this energy and give it expression, particularly in two- or three-dimensional form.

It is this source of creative energy that attracted the potter Bernard Leach and, a little later, the St Ives School of artists (Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth et al) in the first half of the twentieth century.  It continues to act as a magnet for painters, sculptors and ceramicists.

St Ives must boast more small galleries per square mile than any other town or city in the country.  Much of the work is clearly being produced for the commercial market  –  an artist has to live!  –  but a substantial amount is abstract.

Why abstract?  In the best examples the abstract image or form is the natural vehicle through which to express a powerful feeling or impulse.  The abstract work needs no narrative explanation but, through a coherent relationship between its component elements (eg., line, shape, colours, contrast, balance, rhythm, harmony, use of space etc) it encourages the viewer to explore similar feelings within his/her own experience.

But with a surfeit of galleries, it is not surprising to find a high proportion of work of indifferent quality.  In some instances there is evidence of a mismatch between the artist’s aspirations and his/her technical competence.  (One can sympathise  –  we have all had a similar experience at some time).  But sadly there are too many works in which ‘abstract’ has been interpreted as ‘anything goes’  – inferior works which create the illusion of art by using frames of reasonable quality and for which extravagant prices are then asked.

Whilst it is good for everyone to respond to any creative urge, regardless of technical limitations, and is natural to wish to share the outcome with others, there is a responsibility shared by both artists and gallery owners to ensure that the quality of work presented to the public is the best available and that prices asked are appropriate and fair.  Not all galleries currently fulfil these last two criteria.

See also Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Garden

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