Abstract oil paintings are always mysterious to me. I have a vague idea of the color palette I want to use, but honestly, I have no idea what I'm doing. That's what I enjoy about painting an abstract piece. The piece itself really kind of evolves by itself and I sometimes just feel like I'm only involved in the gentlest of ways. I tell people painting an abstract painting is like raising a teenager -- you might as well not even bother trying to make it this or that because in the end, it kind of makes up its own mind. It's good for us control freaks to paint abstract art I think.
This painting entitled "Autumnal Shift" (thank you to Kris Archbold on my Facebook feed for the title!). It has a lot of texture -- vertical and horizontal scratches and raised areas, and then finished with just a bit of judiciously applied gold leaf.
When I posted the photo of this piece on my Facebook page, I asked people what they saw, and what it should be named. It was an interesting and very well received little exercise. People saw a city scene on a river, tall ships and hilltops on fire. That's what I like about abstract art. It's almost like staring at the clouds -- abstract invites the participation of the viewer. "What is it?" you ask. Ahhh -- now I've got you. You must get involved and figure it out. What is it? What do you see?
“Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes....Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an exploration into unknown areas.” -- Arshile Gorky