The photo shows a sneak peek of a series of new art prints. These four together form one work of art. It's fairly minimalistic iPad art. And it's also quite abstract, but it's called 'Whispers'. Do you see why?
While painting and drawing with my Apple Pencil on my iPad, I became fascinated with simple, abstract shapes. And I wondered: where is the boundary between figurative and abstract art?
'Figurative' means: the subjects and shapes are recognizable and refer to the perceptible world. Think of landscapes, seascapes, flowers. In a figurative painting you recognize the subject, but it does not have to look exactly like the subject. As a painter you can play with colors and shapes.
You can even play with color and shape for so long that nothing can be recognized in the painting. Of course you can also do that purposefully. Then you use shapes, colors, lines and textures, without a direct representation of reality. This is called 'abstract'.
Abstract artworks can detach from reality and focus on depicting emotions, ideas or concepts. They offer room for subjective interpretation and creative freedom, but I often find it more exciting when recognizable elements can be found in a painting.
When I'm painting and when I try to combine figurative and abstract elements, I sometimes feel like a tightrope walker. Balancing between two extremes. And another time it feels like I'm setting out a quest for others: where do I leave recognizable elements, like breadcrumbs for the viewer? I often wonder immediately afterwards: do people still recognize this? Or am I just seeing it myself?
You can present figurative elements in an abstract way. You can also create (almost) abstract shapes that contain subtle recognizable features. The boundary between figurative and abstract painting is a blurred area. It is actually more of a continuum than a boundary between two extremes.
The photo shows a preview of a series of new art prints that I will be presenting in more detail in late summer. Of course on my website and in my newsletter. And probably also during theAtelierroute Utrecht (weekend of 23 and 24 September, 12-5 pm).