March 29, 2013
Looking across the internet at numerous artists’ websites we conducted a search for the ten best new abstract paintings available. The idea here is to exhibit the work of living, dedicated and accomplished abstract painters. We found a great variety of styles and fine work from which to choose. The list is presented here in alphabetical order by artist’s last name. The image of each abstract painting is linked to the artist’s website.
”Robondo in Congress” by Brad Bannister
18″ x 14″ Acrylic on Canvas
“I would say that I have been rather eclectic in my approach to abstract painting, usually working within the boundaries of nonobjective presentation.”
”Moonlight and Chaos” by Sieglinde Battley
101cm x 102cm Oil on Canvas
“I paint what I see, hear, feel and think every day and at night. I make up stories about this concoction and put it on paper and canvas. I often depict animals in my paintings because they live where I live. These creatures end up sharing the idiosyncrasies of friends, family, business associates and neighbours and they become symbols of my own fears, hopes and desires as well. Often I am surprised what looks back at me from my canvas. These accidents I love most because they might not be so accidental after all.”
“Rites of Spring” by Filomena Booth
44″ x 44″ Acrylic on Canvas
“Filomena considers herself an experimental abstract expressionist artist. Her paintings often begin with thin washes of paint followed by layered glazes of color. The addition of collage materials, texture, and metallics may be used to enhance the composition as it slowly emerges from the canvas. The process involves the gradual buildup of many layers of color and texture to create the final image.”
“Cliff Hanger” by Valerie Brennan
40cm x 35cm Oil and Acrylic on Panel
“Using heavily textured application of vivid and contrasting color this artist produces surprisingly inviting abstract paintings.”
“Celebrate” by Merlin Emrys
40″ x 30″ Acrylic on Canvas
“My paintings, because they are abstract, are essentially energy made visible. They are an exploration of the interplay between form and formlessness, emergence and dissolution, using color, texture, and the strokes of the palette knife upon the canvas.”
“Un ete’ a la campagne” by Christine Maudy
101cm x 76 cm Acrylic and Collage on Canvas
“I consider myself an Impressionist abstract painter. My aim when I work is to express my memories of a place. I don’t limit myself to what I have seen but I also try to connect to how I felt, what was the interaction of the place on my psyche, on my feelings. I work from within letting all the elements I have been gathering come back and I translate these ‘impressions’ in geometrical shapes, lines, scratches, brush marks, texture, collage and colour.”
”Grapefruit” by Shawn McNulty
24″ x 24″ Acrylic and Pumice on Canvas
“My style explores the relationship between man-made structures and the natural world; the idea of recognizable shapes and structures living within irrational thoughts and emotions. A dialogue is created with the painting, and it starts to show me what needs to be done. Thick layers of acrylic and pumice and are applied, scraped off, reapplied, sliced off, etc. The process continues until a solution is found . . .”
“Campion Fields” by Linda Norris
19cm x 19cm Oil on Paper
“All my work is inspired by the ever-changing light and the rich textures and colours of the landscape around me. It is that feeling of getting lost in an activity, in creating something, that comes back to me now when I`m working in the studio.”
“River #18″ by David Tycho
48″ x 36″ Acrylic on Canvas
“My goal is to create an image filled with vitality and stated in as few brush strokes as required. I’ve found that once the inexplicably ‘correct’ strokes have been executed (often after numerous failures) petting or tidying the paintings only detracts from their vigor. Paint inherently runs, drips and bleeds, and I find much of the expressive potential and beauty in this very fact.”
“Moon Tides” by Kerrie Warren
140cm x 240cm Acrylic on Linen
“My aim as an Abstract Expressionist is to bypass self-censoring thought and allow myself to be influenced by layers beneath the surface. I enter the studio without a preconceived idea and trust in the process itself. Mark follows mark, a rhythm is inspired and I become fully absorbed ‘in the moment’.”
This list of the ten best new abstract paintings offers a good bit of variety in artistic style. From partial to full abstraction to non objective compositions, each work shows great design and quality of expression. We hope you will enjoy the work on display at all of the artists’ websites.
- Daniel Ferris
March 25, 2013
A visual expression must be based in part on a development of a style. The reasons for any particular style will be many, but each artist will adapt in their own way to create art. People may arrive at a non objective style of abstract painting composition as a matter of choice, ignoring other possibilities, but all people adapt by necessity, according to their strengths and weaknesses. Martha Reisdorf provides an interesting example of an artist working within real and strong limitations – yet creating admired abstract paintings in her personal non objective style of composition. You can see her work at her website.
“Aufnsteig 122a” 48″ x 36″ Currently on display at Island Living Gallery on Bainbridge Island, Washington.
“A severe head trauma in 1990 propelled me from a career in financial law into an abstract world. Consequences of surgery left me with skewed vision, loss of balance and depth perception. What had been reality became distortion and confusion. I remembered the world heretofore but where was it? To escape the tedium of rehab I enrolled in art school where my art professors taught me to embrace my limitations, to create art within my personal arena. I’d been given a ‘gift’.
Free of restraints and inhibitions associated with reality and unable to focus my eyes to form a composition, I allow the paint itself to be my eyes and finds its own expression. I begin by aimlessly gathering globs of varying colored paint onto a palette knife, applying it randomly in staccato strokes onto a canvas. I repeat this multiple times, applying paint over paint, until the collective layers meld into a mosaic fusion of colors, lines and shapes. I rely on color placement to develop a composition, then applying a glob of a specific color where the composition seems weak to me. To reach conclusion of a composition it must achieve ‘balance’ within my visual arena. To achieve this, areas of a work are weighted.”
Seeing the array of well balanced and very colorful abstract paintings at Martha’s website is well worth the visit. Here is also an interesting PBS video production on Martha the artist and her personal and non objective style of art composition that you will enjoy.
- Daniel Ferris
I recently contacted the Australian abstract artist and nonobjective painter Olivia Alexander about her fine body of work shown at her website. Her painting “Solace” was particularly interesting to me, so I decided to ask her how she conceived and executed this great painting.
“Solace” Acrylic on Paper 57cm x 75cm Available
Olivia mentioned her use of the elements and principles of design to bring these abstract compositions to a high level of interest. She also explained how she uses the materials of support and paint when she works. “ . . . Composition and design are the ‘bones’ of a good painting. For this nonobjective painting, ‘Solace’, I decided on a cruciform composition and worked, initially, in a purely intuitive way.”
“Selecting five colours that I might use and 300 gsm paper, I taped down five pieces of various sized torn paper. The pieces acted as templates to reserve some white areas. I made sure they touched at least four of the edges in a cruciform design giving me four entry or exit points. This gives me options later on.
Spraying water on the paper I then laid down fluid colour intuitively. Next, still following the cruciform design, I placed items like bubble wrap, wax paper, glad wrap and anything else that would give an interesting texture on the paint. Several layers were applied in this way, allowing each to dry.
I add greys mixed from the colours to give areas of rest and to contrast the strong colour. To better design this abstract composition I look for balance, contrast of tone, form and use line to lead the eye through the painting and make necessary adjustments to finish the work.”
Nonobjective artists use many different interesting techniques to create abstract paintings with varying textures. Olivia Alexander shows her great style in the abstract painting “Solace” and you will appreciate a visit to her website with abstract paintings in nonobjective art style.
- Daniel Ferris
March 19, 2013
Looking for accomplished abstract painters is always a pleasure for me. When I visited the website of Helen Shulman I looked at every image to see the conception and building of the composition. It was a cohesive collection of well executed nonobjective paintings that find their origins in landscape. These origins are most apparent in color and form, the earth tones and horizontal masses recur in one way or another. I interviewed Helen Shulman for “It’s Only Art?”
“I am an abstract artist, but I start each piece of art with recognizable imagery. The first layer is either based on a painting I love, taken from art of the Hudson River painters or a figure based on a drawing I’ve done in one of the weekly life drawing sessions I attend.
The art of the Hudson River School was strongly influenced by the compositions of Claude Loraine. He designed his canvases by using strong darks in the foreground, which emphasized the beautiful lights in the background. The compositions in the paintings of the Hudson River School are wonderful examples of the skillful use of contrasting large and small shapes, darks and lights, gradations of hue and detail verses broad brush to establish dramatic spaces and powerful moods.
“Please Silence Your Cell Phones” 24″ x 30″ Oil on Canvas 2013
Currently on view at Pryor Fine Art, Atlanta GA
I believe practicing skills often thought of as the purview of realistic rather than nonobjective artists enhances my nonobjective art. Hence I regularly attend life-drawing sessions. Whether starting with a landscape or a figure, I begin the process of sanding, layering, wiping down, scraping off, and adding more paint. Sometimes I think I am taking off more paint than I’m adding. Like many other nonobjective artists I know, I use squeegees, rags, rulers, rubber spatulas, etc. in this all absorbing process of making abstract art.
So I give myself something solid to hold onto as I struggle to let go of recognizable imagery and move more and more into nonobjective painting. I often hold my breath and imagine an objective artist has a less scary time of it (which probably isn’t true).
I am always seeking to create a sense of spatial relationships, one or more horizon lines, one or more sources of light, a way for the viewer to find their way into the painting and a path to encourage them to move around within it. I continue to add and remove paint, turning the panel in all directions until I have achieved a point at which I believe the picture will invite the viewer to enter, to linger, to enjoy, relax and, I trust, feel refreshed.”
The feeling tone of Helen Shulman’s abstract paintings are akin to the landscapes from which she draws inspiration. And those paintings convey the solidity and life force that she is expressing.
- Daniel Ferris
February 26, 2013
Many artists in history have created small paintings on paper. Many of these works are considered among the artist’s masterworks despite producing larger, magnificent canvases. Many sculptors work on paper as well, sometimes creating fine works as preliminary to a sculpture. While works on paper are generally less valuble than works on canvas or sculptures, they are often valuble to collectors as excellent compositions and may approach the valuation of larger pieces by a particular artist.
Some artists are most well known for their works on paper, Honore’ Daumier and Toulouse Lautrec are two, but there are many artists who worked on paper notably as a variant to their main production, Pablo Picasso, Edgar Degas and August Renoir among the many.
The media of prints, drawing and pastels are all found almost exclusively on paper. Paper as a support is also very important in the art of many Asian countries. I will not digress into a discussion of types or qualities of the various papers of history or those available at present, but in fact suggest that many quality papers are still used with great facility by numerous artists.
Painting on paper has been done with inks, pigments of many kinds and many different paints with various vehicles through history – egg tempera, oils, and acrylics. Each paper lends itself to some media more than others. And each medium demands a varying ground on the paper for good execution and for good stability of the paint’s chemical properties.
Modern painters are working on paper in various paints, but most often with acrylic paints. There are a number of artists such as Robert Vickrey and Sam Francis who worked on larger pieces of paper, but most paint on paper is done in small paintings – usually under 36″ in both dimensions.
With a cursory review of strong, contemporary works, paintings on paper, you will see artists working in watercolor for representational or objective works and artists working in acrylic for abstract paintings, especially nonobjective artists and action painters.
Watercolorists receive a great deal of public support and are celebrated as an old and established art form with many larger regional, national and international shows. Abstract artists working in acrylic on paper to produce small nonobjective paintings receive little of the recognition afforded by the old, national art shows that tour, like “Watercolor USA”. Yet the small acrylic paintings on paper that abstract artists now turn out are often very strong in composition. A good example of small abstract paintings done on paper can be found at this website. These works, acrylic on paper, are exemplary of the work available in contemporary media.
Good abstract paintings are collectible, but on paper, as smaller works, they are more affordable even though they usually offer great examples of an artist’s style in compact format. Collectors of such artists as Red Grooms and Andy Warhol see small works on paper going for many thousands of dollars now. A contemporary, small painting on paper that is matted and framed can make a great buy for collector or investor.
- Daniel Ferris
January 4, 2012
If you are an art lover, then collecting art is a natural inclination. Having your favorite artwork nearby is inspiring. But collecting art can be expensive. With the expense in mind there is the possibility that you can find art that you love for a price that you can afford and it might even increase in value.
When it comes to collecting art the major consideration is whether you like the piece well enough to buy it. Secondarily, can you afford or profit from a given work of art? Those two groups of artworks can overlap. You just need the knowledge and discipline to find the kind of art that satisfies both criteria. So this article will offer you some knowledge that you can apply in satisfying both criteria. Any successful art collector has used knowledge to find each piece of art in his/her collection. Here are some practical rules you can use.
2. Try to buy original works as opposed to multiples like prints or sculpture casting editions. Originals have a greater possibility of increasing in value over time.
3. Do not buy art that you are not sure that you like. Be patient and locate art that you are positive about. There is little sense in feeling disappointed if you don’t grow to appreciate a piece that you didn’t feel strongly about.
4. Learn about the artist who has created the works you can appreciate. Collect information about the artist’s work, his life, education, commitment to creating on a continuing basis, willingness to show his work at the highest levels available, degree of sophistication within his/her own type of art. These efforts are indicators of an artist’s ability to become recognized in his/her work.
5. Realize that you do not necessarily have to pay the stated price. You should be willing to negotiate with the artist or the dealer of the artist’s works. Many sales are made at levels approaching 80%, and some as low as 50%. Artists have been know to barter, accept services or goods in exchange for their work, as well.
6. Make sure that you understand how any purchase that you make must be maintained. Is the art stable and solid, or does it need special support or display under glass? Can it be handled easily for cleaning, or is so fragile that it could break? Find out the permanence of the materials used, especially surface materials like paint or patina. Realize that many works could support growth of mold, react chemically to some substances, or react poorly to sunlight or even low levels of artificial light. You want as much stability, strength and permanence in artworks as possible.
7. You can always consult experts before you buy a work of art. There are professional appraisers available to authenticate work. You can also ask other artists, an underutilized wealth of expertise as to the general qualities of another artist’s works. You can ask several people to examine a particular work to answer these questions.
Following these simple guidelines can make selection of original paintings, sculpture and other artworks a rewarding experience and a valuable pastime.
- Dan Ferris
May 22, 2011
“While I found Joan Mitchell’s surfaces absolutely gorgeous, I had never known her work during my formative years as an art student. It was the male artists–Pollack, deKooning, Motherwell, Rothko–whose work had influenced me. I couldn’t leave them out to make a political statement. Their art spoke to me then. It speaks to me still.” These words from abstract painter Lynne Taetzsch could be a capsulization of her development of style. The visit to her website will be informative and exhilarating because of her nonobjective style.
Developmentally, Lynne has maintained the early strengths of her vision and then added repertoire to conceive an admirable body of work. Her compositions contain energy and power, but also provide a cohesive framework for color passages that range from dazzling to subtly sensual. She has a strength not seen in many of today’s painters, spontaneity. Her spontaneity denies nothing of impulsivity, yet in her energetic openness she maintains resolve and decorum. That kind of process is truly rewarding to the viewer when it has matured and manifested in a continuum of work.
Lynne works in acrylic paint on canvas. She has probably contributed to the popularization of acrylics as a medium by new artists and those who explore in media generally. Oil as a medium still has a strong place in the art world because of its distinct properties. Acrylics distinctions are many, and Lynne uses most of them with real authority.
One of the best parts of visiting Lynne’s website and her blog is the amount of information and images you will find about her work and her life. For a collector, student or writer this is actually a treasure by which an artistic career can be glimpsed. Lynne has written some accounts of her life that add to this understanding, and in a retrospect view many conclusions can be drawn. How this has added or subtracted from her body of work there may be no succinct answer, but her work stands as a pattern of trial and achievement of substantial and positive notoriety.
- Daniel Ferris