At the edge of the forest

November 2012  Acrylic on canvas 70 x 50cm

I haven’t had so much time recently ( or else I’ve been less self disciplined/less organised  – either way I’m not sure what’s happening with the time!) But I have finally managed to finish this. I like to have  a painting I’m working on most of the time.

I’m fascinated with the spaces between branches & the abstract patterns you can pull out of the tangle, constantly readjusting the balance & rythmn of the composition. In a way I think most art could be said to be  abstract – it’s just a question of what you choose to abstract & up to what point. It’s interesting to me at what point people choose one definition (abstract or representational). Can’t it sometimes be both? For me it is –  I like to flip back & forth between the ways of perceiving a piece of artwork. In fact I like to look at the real world in that way too as much as possible. What do you do?

Au bord de la forêt

Je m’intéresse à l’espace entre les branches et les motifs abstraits qu’on retire du enchevêtrement: il faut rajuster toujours l’équilibre et le rhythme de la composition. D’une certaine façon je crois qu’on pourrait dire que presque tout l’art soit abstrait – c’est question de ce qu’on choisit d’extraire et jusqu’à où. Il est intéressant de poser la question au sujet de quel point on choisit une defintion (abstrait ou represantationnel). Pour moi mon choix est toutes les deux. J’aime basculer entre les deux quand je regarde un ouevre. En fait j’aime regarder le monde réel de la même manière. Et vous?

16 thoughts on “At the edge of the forest

    • Hello – thank-you very much – please don’t take offence, but I already declined this award from Tahir at jav3d. I feel like I’ve not got enough time to do everything I’m already trying to do, so I can’t add any more things (such as participating in awards) at the moment. Sorry & thanks again.

    • Thank-you – I really appreciate that – Creating mood is very important to me too & I’m always pleased when someone is able to find a connection with what I’m hoping to express.

    • Thank-you – I think it all comes back to recombination! What I really mean is you only need a few colours but it’s the proportion of each one that makes the difference. And of course all colours influence each other incredibly – one minute it can be working & the next it isn’t just because of a tiny addition of a certain colour for example & then you have to change it again until it feels right. White helps too — ok I know i’m stating the obvious!!!

  1. Sonya, I agree entirely with your observations on abstraction, I find the same effects in chaotic, stormy skies (no surprise there), in the movement of turbulent water, flames and the shadows on far off hillsides as in your paintings of a few years ago. Chaos – (in any situation?) and the never repeated patterns are fascinating, hypnotic and a route, for me, to connect with my subconscious.

    Best Regards

    Andrew Gande

    • Hello Andrew – how nice to hear from you. I should have guessed you might perceive things in this way too! I’m so pleased when people do (and glad that you obviously still enjoy stormy skies too!)
      Actually, I think more & more that this type of perception is quite possibly a very deeply rooted human trait, but that given our current western lifestyle we risk losing it, along with our sense of connectedness with the world.

  2. What an intricate painting. I love bare branches. I think they’re much more interesting than leaves. And I agree, the spaces between the branches become abstract shapes. I wrestle with representational vs. abstract. Right now I consider true abstract having no connection to anything “real” at all. It’s difficult to put it into words. And as I write this I wonder, doesn’t anything we create have some connection to something real that we’ve experienced?

    • Hi Jack – nice to hear from you . I’d say it’s true that some abstract can be read entirely as having no connection to “real”. But could that be because the viewer doesn’t find an association & if they do, it won’t neccesssarily be the same one as what triggered the artist? Also the artist quite likely may not have had any conscious trigger at all. But I’d say yes to your last question because with no experience what have you got for your brain to be working with?
      Makes me think of Rothko – when I was a kid I remember going into the Tate with my parents & liking the cocooning feeling of his dark red canvases. The whole gallery was dark & it was sort of muffled (all those English carpets!) In hindsight I wonder if it might have triggered that response in me because it could be a bit like being in the womb!

  3. A real adventure of a painting – the contrast of bright light and forest shadow is fascinating – as is the curve and weave of the branches. Feels really musical (sorry that sounds really affected, just mean the fluid rise and falls!).

    • Dear oh dear – I’ve got very bad with this blog recently -I’m now realizing you are the third person I haven’t got round to replying to! Still, I hope you agree we shouldn’t be a slave to our blogs! What would be the point? On the other hand we’re all real people too, so it’s not good to be too careless! No, that’s not a New Years resolution – I don’t do those, just reminding myself!
      And no you don’t sound affected – though it’s nice to hear someone else questioning themselves like that – I often have second thoughts on what I’ve said or written , because of how it could be interepreted etc! Thanks – in fact your comment is interesting because there is a musicality of flickering light in forests & I’m glad it speaks to you that way (now I’m probably sounding corny ;;;)

  4. This is a stunning painting, Sonya! I’ve been looking at it for ages, tracing all its lines and flow, then just letting its overall effect and colours wash over me; then focusing close on all the details that so vividly recall direct experience of nature. All this happens almost at once, or in sequences and cycles; flickering through my mind as I look.

    I think that, like you, I flip back and forth between absorbing the representational and abstract when I look at a painting – and at life! I think, in many ways, writers do the same thing in their work too – teasing out the shapes and connections that lay behind, and within, what their words represent on the surface. Metaphor is a great example – in the way it creates layers of multiple meaning and abstract ideas and concepts connected to a word image…

    Melanie

    • Happy New Year to you too Francis. Yes I’m hoping to get back to painting soon – Have been using my time for too many other things recently. on the other hand that’s life I suppose!

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