Monday Motivator: The Unexpected in Abstraction

“Most people consume media such as film, which is completely representational, so I think there is not a language that has built up through culture that is taught to appreciate a diverse set of imagery or shifts in this figurative reality. … a good abstraction can transport a viewer to places that are unexpected”

Emily Ferretti, in “Australian Abstract” by Amber Creswell Bell, page 110

The idea that “it looks like a photo” is what makes a good drawing or painting is so limiting in terms of the possibilities, yet you see it regularly on social media where it’s intended as the ultimate compliment. Learn the technical skills of representation, but don’t stop there. Don’t aim be a human photocopier, but to explore further.

Conversely, if you’re avoiding starting to draw and paint because of worries about not having the “talent” for “making things look real”, start by exploring colour, different materials, then head into composition. There’s a long way to be travelled along these paths without going through a gate called “realism”.

See Also: Following a ‘What If I…?’ Impulse When Painting

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