Tag Archives: abstract painting

Energetically Painted Silenced Scenes

by Hilde Goossens


Artist: Hilde Goossens

I paint characters in waiting rooms or transit zones, and scenes of waiting crowds. My goal is
to paint an impression that insinuates and suggests rather than defines, so the viewer has
the task to search and decide for himself what he or she sees.

My preferred material is acrylic paint, and I really enjoy the process of mixing colors. The
typical process is to dilute my paint with water and add (a) drop(s) of black Chinese ink
rendering toned-down and mostly transparent colors. In my work, I am well aware of the
opaque/transparent properties of the colors, and I use them smartly. However, I have a
strong preference for transparent paint as it gives the opportunity to add many layers and
suggest even more.

Because I love to experiment, I often add collage and photography to my work, but the result
of these experiments always ends as a painting. When I use photography under my paint, it
makes these artworks more realistic, but realism is not what I’m looking for, simplification
and a step towards abstraction is what I’m looking for. When I’m painting, I’m envisioning
that I’m watching a moment of scene with my eyes almost closed so I can remove details but
still capture the essence of the scene and its characters.



Abstract Freedom

by Petra Lea


Silence Again

Enchanted Forest

The Ascent


Still Life With Glass

Blind Ambition

Sight Unseen


Artist: Petra Lea

I am a professional artist based in the UK at The Electric Picture House Artists Cooperative. I exhibit throughout the UK and USA including New York, London and Oxford. My artworks are housed in collections in the UK and USA. I have also had my artwork published in magazines, including Rapsodia Independent Literary Review based in Italy and Capitol No in Switzerland.

I am a member of Collagistes Collective, an international group of collage artists. I am represented by The August Agency in New York and the Artbank in China.

I participate in an average of ten exhibitions per year, these include group and solo exhibitions.



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The Journey and the Conversation

by Jenny Schultz

Four years ago I was living a great life as an artist, mom, wife and fun, energetic friend. My art was just gaining ground and was featured in several galleries across the southeast. My painting style was happy, bright and colorful. Then I was diagnosed with late stage, neurological Lyme disease.

Joyous creation was essential to my psyche pre-illness, and work would really just evolve on my easel. The action of painting and interacting with the canvas and mediums truly made me happy. Angst did not figure into my work. I just never experienced it. This showed in the end result.

I could no longer feel those joyful emotions after the illnesses took hold. The ease of creation was lost to me. My actual vision and depth perception had changed. Hand tremors made the actual movement of representational painting difficult. I could no longer see or feel or experience the synergy that was once there.

My Lyme Doctor is located in New York, which gave me the opportunity to finally visit the various museums that I had always dreamed about. I would schedule time after each appointment to sit and soak in the work of the art masters.

I became obsessed with the mid century modernists. Pollack, de Kooning, Hoffman, Klein, Krasner, Freud, and Klee all spoke to me. I understood what they were saying but try as I might, I couldn’t make the jump from my happy, Impressionism to a dialogue via abstraction.

Finally, after four years of healing, I was able to start that conversation with my art. I understood what I needed to say. After four years of fighting to get my brain back, I sure had a lot to say. I began, slowly, to rebuild my life and my art career, with the help of many doctors, friends and two amazing gallery owners.

I actually write about my journey onto my canvas. I write about love and frustrations and the joy of being alive. I then use paint to communicate more, either over or under my words. I sand and scrape and carve, depending on the emotions and thoughts that are trying to reach the canvas. Some days the creation comes easily and I feel the past peek through a bit. Other days, more frequently than not, the bacteria in my body take charge and I have to wait for the healing to happen again.

















Artist: Jenny Schultz

Website: http://jennyschultz.com/

Email: jennyschultz1121@gmail.com





Small Studio Big Paintings

by Shirley Benton

Acrylic on Board, 2 ft X 2 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 X 2 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 X 2 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 X 2 ft

Acrylic on Board, 4 X 4 ft

Acrylic on Board, 4 X 4 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 X 2 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 X 2 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 X 2 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 X 2 ft

Acrylic on Board, misc

Acrylic on Board, misc

Acrylic on Board, 4 X 4 ft

Acrylic on Board, 4 X 4 ft

Acrylic on Board, 4 X 4 ft

Acrylic on Board, 4 X 4 ft

Acrylic on Board, 4 X 4 ft

Acrylic on Board, 4 X 4 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 X 2 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 X 2 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 X 4 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 X 4 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 X 3 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 X 3 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 X 4 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 X 4 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 x 4 ft

Acrylic on Board, 2 x 4 ft

Acrylic on Board, 4 X 4 ft

Acrylic on Board, 4 X 4 ft


Artist: Shirley Benton

Creating abstract art is an inward journey for me and my work is continually evolving. By staying in the moment and with very little planned, the creative process takes on an energy and motion all its own. The tactile experience of opening the paints I’ve selected quiets my mind and the layering of color provides a way to express a range of emotion from simply playful to much deeper complexity and tension.

I am a self-taught artist whose creative production revolves around exploring emotion and expression through color and form. Using simple tools and a lot of experimenting, I apply and blend multiple layers of acrylic paint on hard board which is then framed and ready to hang. Delving into the unknown with each new piece is filled with play, celebration and inner revelations. It is an act of possibility and discovery for myself. Sharing my work with others who bring their own unique interpretation enhances a connection and creates additional layers of discovery. The personal and the shared, the unknown and the final outcome are what keep me in the studio.

My work has been displayed at The Grand Impromptu Gallery, Allied Arts Center, Artistic Expression Gallery, Four Winds Café, Ruby’s Collections, Artifakt Signature Gallery, Obscurities and Tacoma Art Slam. Juried art award for “Gemini” from Allied Arts Center.

email: shirleybentonart@gmail.com

facebook: shirleybentonart

facebook: Small Studio Big Paintings

website: shirleybentonart.com

Instagram: shirleybentonart

Ensorcelled Moments

by Axel A.

“What inspires and motivates me to paint is exploring, enjoying the world, and telling those ensorcelled moments I experienced using different Art Forms. I’m Caribbean (from FWI) but live in France, and belong to these two places. So I try to find this kind of sense of belonging through my artwork.”


Axel A 1


Axel A 2


Axel A 3


Axel A 4


Axel A 6


Axel A. is a Caribbean / French artist who lives in Paris.

His very personal work is characterized by a very bold use of color and imaginative abstract figures. These colors and figures interact, forming a work of strong visual impact. Axel wants his Art to touch our feelings and brighten our enthusiasm.

Axel wasn’t schooled in painting; he learns while he is discovering the world.

He works in acrylic, oil, and collage. His artwork is based on the “movement” by a cardboard end by way of instruments of paint.


Axel A 8


Axel A 9


Axel A 10


Axel A 11


Axel A 12


Axel A 13


Axel A 14


Axel A 15


“Art gives us a gift into creating, thinking differently, and expressing ourselves–providing others an insight into and appreciation of different cultures. That’s why wherever life takes me I will follow and continue with my Art.”


For more information about Axel A.:


Postcolonial Thoughts: Kandinsky in Search of Pure Abstraction

By Christopher Hutchinson

This article began with a studio visit to a friend, Julio Mejia, during a critical analysis of his latest work. We got into a discussion about abstraction and the lack of a present rubric to qualify what is actually pure abstraction. We were both troubled by the loose interpretation and application of the term “abstraction.”  The term “abstraction” has been used as a catch all that implies that abstraction is not a specific practice, when it is just that, very specific. Our conversation brought about Kandinsky and early definitions of non-objective work.

(noun) – Nonobjective art is another way to refer to Abstract art or nonrepresentational art. Essentially, the artwork does not represent or depict a person, place or thing in the natural world. Usually, the content of the work is its color, shapes, brushstrokes, size, scale, and, in some cases, its process. http://arthistory.about.com/od/glossary_n/a/n_nonobjective_art.htm

Kandinsky is widely read and is one of the most respected artists especially in the topic of non-objective art. Kandinsky wrote extensively on the subject and dedicated his work to defining the spiritual practice of non-objective painting. Kandinsky’s definition had a rubric that was rigid. His rubric defined and denounced “art for art’s sake”.

The phrase ‘art for art’s sake’ condenses the notion that art has its own value and should be judged apart from any themes which it might touch on, such as morality, religion, history, or politics. It teaches that judgements of aesthetic value should not be confused with those proper to other spheres of life. The idea has ancient roots, but the phrase first emerged as a rallying cry in 19th century France, and subsequently became central to the British Aesthetic movement. Although the phrase has been little used since, its legacy has been at the heart of 20th century ideas about the autonomy of art, and thus crucial to such different bodies of thought as those of formalism, modernism, and the avant-garde. Today, deployed more loosely and casually, it is sometimes put to very different ends, to defend the right of free expression, or to appeal for art to uphold tradition and avoid causing offense. http://www.theartstory.org/definition-art-for-art.htm

While Kandinsky is credited with being avant-garde during his time, his artwork does not live up to his writings. Under examination his work does qualify as formulaic; it does qualify as art for art’s sake. Kandinsky’s work currently fits the standardized problems present in a loose definition of abstraction/non-objective work. His abstraction is still based on the rules of traditional realism.

 Bad Abstraction

Portrait of the determined Byzantine Emperor Justinian, who reigned from 527 to 565, in San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy. http://worldhistoryclinton.wikispaces.com/Ch.+9+-+The+Byzantine+Empire

Portrait of the determined Byzantine Emperor Justinian, who reigned from 527 to 565, in San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy.

Abstraction with traditional painting applications is one of the easiest ways to detect bad abstraction. Bad abstraction is filled with retouching and modeling. This retouching and modeling is no different than any portraiture from the Byzantine to present. Portraiture employs a technique of using the most brushstrokes on an object to make it the most important, often times the face. Rembrandt and many artists often employ these techniques, allowing the background to be out of focus while the face is precious. There is no place for this type of application in pure abstraction. In the basic beginnings, when attempting abstraction, this portraiture tradition must be identified and then broken to become free enough to achieve pure abstraction. Kandinsky’s overworked blended areas in his Composition VII 1913 are no more intuitive than a color by number setup–put a line/shape, then fill it in.


Another indicator of bad abstraction is also a tie to portraiture. The painting may be non-objective but the all the energy and paint is in the center. The rest of the piece is just filler and clearly not important. Kandinsky’s pieces are filled with these centrifugal bad abstractions, leaving almost a mat border around the image. This border is problematic in the pursuit of pure abstraction.


Wassily Kandinsky, Transverse Line, 1923 http://sites.duke.edu/artsvis54_01_f2010/category/keywords/

Wassily Kandinsky, Transverse Line, 1923



: to reduce to or compare with a standard <standardize a solution>

2: to bring into conformity with a standard

3: to arrange or order the component items of a test (as of intelligence or personality) so that the probability of their eliciting a designated class of response varies with some quantifiable psychological or behavioral attribute, function, or characteristic

In this essay the term “standardization” refers to the general marks, shapes, and colors one makes to feel safe when one is uncomfortable. It refers to a conscious, contrived placement of elements to be discussed rationally. Pure abstraction is a scary proposition that requires an existential immediacy that should not be rationalized. The standardized process can be seen in Kandinsky’s carefully constructed arrangements. Geometric shapes are classic signs of wanting to control the spiritual. Kandinsky covers his desire to break these rules in order to access this spirituality in his book Concerning the Spiritual in Art.

Kandinsky, the academic critic, emerges in Concerning the Spiritual in Art. His version of spirituality is standardized to death. It becomes an illustration of spirituality, not the spirit itself.   Even if one is successful at accessing the spirit/pure abstraction, that pure spirit may be standardized and formalized until it is no longer free. Most abstraction fails in achieving the spirit. Anyone who accepts the challenge to pursue pure abstraction must be confident and willing to follow the spirit unquestionably for it to be free.


Christopher HutchinsonChristopher Hutchinson is an Assistant Professor of Art at Atlanta Metropolitan State College, Archetype Art Gallery Owner in Atlanta, Ga, and Smoke School of Art Founder. He received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Savannah College of art & Design, Atlanta and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama. He lived in Alabama for 10 years before moving to Atlanta in 2008.

Learn more about Christopher and his work at Black Flight 144.





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