Negative and Positive Figure

Last week’s Life Book lesson was taken by Donna Downey.  It was all about being playful with colours and mark making, and layering with paints and shapes, to create a colourful and abstract piece.  I managed to keep my control freakery in check and let my inner child go wild with colour but I maybe got a bit carried away and the result was a tad messy.  I also struggle with creating abstract art because I get too stuck in my head and end up with strong visual ideas that lend themselves to more representational or figurative art.  That was precisely what happened with this piece too.  I, therefore, just went with it and produced a more whimsical female figure whose form contains the shapes of a whale’s tail, leaves, and a heart while the space around her head contains two birds.  I always enjoy painting negative spaces so that the background becomes the positive image so that was the element of this lesson that really appealed to me and made me feel relaxed.

Week 50 - Colourful Abstractions

16 thoughts on “Negative and Positive Figure

  1. I like her. The colors are happy and bright and does not matter if you didn’t precisely follow the instructions. You got inspired and that’s what counts.

    • Thanks. I never ever precisely follow the instructions. Often I do things differently to save time or because I have to improvise with different materials but other times I just change lessons up to suit my own style or interests. This was one such piece as abstract simply doesn’t work out for me so I made it representational.

    • Thanks, Claudia. It’s funny you write that because one of my kids wondered if it was from a story about the elements because there are birds for air, a whale tail for the sea, and leaves for the earth. I actually just doodled the shapes as they occurred to me but I wish I’d been more conscious about suggesting a narrative.

  2. Beautiful!! This may be your best one yet!!! I hope you’ll let your inner child out more often – and just relax and roll with it when you end up representational rather than abstract. But I know what you mean – at first I struggled with trying to do abstracts but a dog or a cat or some animal kept appearing instead. After I quit struggling and just “let it be” it’d almost always work out! Now I proudly say I do “figurative” work… 😉

    • Thanks, Sue. I always appreciate your feedback. One of the useful aspects of taking courses in mixed media is that it forces me out of my comfort zone and to try new things and – in doing so – I learn just what is and isn’t me. It helps my artistic expression become more authentic. I do think I will try more of this type of thing since I like figurative work and negative space painting. I have an idea for an art journal this coming year that will probably incorporate a lot of this type of thing.

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