Abstract Art, Move Along…Nothing To See Here.

……Or is there?

I have been watching videos on YouTube for years. For the last 4 years since moving to the Cayman Islands I’ve been watching anyone and everyone who make art tutorials. There are some VERY generous artists who share their methods online and I am so very grateful for them. Brave souls who put themselves “out there” on the World Wide Web. It takes guts. I’m working up to it.

For the last six months or so I’ve been following their lead and experimenting with abstract painting. It’s harder than it looks! Quite often I spend more time on one of these pieces then I do with a piece that I’ve thought out with a figure in it or a face.

So much to think about when making an abstract piece. Or maybe not anything to think about it all. Hmmm…..just think about that for a sec……I find that I often overthink the abstract and agonize about what I’m doing and then all of a sudden the piece gets pushed over the edge and it’s overworked…argh!

I have one painting that I named “Three” because there’s two other paintings underneath it! Both of them horribly overworked. It’s the final version is however that is one of my favourites and I guess it just took all that other work underneath to get it where it needed to be. Happy little accidents as Bob Ross used to say.

The piece in this blog is called “Move Along”. It was an experiment in trying to limit my palate. I also tried to insert a lot of energy and movement into this painting. It was about moving quickly and not giving myself the time to overwork or overthink it.

I looked up the meaning of Move Along online, as I like to do, and Google tells me it means “change to a new position, especially to avoid causing an obstruction.” I don’t know where the names come for my artwork ( yes I do….from my brain LOL!) but I usually go with the first thing that pops into my head and boy this one was bang on! This seems to be the theme of my life this year. Move along.

My first grandchild was just born three weeks ago and I have another one due any day now. All of a sudden my whole world has shifted. I’m going from the thought that I was a Mother to realizing that I no longer need to mother anyone. It’s now time for me to step aside and be a Grandmother. The shift has affected me more than turning 50 six years ago. That was a breeze compared to trying to figure out who I am now.

Painting and making art is what is doing it for me. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have that. Still playing, searching, and seeking. Working things out on the canvas. I’ve got to learn to step aside, to let whatever is inside me take over. To find peace and rhythm in what I do…..and to step aside and let my “kids” adult!

I find I get a lot of help from attending art workshops. It’s been a couple of years since I attended one, life got in the way. I have one booked for October and I’m really excited about it. It’s with an artist named Wendy McWilliams at Donna Downey’s studio in North Carolina. I’ve been there twice. Once for a workshop with Donna herself and a second time for a workshop with Ardith Goodwin. Both women I admire greatly. They both have their own very important stories to tell. Those experiences took me light years in just a couple of days. I also met a lot of other wonderful artists taking the classes who have become Facebook friends. It’s been amazing to see other women in their lives making art and living a creative existence. Such talented people! And such a wonderful source of encouragement for each other. Most of these friends are around my age and I’m thinking we’re all going through similar things at the same time. It’s like it’s a season of our lives for people who lean towards being creative. Once the kids are grown and gone it’s time to give ourselves permission to play and visit with our own inner children again.

I need to heed my own words. Move along…Just keep moving…Nothing to see here. In other words stop letting everything distract me. I tend to be like a rubbernecker on the highway looking at an accident instead of keeping my eyes on the road. Discipline is what I need to work on. Every time I look at this piece of art which is framed and on a shelf in my kitchen for me to see every morning it’s telling me “Move along Kim….just keep moving!”

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