The Painting of an Abstract.
A Step by Step Discourse.
Let me begin by saying that any step by step instruction on the painting of an abstract seems to be a bit of a contradiction. I believe that an abstract comes from the inner being of the artist. It evolves from the artist love of his materials and his knowledge of the skills he posses in the use of the materials. Much more important though, is what goes on in the interaction between the two. It is how much the artist controls and allows himself/herself to be controlled by the materials. It is essential to let the materials speak to you. So that said, this is not an instruction manual on the production of an abstract painting it is rather, what happened on the two days that this painting evolved.
Stage One (a)First prepare the relief. For this I used the packaging that came with my laptop. I found that idea exciting, something modern being incorporated into something else. I cut it to random various shapes softening the edges and making it into the depth I thought would look good for the painting I had in mind. Next I adhered this to the canvas in what I thought was a pleasing way. I found it amazing how often I changed them till I felt at one with them. I let this dry making sure it was well dry before progressing any further.
Stage Two (b)
Now that they were on the canvas I began to add a mix of paints and sand to create a rough texture around the shapes. I left a fair amount of canvas as clean canvas. Too much texture and the painting will look far too busy. There has to be some non busy parts, some rest areas for the eyes, soft passages. Again I allowed this coat to dry completely. Coffee and emails are good at this stage. What I never want to do is stand and look. This would make me interfere with it. Once I have done what I feel is right I leave it to dry. On returning it is now more difficult to add more texture because this will involve another period of waiting and I am always keen to progress the work. This painting has now become part of me and begs to be completed.
Stage Three (c)
Once dry comes the exciting part, the addition of colour. I began with the soft quiet areas of the painting using white and a touch of lemon yellow. Before this dried I continued to cover the rest of the canvas with earth colours allowing it to blend gently into the soft areas. This was allowed to dry.
The final stage is to blend and work until you feel happy that the desired effect has been achieved. I do not say until you are happy with it because I am sure like me you never will be entirely happy with any work. My last touch was to clean up the relief areas to brighten them. In some cases I left some of the paint from the background remain. I did not paint them in pure white in each case I allowed the brush to gather a little of the under colours, this I hope brings a continuity to the whole work.
The Following Comment has been sent about this and a similar work.
Thank you so very much for the two paintings: Abstract MM1 and the Large Mixed Media Abstract. We are extremely happy with them. My husband says he feels happy every time he looks at the Large Mixed Media Abstract and I myself love my Abstract MM1 which makes me feel happy and calm everytime I look at it. For me in the Abstract MM1, I see a person emerging as stones/jewels from the painting and waving to me. It's a happy picture. My children all sees different thing... a lion, bird, fish, mountain cliff. In the Large Mixed Media Abstract, my husband sees the side of a mountain and light coming over it. My children sees a butterfly on it. I guess that's the beauty of Abstract painting, it can be anything you want it to be and everyone sees something different. The two paintings have definitely been a great talking point in my family. I want to thank you very much Ralph for all your help and for being such a nice and kind person. I feel I have found a true friend in you and I look forward to buying more paintings from you in the future. Again thank you very much and I am so pleased to have found you. You are extremely talented and deserve an award for all your great work. I would highly recommend you to everyone. I've only got two words to say about you Ralph Raylor --- SUPERB ARTIST ! :)