Category Archives: abstract art

Abstract "The Lamentation"

Abstract The Lamentation
Originally uploaded by Gayle Bell

I finally got around to posting this abstract painting I did a while ago. It’s one of a few of my paintings in a show with Terri West at the Maitland Civic Center through October. 

Abstract painting of forest wood nymphs

wood nymphs
Originally uploaded by Gayle Bell

16″ x 20″ acrylic painting on canvas

Original painting
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Homage to Seraphine

Homage to Seraphine
Originally uploaded by Gayle Bell

This is an original 18″ x 24″ oil painting on canvas. It was in the Creative Spirit Art Gallery show a month or so ago. We’re going through a rearranging/cleaning out phase at home. One way to organize things, Jerry has decided, is to group my paintings in rooms by subject. This painting was just hung up today in our “abstract gallery”.

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New abstract painting

Abstract painting, oil on 11″ x 14″ canvas

Needed to relax after working on a still-life painting of a bean pot and squash, so I used the left-over paint on my palette for this abstract. I like the look of the red under-painting showing through and kind of wished I had used a bigger canvas. Definitely think I’ll go for some more red tinting on future dabblings.

"Confident Color" exercises help

Mixed media, acrylic on paper

I’ve been doing some color reference cards as suggested in Nita Leland’s book “Confident Color.” It’s strangely satisfying. Normally I fly by the seat of my pants when painting and grab a tube here and a bottle there to mix things up and hopefully come up with something I like. Her process requires some thought and (dare I say it) rationality–something that’s been lacking in my technique. It’s even giving me some ideas about my whole approach to painting. In art school, we were never taught color theory in a disciplined way, believe it or not. Perhaps it was a symptom of the time but the guidance involved was “just do what feels right.” Maybe that’s why I’m having so much difficulty figuring out exactly what I’m doing. Right now, in the grand scheme of things, nothing feels right. I have so many ideas when I’m falling asleep or waking up, but they’re gone by the time I sit down in front of the computer for my drawn out escapism into the blogs. One good thing about doing the color reference cards is that I have paint left over that I feel compelled to dab onto my myriad unfinished works. I’m way too frugal to let that expensive stuff dry out on my plate. Here’s another abstract mixed media piece from my sketch book. Maybe I’ll play with it in Photoshop to see if I can do something more to it.

New abstract painting

8″ x 10″ mixed media acrylic painting on masonite

The last few days have been a nightmare of gathering, sorting, organizing and calculating our receipts in preparation for our trip to the tax preparer. This is so not my favorite time of year. We don’t just dump the receipts on her (we can hardly figure it out ourselves after a years’ worth of gathering paperwork, so how could she make sense of it?) We have to make sure everything is all tidied up and put into the proper categories so she can put the numbers into the program that spits out our return. We pretty much know what our taxes will be, but she is kind of a sanity check to make sure we don’t make any huge mistakes. With four rentals, it seems to get harder each year. Why is it we can put a man on the moon, but we can’t find a way to simplify the tax code so millions of people don’t have to go through this ordeal every year?

After all that (still unfinished business) I just had to get away from the computer and into the art room and muss up my hands with paint. This painting is an experiment in “recycled” art that’s been laying around for a while. I put some eggshells into it just to see what would happen. I kind of wished I had more shells, but since I try to limit us to two at a time due to cholesterol (with Eggbeaters thrown in for good measure) and I’m not real great about planning ahead, this was all I had. However, I do have a bag of lint from the dryer waiting in the wings for my next brain storm LOL.

New artwork from my journal

…That’s Amore, 9″ x 12″, mixed media acrylic painting

I decided to get a “real” journal with a nice cover and good paper and start “journaling.” Just maybe something might develop into an idea for a good painting (hope). The thing was amazingly expensive, but with my 40% off coupon from Michael’s it was bearable. Now if I can get over the fear of ruining it. I’ve got two pages semi-done. Here’s the first one which Jerry said looks like pizzas. Who knows, maybe subconsciously I was hungry for a nice veggie cheese on thin crust. It sounds pretty good right now. Better go eat.

New painting with paint "skins"

8″ x 10″ acrylic painting on Masonite

I wrote about Micah Mullen recently, an artist who uses paint skins in his work with marvelous effect. Naturally, I had to try my hand at manufacturing my own paint skins instead of relying on chance encounters on my palette. These came out extra thick, so I had to embed them in acrylic gel like mosaic tiles. There is obviously a technique involved in making sure the paint skins are the right thickness. I made these in an old cat food bowl, but I’m going to try a new palette I picked up the other day at Michael’s which has several flat, rectangular wells. I’ve already made one which is hanging up on my bulletin board (I found out the hard way that you have to be careful about where you store them since they seem to stick to certain materials.) Anyway, here’s my first painting with “manufactured” paint skins.

Digitally enhanced abstract painting

Digitally enhanced painting

I’ve been fiddling with a painting on paper and kind of liked the colors, but decided to see what I could come up with on the computer. I tried cropping and rotating, etc. but I can still see what looks like a toy soldier (like from the Nutcracker). Very disturbing and not what I was looking for–though I’m not sure exactly what it is I’m looking for. I guess I’ll know it when I see it. Maybe I should stick to my sketchpad!

New sketch

Sketch, acrylic painting, digitally altered

Spent a large part of the day looking for another computer since mine is now officially designated an “antique.” The constant crashes are becoming quite bothersome and I’m going to have to seek out something more modern before I go mad. I guess this sketch kind of sums up my feelings about it–confused and dazed and trying to peek through all the b-s and figure out what to do. There are just waaaaay too many models, memory cards, ram, graphics cards, etc. for this “non-geek” to comprehend. Maybe enlightenment will dawn in my dreams.