Posts Tagged ‘sketches’

30-Minute Abstract Art Sketches

June 30th, 2011 | 2 Comments

Lately I have been experimenting with time-based abstract art sketches. For 30 minutes at a stretch, I attack a given composition with all I’ve got, working to produce something visually compelling under the pressure of a time limit.

Because the clock is ticking as I go, I have to work fast, and I have no time to second-guess myself. I am forced to “turn off my brain.” My intuition takes over. I go into a zone where some of my most creatively satisfying work happens. Things just happen.

abstract art sketches
abstract art sketches
Two recent abstract art sketches: I am in the process of refining these sketches into compositions that I will eventually paint. Going forward, I will be careful to honor the spirit of the original sketch — in other words, not tinker too much.

These 30-minute abstract art sketches also offer me a format for keeping my compositional skills fresh. It’s almost like how baseball players take batting practice every day, stepping into the batting cage and hacking away, working on the mechanics of their swings, trying to relax, and not to force anything, in the process.

Ideally, just like batting practice, I’d like set aside time each day to make a sketch, working on one specific design motif or geometric element per session. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite found the time to do this every day!

Another benefit of the 30-minute approach is that it prevents me from tinkering with a composition until I reach the point of diminishing returns, something I have encountered in the past. In fact, last summer I produced 24 different takes on the same composition! Results varied by the end, anyway: Once I started painting, the painting took on new life, deviating from the original sketch in significant ways.

I should add that I started experimenting with 30-minute sketches four years ago. The spontaneous art that followed, part of an art lottery project, eventually resulted in paintings such as Corporate Wellness Program.

We’ll see, indeed, whether my current batch of abstract art sketches will metamorphose into paintings in the physical realm.

Abstract video art: In the studio January 27, 2010

January 27th, 2010 | No Comments

As an experiment, I thought I’d start recording my screen as I sketch new designs for paintings, then time-lapse the process a bit. The result is kind of like abstract video art.

I just think that something gets lost when the progression of a design is not recorded step for step. Also, on the way toward the “goal” of producing a new design, many accidental designs-within-designs can spring up. Video offers a way of listening for that kind of thing. It’s like an art equivalent to watching a game film — if I may employ a sports analogy.

Perhaps this will help me develop variations and remixes for future painting ideas. Like every experiment, we’ll see where it goes. I’m pretty sure I’m hooked on this idea, though.

Special thanks to my friend Chris Sietsema, a most capable digital marketing consultant, for encouraging me to start doing this.

One last thing: If you’re curious, the above design started with a mental picture (as always) that entered physical reality as a paper sketch:

abstract video art

New designs for possible paintings

January 1st, 2010 | 5 Comments

Happy New Year and all, friends! ‘Tis a perfect moment for bringing back The Verve’s “A New Decade” … “the radio plays the sounds we made / and everything everything seems to feel just right.” Maybe we can get this decade right … is that asking for too much?

On that note, I’ve got to congratulate my father on turning 84 today. Big ups to my pops. Happy Birthday, Jack G. Wiggins, Ph.D., Psy.D., you incredible psychologist man!

And to my primary reason for this entry: I’ve finally had time — to make time — to hash out new designs (digital sketches) for paintings. And in the spirit of openness and optimism that I am sensing at the threshold of this new decade, I would like to share my new designs with you. Mind you, these are just sketches … some glitches are present here and there.

new designs
new designs
new designs
new designs
new designs
new designs
new designs
new designs

If you dig these, that’s cool — would love to know your reaction.