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1000 Black Lines

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Visual Vocabulary

Regarding a posting on Aesthesis entitled "Concrete Collage" I got to thinking about the vital communication between the art-maker and art-viewer. You might want to read the posting before continuing.

My question to the posting was how it applies to non-objective art (for non-artistic readers, non-objective art is generically referred to as abstract or expressionism. Objective art is typically art with a discernable "object" like a lighthouse landscape, floral still-life or portrait)?
Would the visual vocabulary include concrete colors or patterns in place of concrete images? In trying to avoid expected comments to my paintings (i.e. "looks like someone's kid spewed and they framed it" or "still can't color inside the lines, huh?") Currently, I moved to an objective painting format (stylized landscapes with heavy thematic colors) to create what I had been doing with composition and color non-objectively.

Aesthesis's author replied:
"You nailed it. Colors themselves are concrete on a certain level. People have all experienced red and specific reds can be concrete images of something. Pattern too could be concrete. The difficulty though with color or pattern is that they may not be concrete enough to spark an immediate response.
"I have moved away from completely non-objective art in the past couple of years because I didn’t feel like people could really connect with the colors and shapes I had been using. They instead connected with the abstract as abstract art and so never bothered to think any deeper than that level. I love the abstract and my compositions are still abstract but I feel like if an artist wants to connect with their audience in a non decorative way they have to find some connection with the concrete world that their audience lives in."


One step in sparking "an immediate response" is taking objective material (in my case a simple landscape of five trees on a hilltop) and reducing it to a simplistic suggestion without loosing the objects essence. For me, that was taking a landscape and dividing the heavens from the earth and then adding five lollipop trees as compositional elements. My goal was to present a visual lyricism to the painting--similiar to a hiaku (hence my use of five trees representing five syllables).

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