I said this to my husband as we drove to Bridgewater one day. And after a tiny bit of research I realized that actually, I don't do abstracts - most of my "abstracts" were not actually abstracts because there's almost always something recognizable in them.
So I am calling them "Bas Relief Paintings".
These paintings are not an easy task for me. ART ISN'T EASY. And if you spend a week or a month watching an artist do their work, you'll discover the reality of that statement.
For an extreme, but not solitary example from my own work of the process it takes to create my Bas Relief Paintings, I'm going to show you some of the stages of ONE canvas.
This painting no longer exists because after it was finished I was so convinced that "everyone" disliked it, that I painted over it in frustration! (And I have no process photos because that was before I found out it was a good idea to make process photos.)
You'd correctly assume that this initial piece (above) took me a "multitude" of hours; Find, cut and glue some Persian lamb fur to the canvas, arrange and glue 99 (count them) leftover LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes that my geek husband gave me), and then try to discover over weeks or months (as it sits in various stages and places), a pleasing colour composition. Yes it's a long and arduous – yet pleasant – painting process.
I'm not sure when this project began, but after a few months (probably more) of finishing it and it sitting around the house in various places, and after the big step of showing it to a small gallery owner who said yes, but never then responded to my emails, and because I thought I also no longer cared for it — I attacked it.
After the white-out gesso process and on the same canvas, this painting below appeared, but it doesn't exist anymore either!
So, still disliking what this canvas had become, I hid it behind some other paintings where it stayed for over a year - hopelessly textured. But this year I went at it again:
One of my greatest colour challenges is working with green - so I thought, "I like a good challenge, why not put a hopeless green on top of a hopeless texture?" Below is what it became next:
Still not happy, I did this next version below - which now that I see it, looks pretty much like "steaming angry!".
I really wasn't angry while doing it, I mean, who doesn't enjoy the process of exploring and discovering? At least I found out I wanted this one in landscape mode, not portrait mode - small yay.
And then to make a long story short ... this one above no longer exists and after two more attempts of finals, I got to where I'm actually finally happy with it. That may be for more than one reason ... but you'll see it here on my website under Bas Relief Paintings.