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Define Contemporary

December 13, 2017

When you have had the privilege of painting for many years you find that you are privy to trends.  In short….times change.

For most of my painting life the trend for art in my neck of the woods was decidedly contemporary impressionism, bordering on realism.  I have been busy happily painting away capturing whatever subject excited me and called me to paint it.  My style has been growing and evolving towards impressionism….in more or less the classic sense of the word.  I have enjoyed exploring colour, value, line and form as is the way with most painters employing this style.  However, there has been a shift.

A few years back some artist friends of mine from the USA were mentioning how their painting sales were suffering and that they were noticing a change in what the public at large was expecting from artists.  I too was noticing this trend north of the border.

The market seems to be demanding edgy pieces that are either bold, often pure colour or the diametrically opposed gray scale/ black and white or gray.  The paintings need to be large for the most part and they do not necessarily need to follow any of the traditional guideline of the elements or principles of art making.  Composition has taken on a whole new meaning.

It is a struggle when you are well seated within the traditional elements and principles.  Trying to find your way out of the box borders on the impossible I am finding.  I have come to realise that contemporary abstract art is not easy and making good abstract art is downright difficult.  I suppose that is why there seems to be sooooo much bad art out there posing as good.  As I struggle to find my way through the abstract art making I am finding that the rules must still apply.

Here are some of my more abstract efforts all be it not nearly abstract enough :)):

Reflecting on Autumn

Out of the DarknessSimplifying GeorgeSeeking Patterns

As you can see, I am struggling with releasing form, line, colour, space relations, value…..

Contemporary art has been redefined and I can’t seem to get with the program no matter how hard I try.  I am stuck in the old paradigm….

Where to go from here?

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