Non-figurative or Figurative Painting? How Abstract? Why Abstract? And Is It Fixed? Painting Reflections by Jenny Meehan

July 23, 2011

I thought I would continue with non-figurative painting for some time, but I am wondering right now if it might be best to push myself back into the representational arena for a while…It’s not that I don’t like working with no specific focus, because I feel the focus is there under the surface regardless of what one sees on the canvas, but there is something that affords a painting more accessible to others if it contains objects and as we live in a world full of objects maybe it might be an idea to pick some up from time to time and work them into a painting.  These can be from the imagination of coures, they don’t need to be taken from the “outside” world.  Also, though I meant to do this sooner, I still have many potential paintings I wanted to paint based on my immediate environment.  And while the sky here is wonderfully vast and interesting, there’s lots below it.

I think its a good idea for any painter to move from one to the other, I mean, from objects to no objects in painting because one should pay attention to the physical qualities of the paint and whatever form your painting takes it’s a valuable process in itself.  You can always cast it away afterwards if you want to.  There’s no contract involved!  There is maybe, at least there was for me, a slight concern that if you drop painting objects you will be in a place of “no return” and your destiny is sealed. Maybe for a lifetime of people, confused,bemused, and less able to engage with your painting, because they cannot “see” anything in it. 

What is life like?  Can we “see” things with a focus all the time?  Is it always clear to us?  Is it sometimes figurative and sometimes not?  I look back with interest on the path that my photographic work took, from very photographic photographs, to images resembling linocuts, well, in a kind of “photographic linocut” way, to blurred images, and then, to black and white, contrasty and detailed type images, mostly of trees.  The order was not so ordered as this sentence with its logic falsely suggests, but vision is ever moving and ever changing, and I think it would follow then that in terms of expression, painting would be as ever, never fixed!!!

Ramble over…..

What a pleasant walk.

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