A Lifetime of Research
Last week I blogged about my process creating 2 abstract paintings – 'Fire' and 'Water'. I ended by saying that abstract paintings require a lifetime of research. This week I am sharing photos of the finished paintings and providing the explanation of that crazy sounding claim.
When I was a child, my family did not take fancy vacations. If we went somewhere – it was camping. So those fun, carefree times with family and sometimes friends were spent outside. My family had a 18' boat, the kind that was good for skiing, tubing and fishing, so there was a lot of time in and by the water. Evenings were spent by the campfire until your eyes practically fell shut. Perhaps you are starting to understand where I am going with this.
I create abstracts by relying on my memories and feelings of those times. I don't need a reference photo because I have seen these images, meditated on them without realizing I was meditating on them, for years. Add in that abstract do not have to look exactly like reality and I have all the information I need stored in my brain.
When we weren't camping, my brother and I were begging to for a walk in the woods. Our dad would take us for a walk on trials in a nearby greenspace. We could have stayed there till sundown if my dad would have let us. Looking at paintings in the Forest/Woods section of my gallery I see the influence of these times. The light shining through the leaves, a curve in the road, a distant light beckoning you forward.
This is the lifetime of research I bring to my work. I keep my certifications current with hikes in local parks and nature reserves and vacations as wild as I dare to make them. Truth be told, I stopped enjoying tent camping when I was the grown up in charge of the kids. Now I understand why my mom was never as excited to go as we were! I still get us into the woods, but we come back to an Airbnb.
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Melissa Tai is a lifelong creative, nature lover & tree hugger.