I like abstract art. Not all of it, but a painting being abstract or not is not the thing that makes it good or bad in my view. I always look for a strong pattern of light, shadow and contrasts in all art.
It would be reasonable to ask why I do not paint abstracts now. I certainly have before in the digital realm. a place of strong contrasts and experimentation.
However abstract art for me these days is more limiting. I know it would seem to be the opposite but abstract art for me too closely reflects my inner reality. Without an outside idea or aspect to work against or toward I feel my art gets stale.
|Coming Storm (8x12) by M Francis McCarthy|
That said I believe all art to be essentially abstract in nature. You really notice this in primitive art and cave paintings but abstraction is present in even the most photo realistic art. I like to hang my landscapes on a strong abstract foundation.
|Twilight Cypress (sketch) by M Francis McCarthy|
Here's the sketch for Twilight Cypress. There are slashes of strokes in the sky and I've defined the shape of the tree with strong graphic edges that reinforce my composition.
|Twilight Cypress (9x12) by M Francis McCarthy|
The final painting of Twilight Cypress is far softer than the sketch. The over all effect is realistic in that you tell it's a tree and a sky with some earth below. But the painting is still quite graphic in feel.
Another reason I paint Landscapes instead of abstracts is that I feel that the vehicle of landscape allows the viewer to ride into my paintings. They've no need to wait, stand there and ask what it is before getting on board. To their conscious mind the question of "what is it" has already been answered.
To the less conscious part of their mind however, abstractions and metaphors abound. Colors communicate feeling and composition directs and constrains the eyes towards it's own ends. This is far more interesting to me than abstraction outright.