There are things known and even more things unknown (heard this before?) Some of the unknown things will become known to us, while some of what we know will be forgotten and become unknown. We know what we know through experience, sometimes by accident or by chance.
Some people want to know more than others, while some are happy with what they know. Others shun opportunities to know more.
Art is made up of the known and unknown. People know what they like because it’s known to them. In other words, if they understand it, they know it. They feel comfortable about what they are ‘seeing’. Artists are often in the ‘same boat’; they paint what they understand (know), and they know that what they’re painting. Those who see their work understand what they are looking at; they’re looking at the known. Everyone is happy!
But what if you paint what is ‘unknown’? What happens when you tackle a theme that is so different to your mainstream work, and indeed is very different from the art produced by your peers? What’s it like to be an alien?
For most, abstract art is the great unknown. It doesn’t speak to a lot of people. The majority base their understanding of art entirely on what they see. Art isn’t just about the visual image, it’s also about reaction, sensation, feeling, mood, symbolism and firing one’s imagination.
Recently I began a series that has taken me into the unknown, but with a twist. The unknown has now become the known for me because I understand my subject. Working this way has been a wonderful release and has made me more appreciative of the freedom that abstract art brings.
For me the unknown has been a challenge, but because I have based my interpretation on the known, it’s resulted on 4 paintings that I am very pleased with, and there’s 2 more ‘in progress’.