Darwin fb“Darwin Landscape”

40 x 80 cms, Luminance pencils on pastel board


In the world of coloured pencil art, abstraction is rarely featured. The majority of Cp artists prefer realism, photo-realism, intense detail and acute rendition of photographs as the basis of their creative exploits. This is not a criticism on my part, simply an observation. Occasionally, some artists will ‘push the boat out’ and produce stunning, imaginative drawings that fire my imagination, but when it comes to abstraction, there is little interest. Why is this so?

Society is continually bombarded by the media world to such an extent that it has been ‘dumbed down’ and ‘imagination deprived’. It’s all too easy, no deep thinking required. We are programmed to respond in the way the visual media experts want us to. It’s getting harder to invent ‘new art’ to feed an audience that has become obese with realism. Where are the brave artists? Well, they’re out there if you look hard enough. They just need greater promotion and marketing.

I have been a Jackson Pollock fan for 50 years and have studied his work more than any other artist. You either love him or hate him, there’s no middle-road. In all fairness, one needs to understand his work before forming an opinion. Pollock never worked drunk or under the influence of drugs. His work was controlled, and this is the part of his genius that I admire. He was the father of Modern American Art and his work is still relevant today.

Abstract art is often despised because it doesn’t tell you what you are seeing as a realistic painting does. Once you have seen most realistic paintings, what else is there to see? A good painting will give you something new to see each time you visit it.

Abstraction is a challenge in that it asks you to define what you are looking at, so you base your interpretation on past experiences, shapes you identify, colours that draw your attention, even the mood you’re in. The good thing is that your interpretation can vary considerably from time to time.

I base my abstract work on the patterns that I see in a variety of subjects around Australia. In today’s featured drawing, I have designed a composition from a series of photos that I took on the foreshore at Darwin. I wanted to give the drawing a ‘landscape feel’, using the shapes and colours I saw on some of the rocks there.

How do you ‘see’ this drawing?




About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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  1. Mike Menius says:

    big fan of all your work. Yes, we need much more abstract work in CP. also an admirer of Pollock. His work was serious, controlled, and showed a clear understanding of composition, design, and color schemes. When I look at your work, I wonder what it would look like if there were variations in value: the same design, with certain areas dark, others light. It may be possible for more people to grasp what you are saying. This idea may be antithetical to the concept of pure abstraction, so you know best, and I admire everything you do, just as it is.

  2. Good article Richard.. I find it very refreshing seeing art that makes me consider the aspects of it. For the past year I have been doing what I refer to as abstract/realism. For me it requires much more consideration and thought than realism and provides much more satisfaction to make a cohesive drawing.

  3. Edna says:

    Richard, I see your abstract cp drawings as exciting and challenging to the eye in colour, shape and definition.

  4. I think the nub of good abstract art is, as you say ‘it gives you something new every time you visit it’. Most – although not all – abstract art has some kind of basis in reality, but the subject matter has been pushed and pushed into something completely new and unique, as it is in your work. Keep on going, you’re doing a fantastic job!

  5. I love your work and find them a distillation of the landscape, where the underlying patterns and colours are brought forward. I enjoy your flat colours as part of that paring back. I love patterns and your work is the patterns of nature. So good to have your thoughts on art again. Karen

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