Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 90

Composition & Narrative – Yin & Yang?


The artist is always beginning.

Any work of art which is not

a beginning, an invention,

a discovery is of little worth.

Ezra Pound


FHV #10 – 2017 [30” x 40”] Acrylic on canvas
Think about the great paintings of the past; those from the Renaissance to Neoclassicism, for example. As far as I’m concerned, as a painter, Art represented a given belief system.

It communicated that belief system’s narrative. Most Christian, Catholic and pre-Protestant concepts are based on symbols, icons and a visual narrative.

The great works of the Renaissance were contained within a mystical compositional structure. The composition alone in these masterworks is absolutely phenomenal.

It was the evolution of ancient Greek thought combined with sacred Geometry and perspective. All of this occurred before the advent of the camera.

With the camera and other modern inventions and innovations, painting began to drift away from religious themes to the everyday or common subject. No longer did art focus on communicating a religious narrative.

It did however, celebrate Nature (spiritual in itself) and everyday life and occurrences. I don’t know about other abstract painters but my work has no intended narrative. It also doesn’t have a conscious or intended message of any kind. 

They don’t say anything because I have nothing to say. I’m just doing. I don’t make reproductions of things but rather, make something. The paintings are what they are based on the elements that I used to create them while exploring and investigating composition and the visual problems that arise while executing them. 

The great art historian Ernst Gombrich, which I’ve quoted often, said, “All artistic discoveries are discoveries not of likenesses but of equivalencies which enable us to see reality in terms of an image and an image in terms of reality.”

My images are their own reality. Who appreciates my work? The kind of people that truly appreciate and are looking for an equivalent image they can relate to for whatever reason. 

The (re) interest in abstract painting is surging. Perhaps it is because our society requires that we deal with our reality through images that match the reality we crave. Abstract art allows us to see our reflection and to reflect on what we see.

I’m still struggling, if I may use that term, to understand why I do what I do. I do, however, still believe that there is something very mathematical at the root of all of this. Both art and math are concerned with balance, patterns and relationships.

Viewers appreciate my imagery with their eyes but they also respond to those images emotionally. Being an abstract painter also, in my opinion. requires me to attempt to explain what it is and why it is that I do it.

I also feel that many non-artists believe that not enough effort goes into an abstract painting. What they don’t understand or realize, is that the work is in the decision making process rather than in the process of objective painters; copyists of reality.  

Posted on: 16/03/2017, by :
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