Exploring abstract/ mark making


Well-known member
This is a large canvas about 4 x 3‘. Acrylic. I was just playing around and this is what I came up with. I found it very enjoyable. I never thought I’d like abstract so much. I do think a lot about design principles and it’s very freeing after doing more realistic work. It certainly isn’t as easy to do decently by just throwing paint at something.
I called this painting, ‘The Artist’s Motherboard.’
Oh wow! This is awesome! I love the title too. It's perfect. I'm so curious about all the little details and the techniques as to how you make it look like this. Like, the thin white lines...would you tell us your secrets? If not, I totally understand. Either way, I love it!!! ♥️
I agree with Arty- you can't just post something as large and eye-catching without satisfying the "How'd they do that?!" curiosity of other artists.

It has so many physical collage elements, but they are all, apparently, painted?
Thank you everyone. Boy, you guys make me feel good! I’m glad you like it.
Yes, it’s all acrylic paint. No collage. But I finished it off with Posca acrylic pens for line work. They were a lot of fun! Highly recommended.
Well, actually, this painting was the first abstract. I did in about 30 years. My husband had been bugging me to do it and he’s not an artist. So one day he said I’m gonna go get one of your canvases and go to the garage and I’m gonna throw some paint around and see what I can come up with. He did it to motivate me. Which worked because I let him do one and I did one beside him. Lol He knew once I gotstarted, I wouldn’t let go of the project. He also thought he could throw paint and it would all work out. He quickly made mud. So this painting was actually in another form which he loved, but I just got tired of looking at it. I mean it was fine. But I wanted to try and push myself a little more than just sliding a bit of paint around. s
So I promised myself that I would push myself farther to see what happens. I wanted something a little different. I have different stages here because I would take photos and look at it because I’ve been quite bedbound. I would try different colours, lines, shapes on my photo app. Then transfer my changes to the canvas whenever I could get over there, even if it was for three minutes at a time. There were a lot of choices and directions I could’ve taken. I could’ve simplified it more. I liked different stages. It is quite busy. But used to be busier at one point. Then I started to simplify some areas by emphasizing some of the darks because I needed a little bit of balance for my eye. I brought in the Posca pens to define and then eventually put in a little bit of line work that was independent of shaped just to pull the piece together a bit. A string thru the piece. I’ll try to attach some pictures of where I started in the process. You may like the original better. It’s a preference thing. There were different stages I liked. But I was curious about doing a little bit more with line. Second last photo were very fine detail changes.

I liked aspects if the original but felt there were messy areas needing definition..


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Amazing work - and nothing short of inspiring to hear your lengthy process. What fabulous results!

I quite love your original but love how you worked it, too - it's just beyond impressive. I applaud your determination to get up and nurture your creative self.

And - kudos to your hubby for inspiring you in such a clever way. "He quickly made mud." :ROFLMAO:
Every iteration stands on its own- each is strong enough to be "final".

Well done.

I am sorry things have been physically dicey for you; I know exactly what that feels like. Weird seeing--- less in front of you, eh?

You'll do, though. Promise.
Oh he did make mud, and looked quite shocked when it happened. Lol But he sure did know how to get me off my derrière. Lol
Thanks again for your lovely comments.
If anyone was wondering how I made the original it was straightforward. I would put either gobs of paint in a spot, or multiple colours and use a palette knife or a drywall mudding utensil to spread across the canvas. See what happens. Or apply paints to the edge of utensils and smear on. It’s really just about mark making. And all that is for anyone who doesn’t quite understand what I mean, is there’s many ways you can make marks on your paper or canvas. And you don’t always need to use traditional art tools. Play around and see what happens. The biggest thing with paint is not to create mud. It all starts mixing together and it literally looks like mud. And then it’s just playing around with what you see. You know, elements of design. Composition. Start to pick up on things on the canvas you like or you don’t like. Where do you want to focus for composition. What you put in what you take away. Does it serve the painting and what you want to accomplish/ what you want to convey?Depends on what you’re going for. Do you want balance? Do you want it not to be balanced, but yet it can’t be completely lopsided. What to keep in, what to take out. So many ideas to play with. You can play with colors do you want primary colours? Do you want complementary colours? Are you wanting something subdued, and tonal? For years I was very careful, but you don’t grow if you don’t try and experiment. I definitely recommend using your photo editing or an app just to play around with the most basic things. Before we would always do that on the canvas. All of us traditional artists did. Which sometimes work in our favour and sometimes led to disaster. However, disasters are becoming very rare now, so I guess I’ve grown enough there. But in other ways, I’ve tried to push myself more. It truly is the only way you grow. But we can do a lot of it on our phone now, even if it’s just playing with simple lines, colour, working with shapes or filling areas in. So you can play around and see what you like without jeopardizing your actual work.
Every iteration stands on its own- each is strong enough to be "final".

Well done.

I am sorry things have been physically dicey for you; I know exactly what that feels like. Weird seeing--- less in front of you, eh?

You'll do, though. Promise.
Thank you.
It sure is weird and sobering. It helps focusing the mind, and the heart. Glad to see you are still kicking too!
Wow! Thank you for sharing the process! It's inspiring and fascinating to learn about the whole story, both technically and in the life narrative of how your husband got you started. Thank goodness! What an excellent, beautiful result.

So, now, what's next? ;)
Every stage is quite interesting PB, but the final is special. It made a fascinating outcome. ❤️ 💝
I am so happy for you that felt up to undertaking such a big, wonderful painting. It was fascinating and inspiring to read your narrative on the different stages and the processes you used at each stage. I am looking forward to learning more about your techniques.
Thanks everyone. Your comments have made my day. Maybe I will take pictures of the process and share next time, as people seemed to enjoy it.
I just read these comments and am touched by all your lovely remarks Thank you! So sorry its taken so long to get back to read and thank you all. Health is improving but is often 2 steps forward and one step back. I have turned a big corner. I can’t tell you how great it is and especially to see it in my family‘s response. As I slowly build up strength and as I can, I am eager to get going again even if it’s just smaller pieces for now. So I look forward to seeing you more often and showing you what I’m up to. Thanks again.