Corinne maakt

My drawing and painting life

Mark making and abstracts

I am showing you some abstract sketches made on two consecutive days. The sketches below all are quick paintings on A5 size paper (approximately 15 x 21 cm). I can do one of these in anything between 10 minutes and a half hour. Less time if I don’t let the paint dry too much. To allow the paint to dry a little I paint two to four in an hour and move from one to the next and back. I still have to accept what happens when the wet paints run together, let the paint just do what it wants from time to time. I am also slowly warming up for starting paintings on a larger scale when I go into the studio the next time. I want to have lots of little paintings, try different things before I start. I worked with watercolor mostly, adding touches of white gouache and dark marks with Inktense pencil.

May 4 abstracts, day #247/365 I decided to just start one piece and see. It was immediately getting  busy again, like the last time. I felt I needed it to be less busy – so I added white gouache. The paint was still wet, so it colored the gouache a bit. Working with a limited time span of 30 minutes max, you have to let that kind of thing happen. Did I want to cover it with pure white – and have it look pure white – it would have taken drying time.

May4_abstract #1

Colored abstract #247.1. Watercolor, Inktense pencil and oil pastel on watercolor paper

I think I messed this one up. The gouache pieces of this work look muddy in some places. At the bottom I quite like the effect of gouache on wet paint though. I loved playing with the color. I tried to make it non representational, but I think it looks like there’s a flower at the bottom. What do you think?

I think it looks better cropped.

May4_abstract #1_cropped

I figured I’d better leave it as is and try another.

This time I started using the pencils – and decided to keep it more airy and colorful, but simple. I tried making drips and loved how the Inktense pencil resisted the watercolor (happy accident!) – it flowed around the pencil marks. I put on some fingerprints and some white dots. I quite like this one for its simplicity and bright colors.

May4_abstract #2

#247.2 Inktense pencil, watercolor and gouache on watercolor paper

Process notes

I make the pieces first and afterwards I look at them to evaluate them in their own right first. That was fine for the first black and white set made on May 1st and the colored pieces of May 2. But as I move ahead into the month I am taking more time on some of these. Suddenly I get more critical. Probably not the best attitude to keep moving and make a lot of pieces, don’t you think? I am thinking more and more about going into the studio to paint abstracts on canvas – and that’s what’s behind some of the criticism. For some reason I feel the eye of other people looking over my shoulder. Hmm. I will have to get rid of that.

Looking at my small abstracts I also start to think: can I translate this into other paint types on a canvas or on other larger surfaces? For instance, if I want to make this last one on a canvas, how would I do that? How do I get this washed look? How to solve that? Do I even need to make it with a washed look? If I do want the washed look, and the wet-into-wet effects, I could try this with similar media on a larger sheet of paper. What will happen? That’s OK. That kind of questions will come up, as soon as I start painting.

I already know I may need to make more abstracts, to choose from when I go into the studio. Or is this fear of starting….  🙂

May 6. #249 / 365 Falling petal landscape

May5_abstract #2

Falling petal landscape, watercolor, ink and Inktense pencil

I wanted a little less busy effect than the paintings of the first days of this month. To get that effect I decided to make it more of less analogous colors. To get there I started by painting a flower first that is on my desk most of the time. It is mostly one color – with touches of green. Looking closer there’s different colors in it of course. I would let that painting inform the next. So here’s the flower (first stage).

May5_flower _version1

I decided it needed a bit of punch and added darks by putting on India ink (and messed it up, haha). I left it at that stage, as it was only the start for the abstract.




4 comments on “Mark making and abstracts

  1. Catherine Johnson
    May 13, 2016

    These are all beautiful!

  2. Sheila Marie Delgado
    May 13, 2016

    I like them all 🙂 It could be a flower. My first thought was of a bird bent over cleaning its tail feathers. And I think the part of that you cropped off could be something too. Another flower perhaps. The third one is so fun, looks like a party with streamers and balloons 🙂 Keep enjoying the process Corinne 🙂

    • corinnebekker
      May 18, 2016

      Wow, love what you saw in this. I had to really look to start seeing a bird bent over. For me I was really looking to paint something non-representational, but we all seem to want to see something rather than a real abstract. But I’m not giving in – some days I really want it to be ‘nothing’ (or at least nothing specific).

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