Monday, December 28, 2009

Abstract Cityscape

Every time I go to big cities like New York or Chicago, I am struck by the abstract composition possibilities offered by the towering buildings. Even without attempting to capture the beauty of the often complicated and elaborate facades, just the shapes alone lend themselves to artistic interpretation.

In Cityscape I have tried to capture the basic vertical shapes of the buildings separated by a barely discernible street. I separated the sunny and shaded sides of the street by using warm and cool colors respectively. The entire painting is done with various sized knives but I left the roughest texture for the sky which is made up of white and bits of almost every other color in the painting to create a sense of harmony.

Cityscape, Acrylic on stretched canvas, 16"x20", $100

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Abstract in Progress: Part 3 - Are We There Yet?

original contemporary abstract painting in acrylic on canvas by american artist atul pande
There are times when it is best to call it done whether the painting makes you happy or not. The abstract I started a week or so ago is now in its third iteration and it is not very satisfying. For now, I am going to set it aside and go on to something else so as not to keep overworking this piece.

Maybe I will come back to it some day or maybe this is it. Who knows?

Understanding, Acrylic on canvas, 18"x24", Not for sale

Monday, December 14, 2009

Rough-Hewn Shapes

original charcoal sketch by american artist atul pande
Isolating just one aspect of a landscape can create a powerful composition. So far I have only ever attempted this with organic shapes such as flowers in closeup. The finished picture often ends up looking like an abstract. But the image can still remain impressionistic or representational when a particular element is isolated but still recognizable.

Field Boulders is a charcoal sketch that attempts to capture the rough-hewn shapes arranged in a triangular composition with barely the suggestion of a grassy foreground. The highlights and shadows provide much to explore in the picture.

Field Boulders, Charcoal on paper, 4"x6", Not for sale

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Abstract in Progress: Part 2

I don't know how hard it is for other artists, but I find it difficult to know when to call a painting finished. This challenge seems even bigger for non-objective expressionist art where the only frames of reference to define "finished" are completely inapplicable. It is not the purpose of abstract art to "look like something". So when is it done?

The unfinished abstract I posted a few days ago continues to evolve and I am not sure where it will go. Your ideas and comments are most welcome.

Understanding, Acryic on canvas, 18"x24", Not for sale

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Timelessness or Obsolescence?

original charcoal sketch by american artist atul pande
Aspects of rural scenes in America have a timeless quality about them. Scenes such as the one depicted in Barbed-Wire Fence are there for anyone who cares to stop and look. Even as urban sprawl continues to displace the lifestyle of rural America, there are places that steadfastly remain as they might have been a hundred years ago.

Barbed-Wire Fence was inspired by a fenced in meadow that is on my drive to work. When the traffic is slow enough for me to look, I often notice things that have been right before my eyes and I have never noticed them.

Barbed-Wire Fence, Charcoal pencil on Bristol Board, 11"x14", Not for sale

Monday, December 7, 2009

Abstract in Progress

original abstract acrylic painting by american artist atul pande
I have not previously posted paintings in progress, but this is is different. I started working on this abstract after watching Bob Rankin's video about the 'edge ratio'.

The edge ratio is a concept that attempts to define an element that contributes to heightened interest in an abstract. The edge ratio is the manner in which the edge of the painting is segmented on the four sides. Theory proposes that interest is sharpened if the edge ratio is uneven on the four edges i.e. each of the four edges is segmented differently from the others.

Understanding is an abstract in which the edges are divided unevenly. The challenge still remains that a focal point of interest needs to be created so as to draw the eye inwards. Where should it be? I have not decided yet but decided to post the unfinished picture anyway in case you feel inclined to comment.

Understanding, Acrylic on canvas, 18"x24", Not for sale

Saturday, December 5, 2009

More sketching

original charcoal sketch by american artist atul pande
Not much to say about this plain sketch of a bunch of bananas. I found that the shape of bananas makes it a bit hard to avoid making it seem like they are floating in space. With both ends rising upwards, the shadows are the only way to create a sense of form anchored to the ground.

Bananas was done with charcoal pencil on paper. I have tried to minimize the blending to convey a sense of roughness and energy. Of course, this limits the tonal variation that can be achieved. But then it is just a sketch!

Bananas, Charcoal on paper, 4"x6", Not for sale

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Focus of Interest in an Abstract

Abstract paintings often seem to be a meaningless arrangement of color and form. In fact, careful study will reveal that the most striking abstracts have a clear focal point. In most contemporary abstracts, the focal point is usually defined by the point of maximum tonal contrast.

In Untitled Abstract, I experimented with a mostly dark background and then built up the color until the lightest highlight. The shapes have an organic feel to them without any objective representation. Additional texture was created by running a large comb through the second and third layers of paint. An old credit card was used to push the paint around and create some of the flowing lines.

Untitled Abstract, Acrylic on canvas, 36"x24", Not for sale