Thursday, April 23, 2015


Oil over acrylic on cradled board, 14.25" x 15.25" x 1.75"
$600 plus $15 shipping in U.S.
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This painting began life as an abstraction, with no clue it would later turn into a seascape. It's the center panel in the studio photograph below.

This is a fairly good example of how abstract structure underlies any painting, realist or not. Even though it went through obvious changes, much of the original relationship of forms can still be seen in the finished work. I wanted some of the texture and color of the earlier state to peek through, so I worked to modify, without entirely obscuring, the under-layer. The result is a loose, painterly work that has a somewhat impressionistic feel.


Sheila Vaughan said...

Don, this is so interesting because usually we see the reverse happening - a more realistic painting rendered into an abstraction but you are right. We are what we are what we are. Even when working on more upfront figurative stuff I often turn the board or canvas upside down to see the balance of shape, colour and tone. I particularly like the colour restraint you have used in these last two paintings. It works well to give a feeling of the slight heaviness of air and moisture. This shows especially in the Tidal pools painting below.

Don Gray said...

As you know well, Sheila, the lesson that grown-up artists learn is that the distinction between abstraction and representation is an artificial one. It is virtually impossible to paint a work that has no referent to something in our world of experience. By the same token, every rendering we make is a collection of abstract marks, however "realistic" it may appear. And of course effective abstraction underlies any good painting of any stripe. I often flip works upside down or sideways too when working--it's a good thing. :) Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you sense the feeling of atmosphere, which is what I hoped to achieve (that's a rather abstract notion in itself, isn't it?)

Diana Moses Botkin said...

You've captured a most interesting mood in this subtle painting, Don. Wonderful!