Geometric Abstract Impressionism & Expressionism

What is Geometric Abstract Impressionism?

Geometric Abstract Impressionism is a form that evolved as I was working to present my impressions of nature, and of human life—as I perceive it—as part of nature. 

Isn't your work similar to the geometric paintings of Hans Hoffman, Paul Klee, etc? 

Not particularly. These artists were generally abstract expressionists in their geometric works, not impressionists.  Yes, other artists have painted and still paint squares, but as mainly abstract works and almost always in the expressionist mode.  I use squared shapes as soft, representational vehicles that present impressions of the world rather than expressions of myself. My work is different in that in it, the square presents first and foremost something outside myself rather than something from inside myself. I agree, though, with Hoffman's statement that “the ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak."

How do you begin a painting?

My first choice is almost always color—choosing the colors and forming their relationships. I then allow the composition and forms to  come more naturally, if not spontaneously, from that point.

 

But you said you paint impressions of the world, not self-expressions?

Yes, but unlike a plein air artist, I often rely on memory as my inspirations, especially for the compositions. The memory may be from earlier that day or from something I saw on a trip recently or long ago, or from a photo taken during such a trip.  In this way, the subconscious helps recreate the scene in the painting in what I call a natural or spontaneous way.  Of course there is always a degree of expression in any artwork since there is always an artist creating the work (and remember, I paint abstract impressions, not realistic impressions, so there is always an individual design element), but in my work I focus on what is outside myself rather than inside myself.   (As you can see, I do sometimes paint expressionist works as well.)

Why don't you just paint things as they actually look?

Hoffman's statement above is one good answer. But perhaps the main  reason I paint the way I do comes from a piece of wisdom from the poet Emily Dickinson, who famously writes to “tell it slant,” and that “the truth must dazzle gradually." To depict something in a creative way, a waythat allows the viewer (as well as the artist!) to come to her/his own interpretation slowly, invites the viewer to enjoy the work on his/her own terms and own way, to add where s/he wishes, to imagine what s/he desires, to inject her/himself (or not) into the scene in any way s/he likes.  My work provides the viewer with gentle suggestions, but trusts and respects the viewer to receive and perceive the images in ways best for the viewer without being told exactly how to perceive them.

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