Archive for abstract art

Staying Creative in 2020

Abstract paintings by Sharon Pierce McCullough

On all fronts, 2020 continues to be an unprecedented year. It is also difficult to maintain a creative outlook during this time. Personally, I have been extremely distracted and have to make myself stay focused, to a degree, that is. My sculpture practice started out with a nice thrust, however, as the days have lingered on, I find my focus is further from sculpture than it is with painting.

Painting, especially since I work in abstracts, has been easier for me to work at on most days. I seem to be churning out paintings, primarily on unstretched canvases. And my desire to continually experiment with techniques, color and process have increased at this time. I seem to have started a few new series, however.

One of the most difficult things about staying creative during this pandemic is the fact that all the art fairs, galleries and other art opportunities have fallen by the wayside for now. Many exhibitions have been cancelled and some are now being rescheduled, but time will tell if this continues. So, without the ability to sell, other than online, it is discouraging to many artists. It is certainly a time of possibility to reinvent yourself and your art direction, but much is so up in the air.

But … I am hopeful and I am happy that I can continue to stay creative. 2020 feels like a bust but it might be a blessing in disguise as far as creativity goes!

Art Exhibitions

Concrete sculpture

Almost every month my paintings and sculpture work goes on exhibit in a new art venue. As an artist, I am constantly searching for new exhibition opportunities. It is part of what being an artist entails, especially if you are trying to achieve even a glimmer of exposure and recognition. You have to pay your dues.

While most of my time is spent designing and creating my art, time is also spent delivering artwork to galleries for exhibitions and then often retrieving pieces that haven’t sold.

In August 2019, one of the exhibitions that I was invited to participate in was a Sculpture Walk in Blowing Rock, NC. Although this is quite an endeavor to transport large sculptures to exhibit outdoors, it is an opportunity to meet possible new collectors. It was a beautiful setting and quite a well organized event.

Creating Found Object Sculptures

industrial found objects

Found Object Sculptures

If you have been following along with my art career, you have certainly noticed that my path of creating art branches out in many directions.  Although my focus remains on both paintings and sculpture, my sculptures vary according to my choice of materials.

Since I have always had an interest in finding unusual items that might work well when worked into a sculpture, one of my main series of sculptures are made from found objects.  Most of the pieces I am drawn to are old metal, often auto parts or other industrial castoffs.  I’m a known junkyard junkie who will never turn down a trip to a junkyard or other similar place to find castoff items.  You just never know what unique part will be waiting right around the next corner or on the next trip in search of pieces for sculptures.

Creating Found Object Sculptures

It often takes years to find the right, compatible objects to make the sculpture that speaks to me.  I’m not interested in making “cute” critters but real art objects.  Many trips to the outdoor studio and lots of trial with items, along with many days thinking about the design, finally helps a sculpture come to life.  Sometimes some of the found objects just seem meant for each other in a short period of time.  But many times, pieces are partly paired together, waiting on my workbench until the last few pieces are “found’.

It’s a totally different thought process and working process from sculptures made from cement or plaster.  But once a sculpture comes together, it is like a birth of sorts.

Since I am not currently a welder, I often make cement bases with metal/ rebar extending from them to attach the sculpture.  I then, usually, wire and epoxy pieces firmly together.

 

Intuitive Abstract Paintings on Canvas

The-Good-Life

One of my newest bodies of art work combines both a playful look with bright colors, black and white.  These are Intuitive Abstract paintings done on canvas and some created on heavy bristol board, a type of archival artist’s paper.  I refer to this type of work as intuitive because I start each painting without any pre-conceived idea of what I will paint.  It is actually fun to watch a painting unfold before you … much to my surprise.  Obviously, decisions to have to be made once you start, deciding what color to put where and what spaces to leave white, etc.

I start by drawing random lines and shapes until I am happy with the overall composition.  Sometimes, I will add extra elements as I go along.

Some of these pieces can be seen and purchased through Saatchi.

Art Inspired by Dreams of Beachy Weather

Abstract painting

Here in Pennsylvania, we have had a long, cold winter.  And it doesn’t seem to be getting real warm any time soon.  So, I’ve been thinking about the beach, the sun and the sand … and I think it has crept into my art.  My last few weeks of paintings on canvas and paper reflect more of a soft, pastel look even though my colors continue to be bright.  Color is my one thread in continuity and even my thoughts for new designs in cement and metal sculpture will incorporate color.

In the meantime, my paintings will have to suffice for my beachy dreams until the days get warmer and sunnier.  Beachy dreams to you!

One Fine Day,  32×45,  Acrylics/ wax crayons on canvas.

Garden of Hope,  14×17, acrylics, wax crayons on paper.

Copyright 2015  Sharon Pierce McCullough.  All rights reserved.

Happy Art

 

Over the winter I have been painting more and dreaming of the warm, sunny weather.  While my palette of colors remains bold, I find myself thinking of beachy scenes and my colors are getting a bit lighter and brighter.  I’m anxious to get back to the outside studio and start on some exciting new cement sculptures.  Stay tuned for some fun stuff.