What is reality? Is it what we are able to see and therefore declare it real?
Is it a belief or a fact proven by scientific methods?
When I posted a watercolor and ink sketch of a glass vase filled with tulips and daffodils on social media; it got an enormous amount of attention.
It was a well-executed still life on paper showing rather photographically, how the arrangement was caressed by sunlight; it reflected on the glass and bounced on other objects. The response level indicated that people were reacting mostly to what was easily recognized.
When I post abstract works, they don’t get noticed as quickly. I know that this has nothing to do with their quality.
Non-representational work requires a commitment to interact with art in a conversation most people are unaccustomed to have.
Pictures of recognizable things get the most notice because our fast-paced life has trained us to have short and selective attention span. We look and quickly decide, often on a small screen where we are going to spend this precious commodity. When something bright and familiarly pleasant pops up, we feel good enough to post a heart and even a comment, before moving on. What we see checks with what we know and there is no need to interact with it for long.
An abstract painting requires a commitment from us to enter the unknown and make meaning with what we are not familiar. It looks un-real.
I am not assigning value to one style or another. I simply say that images, shapes and textures in an abstract painting serve to push the envelope. They invite artists and viewers to the brink of mystery and prod it without any frame of reference.
Take a moment to observe The Nature of Reality.
Dark bronze and brown color shapes on the bottom of the canvas, create the entry point into the art, while gold and silver paint airbrushed in a swirling motion draw us in. Next we are lured by light-catching surfaces that force us to move in different directions and unwittingly we begin to search for familiar shapes.
Suddenly we recognize “letters”. The mind takes over and we find more “words” attached to thin glittery paper lines with strong upward movement. We follow them to see if we can understand. Eventually the writing also swirls to the left ending in a flame, and to the right dispersing into an orb.
Puzzled, we continue scanning the painting for clues and encounter flowing lotuses. In these “recognizable” shapes we find relief and security. We recognize “flowers” and may even sense wind in their wavy stems….but the “words”? We still want to know what they are saying but are clueless. We also ask ourselves, why the flame? And the gold orb?
These inner/outer conversations in viewing abstract art strain the ego-mind and engage senses and emotions. We are invited to explore uncharted territory and pose questions for which we may not get answers; like… how valuable is to make additional meaning of what we already know?
This art contains no letters. The dialog opens new doors of awareness, or provides alternative viewpoints we can later extrapolate to our day-to-day life. Labeling reassures our ego-mind that we are “in the know” at a high price. It keeps us from seeing reality as it is.
Everything we think real is inherently impermanent; paper in this case, can crumble or yellow with age or be burned in a fire. It has no substance unto itself. I did not intend to create words in any way. I was attracted to texture and color that together with the other elements create a rich vibrational field.
Yet delighting in the art elements within the work, while consciously focusing on their interaction, may lead to experiencing deep joy or be moved to sadness.
That is because art elements vibrate much as musical instruments do, and create an energy field that strikes a chord deep within us beckoning further exploration. This reality needs no belief, scientific proof, or visual confirmation. It is accessed through presence and the courage to dive into the unknown.
It is in the nature of reality that everything is impermanent and has an interdependent value. Nothing is real unto itself; it is a vibrational field in which we all play ball.
Want to play more?
By now you understand why the “words” end in a flame. And the gold orb? Do you know what it represents and why only “letters” go into the gold orb?
Want a hint? What I create comes from absolute presence, and with the awareness that I am co-creating with Spirit. The meaning is derived afterwards, when I sit with the painting and do exactly as I described above; I notice what strikes a chord and willingly explore a reality that does not require scientific proof, yet is really real.
You can purchase The Nature of Reality, in its original 30″ x 40″ x 2″ form by clicking Spiritual Art Gallery. There you will find limited edition canvas wrapped prints as well.
Post your thoughts below on the nature of reality. Love to read them!