For several years now, I have been pushing my art in the abstract direction, even when the image is about a person (and possibly a dog). It is a challenge to retain just enough detail and definition in a snap shot story to give the viewer something to hang on to, and not give them everything. The viewer is given the opportunity to fill in the blanks, creating the time and place that is theirs to see.
I have recently become enamored with the music of Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside (Dirty Radio). These people are also abstract artists, which pleased me greatly once I figured it out. On first listen, I was not pleased that I understood only about 10% of the words. But the instrumental was layered, interesting, and rhythmic and Sallie’s vocals were passionate, wailing, original, crazy and fun. I could enjoy this music in it’s abstract form, not knowing the real and slightly disturbing words right away. For the curious listener, the words are printed on the CD case. I read them eventually and now appreciate the music even more, but am glad that I first had a chance to make up what the songs were saying. So this got me thinking a lot more about abstract art, and the irony that Sallie Ford’s 10% understood words make it MORE accessible and MORE interesting to the viewer. So pushing myself in this abstract direction is exciting. I don’t think I’ll be able to push it as far as 10% clarity, but I will be trying for a 50/50 balance. Wish me luck.