Thursday, March 3, 2011

New Abstract Painting: Byzantine Blues

Byzantine Blues - Lynda Lehmann c 2011

"Byzantine Blues" is one of my recent series of small paintings, just 11 x 14 inches.  It's one of those paintings whose name seemed to arise out of the ether as I finished it.  While my title does not really fit the definition of Byzantine, I still like it for this work.  Since it's my painting, I guess I can call it whatever I wish!  One of the added joys of making art is the freedom to associate ones image with words and name it thus. That is, to see an image in your own unique way.  

The viewer too, is called upon to see whatever he or she wishes, and that is the freedom that is inherent in the ambiguity and mystery of abstract art.  Although the bottom line is that titles are not at all necessary to the visual experience, especially of abstraction, and may even detract from the viewer's freedom to see it in his or her own way. defines "Byzantine" as follows:

4.  Fine Arts pertaining to or designating the style of the fine or decorative arts developed and elaborated in the Byzantine Empire  and its provinces: characterized chiefly by an ecclesiastically prescribed iconography, highly formal structure, severe confinement of pictorial space to a shallow depth, and the use of rich, often sumptuous color.

You can see that this painting does not resemble the "ecclesiastically prescribed iconography," of Byzantine Art at all, although the confinement of pictorial space to a shallow depth and the use of rich color, may apply.  You can read more about the Byzantine Empire at Wiki.  

Why have I just written several paragraphs to outline why my title doesn't really fit my image? The answer is that creative process is messy.  It doesn't conform to the parameters of logic or conscious thought. It's not rational. And that's what makes the journey interesting.

Although I appreciate the beautifully rendered realism of masters such as Da Vinci or John Singer Sargent, my preferred style of painting is abstract.  What is your favorite style, when it comes to making or appreciating art?

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  1. Off on a tangent for the moment. The abstract painting, Blue Poles, by the American artist Jackson Pollock and purchased by the National Gallery of Australia in 1973 for A$1.3 million was considered by many at the time to be a waste of money.

    It's now one of our National Treasures and considered to be worth close to A$180 million.

    I think at the time those who saw it and complained, could not see beyond the strips of splattered paint.

    A lot has happened since then. We're a lot more civilised and cultured and see it for what it really is; a beautiful, unique piece of artwork, something to behold as with your painting, Byzantine Blues.

    Take Care,

  2. Peter - When I was young I didn't understand action- or process-painting. But now that I DO it myself, I get it. Movement is very important to me in my work. Many people think art has to be literal, and refer to something they can recognize as part of their world.

    But to me, art is about making and viewing something that did not exist before, about presenting or having a NEW VISUAL EXPERIENCE.

    I've been AWOL for a couple of weeks, so I'll be over to visit you soon. Hope all is well with you and yours and that the disasters in Australia have passed.

  3. I like this a lot!! I like abstract, always give me pause - while I try to feel it.

    Nice job.

  4. Sandy - Pausing to feel it, is a good thing to do. Most people don't seem to take the time to let their eyes revel in art, enough to take it in or savor it.

  5. I greatly enjoyed your painting. I see the light here, and it is tangible - solid and transparent at the same time. Your art inspires and thoughts are worthy pondering. I see the creative work the same way as you do.
    While others see my works as the abstractions, I look at them as at my diary' documentary, as the visual poetry that express the inners lights that rehabilitate the darkness from underfoot by reflecting the eternal values that never wither even in modern times.

  6. arthiker - What you have just said is very in sync with my own view, as you pointed out.

    We are fortunate to have art being such a healing part of our life journeys, as "the visual poetry that expresses the inners lights that rehabilitate the darkness," as you so aptly state.

    Thank you for visiting!

  7. I just had to come back and look. It's so beautiful

    When I have time I'll have to go through more of your archives. Can't believe I "lost" you a few years back. I have no clue where your link went back then.

  8. Inspirational - indeed! Thanks for sharing :-)

  9. Renny - Nice to see you! Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Sandy - We're all so inundated with blogs and other sites, it's a wonder we can keep up with anything at all. Glad to see ya, anyway!

  11. Hey Linda now you kind of fooled me with the title, lol, as I am really aware of Byzantine culture, and I thought I will be looking at the icon. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about creative arts, I will keep that in mind when creating title for my photographs. I love abstract, but I think I have long way to go, as I still find hard to capture it on the right angle, to get the right effect. I may have few, but you know how artists are sometimes picky, lol.

    About the camera Lynda, thank you for your offer. Yes if you can give me model I will check it out. I will be purchasing DSLR because I have lenses, but you know my point and shoot is starting to malfunction. The advice is to never buy anything at the same time, lol, not to mention the noises coming out from my fridge and oven (probably on their way out) - by the time I am finished with my broken things around the house, I will be broke myself, lol, but then what can you do.

    Hope all is well with you, and no I will not be going anywhere. I promised myself that I will blog as long as I can, I may take long breaks, but I will always be back. I like it, that is my problem....

    Anna :)

  12. The combination of colors and shapes is breahtaking! I love it.

  13. ANNA - My fridge must be in cahoots with your fridge, as it's making the weirdest sounds I ever heard and I expected it to expire about six months ago! It sounds like the engine room of a sinking ship!

    I'm really glad to hear you are staying with us, and I'm always happy to see you! I'm in the same predicament, time-wise, and my posts are certainly less frequent than in the past.

    I have a D-SLR but it's so heavy and it really becomes tedious to tote around on long walks or hikes. So I bought the Nikon Coolpix P7000 as something I could carry and shoot with all day, when the opportunity presents itself, without getting exhausted. It has all the bells and whistles if you want to go for features, options and controls, and does a good job when set on automatic.

    You can read the reviews at Amazon, which is where I purchased mine through one of their affiliates. There may even be a newer version by now, as this was about six months ago.

    Anyway, I really like it and will use it until I can afford a higher-end Nikon, which will be VERY pricey!

    Also, I've had a Canon D-SLR and the Sony Alpha 350. Although they both have great features and are capable of fairly good quality, the sensors are not good enough and I get too many shots with noise, as well as some lens distortion.

    I think my Nikon point-and-shoot actually does a better job than the other two, even thought the Sony in particular, was a lot more expensive.

    Good luck with choosing. Whatever decision you make, I think reading the customer reviews on Amazon can yield a lot of insight.

    Happy (almost) spring, dear Anna. I bet Matthew will soon be wanting his own camera so he can shoot by his mother's side!

    xxx to you.

  14. Duta - Thank you!

    How are things in your neck of the woods? Seems like we (humanity) are in a constant battle with weather induced and other kinds of natural disasters, lately. And of course, the geopolitical face of the world is also changing faster than we can assimilate the evening news.

    My best to you, Duta.

  15. Hey Lynda,

    When I look at this image, I see a dancing tribe (but then again, that can be my recent dancing mood lol - Last week's Carnival and Samba took a toll lol).

    Well, your painting my noy resemble the "ecclesiastically prescribed iconography" but it does offer sumptuous colour.

    My favourite styles are impressionism, realism and abstract.


  16. Max - Glad to hear you've been out dancing! I guess you're celebrating spring, ahead of us here in the Northeast USA, where spring has not yet quite materialized.

    I see a lot of Classic Realism on your blog, so I would guess that that's your favorite genre! And the images you pick are very well suited to your posts.

    Tonight my mind is reeling at the plight of the Japanese people and the terror of all those partial and potential meltdowns. I am praying for humanity.

  17. Lynda,

    "Glad to hear you've been out dancing! I guess you're celebrating spring, ahead of us here in the Northeast USA, where spring has not yet quite materialized."

    :D thanks. Well, Carnival (Carnaval, in Portuguese) is very important in Portugal and Brazil; not to mention the fact that it marks the beginning of Lent (for Catholics) so it is a pretty festive occasion. The Brazilian carnival wins my heart every year: there is nothing like samba.

    "I see a lot of Classic Realism on your blog, so I would guess that that's your favorite genre! And the images you pick are very well suited to your posts."

    True. You see it more because it goes well with my posts; but I also like other genres. Thank you so much *bowing*.

    "Tonight my mind is reeling at the plight of the Japanese people and the terror of all those partial and potential meltdowns. I am praying for humanity."

    Tell me about it *nodding*. It broke my heart to see that tragedy :(. Japan needs all the prayer it can get...

  18. Yes Max, and it certainly needs all the international help it can get. And donations, donations, donations.

    I'm just sick with the enormity of it. So many thousands of people are suffering more than I can imagine from the comfort of my home.


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