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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