“Abstract” Is Not Easy

In the studio right now

David’s hard at work, designing a set of 4 large abstract windows.

Now some people don’t find abstraction difficult to draw.

I do.

I can’t do it.

I’m too literal in my drawing and copying skills. I know my limitations.

And I confess I’m shocked how some people think abstraction is the easy option. Because like I said I feel, it’s really difficult. Painfully hard.

Does this make you smile?

I remember one time a ‘fellow artist’ came to the studio to ask for help on designing and drawing the figurative / literal elements in a window.

They said (I’m not joking about this):

I can’t draw so I’ll do the abstract elements myself.

That made me laugh. (Bitterly.) As if abstraction is made easier by an inability to draw …

Mind you, some artists don’t do themselves any favours here. ‘A child could do that’ is what the public rightly says.

Exactly. These artists can’t draw abstract designs because they can’t draw figuratively first.

Real abstraction (I think) is difficult. Like the maths for quantum physics which is mind-blowingly abstract, as opposed to school arithmetic which is plain and literal by comparison.

So all the design work for these 4 large abstract windows landed squarely on David’s list of things to do.

Abstract stained glass design

Working on abstract designs for stained glass windows

Another time I’ll talk more about the working sketches; not today though – I think they’re magnificent, but I am not the judge: the client is.