For the majority of my life, my style has been realism. I liked abstracts but had no interest in painting them. My brain just didn't seem to work that way. I'm a storyteller by nature and while abstracts can certainly convey mood, they tend to be short on story. But styles have a way of evolving over the years and I reached a point, a couple of years ago where I felt that uncomfortable itch. It's a strange feeling of frustration, a sense that something is missing, not quite right, a peculiar longing. There's a dissatisfaction with the status quo. Something needs to be changed, but you don't quite know what or how. It usually signifies that something new is trying to be born. You might think it was the abstract paintings that were trying to come to the forefront, but no, it was something else. A hybrid of realism and abstract. A slight stylistic change. The new collection of abstract paintings was certainly a result of this process, but not the end of it. There is still a coming together of the two. I can see it but I can't quite see it.
This particular time frame also coincided with my return to using traditional mediums and combining them with digital. A step in the process but not the whole process. It's an odd feeling of having one foot in one world and one in another. When I'm doing realism I have trouble thinking abstract, and vice versa. My brain literally thinks differently ( I can actually feel it) when engaged in one or the other activity and yet they are both art. The trick now is to get the opposites to meld together. At the moment they're sort of circling each other warily, neither quite ready yet to give up their exclusive status and become a full-on partnership. At this point I'm not sure how long that will take. There's some awkward growth spurts, and ungainly offspring. But that happens in all aspects of life. Eventually it comes together. The abstracts were a happy byproduct of this evolving process. They were a stepping stone that could stand on their own. For the moment, both styles still exist separately and perhaps they always will, at least to some degree. The abstract has made its way into the realism in small doses, in the form of texture – or as a prompt, as I described in my blog post “Bear Medicine” - and the realism has made it's way into the abstract. For now I remain intrigued by the mystery of where it's all going and what the end result of the process will look like.