February, 2010

Feb 10

Marks that add up to something


Two large abstract paintings were recently commissioned and they provide this opportunity to reflect on the world that comes into existence between the brain and the hand.

Whether representing subjects or abstracting them beyond recognition some rules always apply. The most basic being that visual art, to be successful, must attract the eye of an audience.


Detail, acrylic

I learned this lesson in college while working in abstract painting methods, particularly one popular at the time: non-objective painting. The aim of the non-objective method was to intentionally avoid making references to the world of our visual experience. A painting professor of mine was busy exploring the possibilities of applying paint with a large window squeegee. Not a ‘finesse’ painting tool, I thought, but he had the MFA, so I gave non-objective painting a try. Ultimately, denying the value of both shape and object was too restrictive to be challenging and expressively rewarding. As a result, I transitioned into creating abstract, shape-based worlds, diffused and mysterious, like the one you see below.

Marks the Spot, ink on paper, 1975

By the close of college I was turning back to the challenges of making interesting marks that could inhabit shaped-based worlds of my child and adult fascinations. That vein continues to yield treasures.

To view more of my artwork visit Brad Faegre Fine Art