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Monthly Archives: June 2017

Mystical Abstract Art

The world of art and the environment of the mystical go back a long way together with many facets in common with one another – one being that they both seek to look into a deep unknown – and then seek to manifest it into this physical world by one means or another.

Therefore it is understandable that a non-representational picture can be difficult to comment on. The viewer might be “moved” by the artwork, but they may not really know why. I believe it has something to do with their sleeping soul being gently (or violently) shaken into a specific awareness. The earthy physical body may have very little understanding as to what might be happening, so they are left to struggle in explaining a spiritual concept from a physical point of view.

However, as an artist who has acquired (and lives by) a little understanding of certain spiritual aspects, here are my offerings of what I believe happens when a viewer comes across a mystical abstract painting.

In order to do that I want to present the whole episode from all aspects:

The Spirit

One of the Spirit’s major intentions is to bring spiritual understanding into the physical realm. One way to do that is to enter time and manifest a potential opportunity for a receptive body. That receptive body can either be the person being offered the opportunity – or the messenger of it. If they are the messenger then there are many ways in which that message can be put across … and one of them is by producing a provocative illustration or allegory in the form of an abstract painting.

The Messenger

… Or Artist in this case … Or more specifically an artist who is prone to take note of their own inner enigmatic visuals. Once inspired the artist then sets about translating these visions into a personal style of depiction. I think it is quite probable that many an artist will be unconscious of what exactly they are putting down upon the canvas … all they might know is that there is an urgent complusion to work with particular colours, or in a specific style.

The Art

A personalized manifestation of the inner visuals … portrayed on board or canvas – or any other handy appropriate medium at the time. The artist lets the visual take shape in their mind and allows for interpretation into the physical world … which results in an artwork of surreal allegory, or be-riddled story, or just a simple abstract presentation of specific colours or shapes. Each element of the art will include (or be) a potential key ready to allow the appropriate viewer entrance into its intriguing yet creative environment.

The Viewer

A receptive observer viewing the art may initially have an indefinable affinity with it. They are perhaps first emotionally drawn to the image before them. And as their thoughts begin to trigger other thoughts, gradual realizations start to become apparent … gaining strength until they acquire a personal creative understanding seen only by themselves but which may eventually involve others who come into contact with them.

The Gift

The originally unknown vision now begins to unfold its truth within the receptive viewer. This can be in many guises … a simple affirmation … a personal revelation … a specific spiritual, mental, or inner encouragement … an energizing edification for a hungry or floundering soul … offering a sense of contentment within a challenging situation … This gift can be as simple or as complicated as is required for the viewer. Its influence can be timeless – remaining relevant over a period of days, weeks, months, or years.

So the next time you seek to produce a piece of art or decide to visit a gallery do not hesitate or dwell upon any lack within you … rather open your eyes (after all they are supposed to be the windows of the body) and prepare yourself to either see in order to create – or see in order to receive.

Abstract Art and The Spirit

I would argue that they were in fact just one very important example of the hungry sleep-drugged soul seeking a way to be heard. However, many artsists of those times, and indeed today, would flatly deny anything remotely to do with spiritual things – or worse still – religious things.

Take, for instance, one of my favourites – Mark Rothko. This tragic artist committed himself to the task of producing massive canvases with many vaguely resembling the outline of a window – especially an after image once the eye has closed. His vast expanses of colour seemed to hunt out a corner or edge in a desperate attempt to complete, or conclude, the picture. Not satisfied with that he went on to give up titling his work saying that he did not want to influence the onlooker in any way. Ironically he failed … and sadly took his own life. For me his works speak of wonderful tantilizing clues visually demonstrating the struggling spirit seeking (and succeeding!) in revealing herself – now that is real influence! Let me explain by an apparently unrelated route:

I seek to assist my own spirit in attempting to make manifest even the tiniest, most pathetic, weakest fact that the spirit in us all is not only just trying to communicate with us – but is in fact actively seeking to set the whole human balance right … which is the spirit leading the mind and body back to her source – not the other way round – the mind and body leading the blinded soul to … well, eventually death.

Not so long ago I came across the writings of Meister Eckhart, a fourteenth century Christian mystic. His words amazed me. He described in his many sermons what he believed to be the truth as to why we are here. He also revealed many tantilizing “images” of the spirit from the least angelic being right up to God Himself. His descriptions were … how can I put it simply? … abstract!

In one of his sermons he described God as … “unknowable” … “not able to be understood” … “undefinable”. In another he made a statement (one of many which may have contributed to him being accused of heresy!) “People say God exists … God does not exist … ” left out of context that would be a truly blasphemous assertion. But he went on to say that “… God is far greater … God is beyond existance”. These and many other controversial sayings have impressed me so much that I have come to “see” God as an abstract entity – not, I hasten to add, an anarchic abstract form – but rather a God far more powerful, far more greater – than I can imagine … in other words totally undefinable. Rather than this putting a distance between me and God, it has done exactly the opposite. And when Eckhart began to describe the life of Christ in an almost completely abstract way – Eckhart said that Christs life was the greatest example of the seeking and finding the uncreated source of the pure soul – my imagination began to run like a film of frenzied obscure visuals. Eckhart has become, to me, the patron saint of abstract artists.

The beauty of Eckharts enigmatic words are intensely inspiring. What better way to illustrate his poetic writings than to describe Gods “isness” in the very basic form of a gigantic flat area of one saturated colour untainted by anythingelse. Strangely enough this could be part of an exact description from one of Rothko’s immense, sometimes almost monochromatic, paintings.

But this is by no means the whole story … one of Eckhart’s contradictions said that on the one hand God is totally unapproachable, yet at the same time God is actually very, very approachable …


Produce Canvas Prints

There are two main ways that person can produce canvas prints. They are by canvas transferring and printing directly on the canvas. Both can produce high-quality results, and can be made to look as close to the original as possible.

When it comes to reproducing an artist’s original canvas art prints, it is obvious that the reproduction should look as much like the original as possible. By using several techniques, it makes it easy to produce canvas art prints that look just as good as the original.

Transferring to make canvas art prints is the most common of the two techniques. It begins with a standard, offset paper print that is made in the traditional way from the original. The print is then coated with a series of special chemicals that are designed to allow the paper and the ink to separate from each other. That means when the paper is removed, the ink remains.

The canvass is then prepped with adhesive, and the film is carefully laid on it. Pressure is applied to bond the film to the canvas, which is then set aside to dry. The result is a beautiful canvas art print that looks very much like the original.

Printing directly on the canvas to produce canvas art prints is the second most commonly used method.

Other methods used consist of direct offset printing, where a piece of canvas is run through an offset press; Repligraphy, where a hot-melt color dye printing system is used to create an oil-based film that adheres to the canvas; and Artagraphs, which features a mold of both the artist’s original brushstrokes and textures.

How can you tell if a piece of art is the original or a canvas art print reproduction? Although it may seem hard, there are clues that someone can use to tell what is real and what is a copy.

The first is to look for limited edition print numbers, which are normally found at the bottom of the work in xx/yy format. When producing canvas art prints, a reproduction often leaves this out.

Canvas art prints are usually completely flat or have small applications of hand-applied paint that is referred to as highlight. If the canvas art print is flat to the touch, then it’s probably a reproduction. Originals mostly include areas of texture.

Highlights can be obvious to see. A hightlight can be simply a small dab of paint, which is quite different from an artist’s actual brushstroke.

Other options include using a high-powered microscope to look for standard dot patterns and/or calling a gallery to see if they have someone who can identify your canvas art print as an original or a reproduction.