“Patagonian Abstraction”

“Patagonian Abstraction”, by Robert Leedy, 2000, watercolor on paper, 14.25 x 10.5 in., Collection of the Artist
“Patagonian Abstraction”,
by Robert Leedy, 2000,
watercolor on paper,
14.25 x 10.5 in.,
Collection of the Artist

“Patagonia Abstraction” began as an 8″ x 10″ abstract collage composition created with torn pages from magazines. This is an excellent exercise in abstraction and helps tremendously when seeking visual imagery.

I learned this technique from Louise Freshman Brown who is a friend and art professor at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. In addition to teaching painting and painting workshops, Louise teaches great collage workshops.

Abstraction in painting is very difficult. It helps to have a starting point before leaping off into the unknown. This can mean taking literal subject matter and breaking it down into abstract components or – as is in the case of these torn magazine compositions – piecing together abstract elements of shape and color until an interesting composition arrives.

A digital artist friend of mine works in a similar manner. She starts with a photograph (recognizable subject matter) and then blows it up and manipulates it in Adobe Photoshop until it is a total abstract composition and there is no visual trace of the original subject.

Patagonia was not in my mind at all when I began the original collage composition. When I finished, I was reminded of maps, desert, mountains, and a deep blue sea. It all recalled a recent trip to Patagonia, so the name stuck.

I also painted a large abstract acrylic on canvas from the same study. The two paintings look nothing alike although they have similar elements going on. In this case, abstraction was a good springboard for moving on to new visual imagery.


To view more of my artwork,
visit my homepage Robert Leedy Art
where you can browse or purchase among a selection of abstracts, landscapes, architectural and figurative work

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