Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Sea Breeze Large 30x40 Minimal Seascape Commission


Sea Breeze Large 30x40 Minimal Seascape Commission, painting by Jan Blencowe


About This Painting:
Like it? Commission a similar painting in any size, just e-mail me for prices.

Media: acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
Size: 40 in X 30 in (101.6 cm X 76.2 cm)

To order a commission
send me an email

Someone asked me how I knew when to stop when working on a minimalist painting. That's a very good question. First of all let's establish that this is not a real minimalist painting in the true sense but rather a pseudo-minimalist painting, borrowing the idea and aesthetics of minimalism and applying them rather loosely to seascape/landscape.

For the record:

Minimalism rejects the need for social comment, self-expression, narrative, or any other allusion to history, politics, or religion. It is based on creating objects of interest and beauty. Minimalists reduced their work to the smallest number of colors, values, shapes, lines, and textures. David Burlyuk first used the term in an exhibition catalogue for John Graham’s paintings at the Dudensing Gallery in New York in 1929. The term was later applied to the movement in the 1960’s. Other names for the movement include ABC art, minimal art, reductivism, and rejective art. Minimalism was a reaction against the formal overkill and pretentiousness of Abstract Expressionism. It had roots in Pop art, Cubism, and Conceptual art and was also inspired by Russian Suprematists such as Kasimir Malevich.

Minimalist art was normally precise and hard-edged. It incorporated geometric forms often in repetitive patterns and solid planes of color, normally cool hues or unmixed colors straight from the tube. Often based on a grid and mathematically composed, the use of industrial materials was common in order to eliminate the evidence of the artist’s hand. Minimalist art strived to create an object with presence, something that can be seen at its basic physical appearance and appreciated at face value.

read the rest here

So in this painting we see a very limited color palette, a very few number of objects and shapes, cool colors not overly mixed, some amount of repitition in the rock forms, and while the finished piece has a more organic feel the early stage did in fact start with masking tape blocking in shapes and creating hard edges particularly along the horizon.

The simplicity of the color palette, the coolness of the hues and the uncluttered composition all harmoinize to create a very soothing and tranquil effect, which was the whole point.

One of the great things about working as an artist in the 21 century is that modern art has come and in many ways gone. However, this has greatly augmented the visual vocabulary and number of art movements we may now draw upon for inspiration and as fodder for new combinations of this and that. In this instance more is better.

To answer the question how do I know when to stop, I'll start by saying though these type of paintings look simple to construct they are very tricky to pull off. Since you are working with so few elements, each and every choice must contribute to the intent of the whole. The minimum to be effective, whether it's color, line shape or what have you, is what you're after. It's very easy to over do and throw the whole piece out of balance. You must think and analyze a lot, work slowly and step back and evaluate after every addition.

This style of painting is very popular and if you would like one I can create them in any size, square or rectangular. Generally they are done on gallery wrap canvas or a cradled wooden panel with the sides painted to continue the painting or painted a neutral gray so they are ready to hang without a frame whic contributes to the clean, unencumbered minimalist look. If you'd love to bring some calm and serenity to your room send me an e-mail to check prices. jan.blencowe@comcast.net

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