Dots 'N Doodles Newsletter
Educational Corner
Watercolor Painter
Eric Yi Lin
I have been taking the time to watch quite a few instructive videos from a variety or world class water-colorists.  I came across Eric Yi Lin who teaches and instructs on his site Cafe Watercolors.  I think he is a wonderful teacher who is really able to communicate his ideas.  In the video below Eric has given me permission to repost his video.  Click on the image below and it will take you to his site - Cafe Watercolors.  ENJOY!
 


 
Abstract Realsim
As I explore my own work with watercolors I have discovered a phrase that captures the spirit and direction that I want to take with my own work. I see it as very abstracted while at the same time having objective elements in it at the same time. This phrase is ABSTRACT REALISM. Now I am not sure if this is a historic or modem concept but it seems to capture two disparate ideas. One of the paintings I so admire is done by a Marc Folly. He is a French painter and is a modern master. He is described as "In love with strong lights, powerful colors and the unexpected of watercolor, Marc Folly has a taste for and art in quirky and complex subjects often linked to urban, industrial and craft life." His Facebook page click here.  


I came across this article:

What Is Abstract Realism? & WHY IT'S SO POPULAR TODAY by Bakr York

First, What Is Abstract Realism?

If I could write a more meaningful & practical (than the dictionary) definition of abstract realism, it’d go something like…
  • abstract realism: a threefold approach to making art. It encompasses (1) a figurative, i.e., true to life, depiction of some image—whether photographed or experienced; (2) non-figurative, abstract, design elements—line, form, texture, process, etc.—in which to render that real-life image. And most importantly (3), the ineffable gestalten experience resulting from the counterpoint of (1) and (2).
 
For the complete article go to
https://www.bakryork.com/articles/what-is-abstract-realism

1. The Abstract Part of Abstract Realism: Allowing for an Endless Variety of Style & Expression

This is because, in addition to the what, it's also all about how.
In addition to the artwork’s real-life model, the subject of an abstract realist artwork is the way it is painted, sculpted, photographed, etc.
It's as if the mind of the artist is split into two separate tracks.
  • On the one hand is the accurate depiction of something—a person's face, a vase of flowers, a mountain overlooking happy little trees, whatever.
  • On the other side of the artist's mind is the purpose for making the artwork in the first place. The artist expresses meaning via the method in which the face or flower or mountain is created.
These meanings are as infinite as the methods that stand for them.
Here are some examples.
 
This realistic portrait looks different up close. Its small-scale abstract shapes represents a relinquishing of control. As important as the final product, is the Zen process art behind it.
 

Some Famous Abstract Realism Artists’ Abstraction Styles

 
abstract-realism-example-knife-posterization-2.jpg
Andrew Salgado combines alternative paint application with the entire color wheel at peek saturation.
 
Andrew Salgado combines alternative paint application with the entire color wheel at peek saturation.
abstract-realism-example-color-freedom-2.jpg
Robert Delaunay’s accurate large-scale proportion offsets a complete freedom of color and edge.
Robert Delaunay’s accurate large-scale proportion offsets a complete freedom of color and edge.
abstract-realism-example-broadest-lines-possible-2.jpg
Step back twenty feet. Franz Cline uses the fewest, most basic strokes possible for making an accurate face—at least from afar.
Step back twenty feet. Franz Cline uses the fewest, most basic strokes possible for making an accurate face—at least from afar.
abstract-realism-example-horizontal-motion-2.jpg
Here Gerhard Richter uses motion to unify the subject’s shapes and colors—not a line to be found.
Here Gerhard Richter uses motion to unify the subject’s shapes and colors—not a line to be found.
abstract-realism-example-water-process-art-2.jpg
Frank Auerbach gives up some control to process art’s unpredictable chaos—puddles, smears, and a distressed canvas.
Frank Auerbach gives up some control to process art’s unpredictable chaos—puddles, smears, and a distressed canvas.
Infinite abstract minutiae is utilized by co-opting natural processes—gravity, fluid dynamics, chemistry.
 
Infinite abstract minutiae is utilized by co-opting natural processes—gravity, fluid dynamics, chemistry.
abstract-realism-example-giant-pixels-2.jpg
 
 
Chuck Close divides a portrait into giant pixels. No need to frame modern portraits when the art itself is a frame for hundreds of little abstract paintings
 

2. The Realism Part of Abstract Realism: Just as Real as Hyperrealism

If the first track, or stream of thought, behind an abstract realist work is some fanciful method of creation, and likely a deeper meaning behind that method, then the second track is, of course, that elegantly simple realism track.
That is, while the artist devotes half his mind to abstract expressionism, the other half grounds the work in some aspect of reality. It serves as a parallel anchor.
But what some people fail to see, is that abstract realism is often just as accurate as any photograph or hyperrealism artwork.
This is because realistic representation happens at different scales and by different design elements.
For example, when seen from up close, a line or shape might communicate some specific emotion—flowing peaceful tranquility, or frenetic agitation, or the fall of communism in the former Soviet Union. But after the viewer steps back, only then can they see the exact precision of a line in relationship to all the surrounding lines. And, given the artist, they might perfectly match the geometry found in real life.
The next time you look at an abstract realism landscape or portrait, squint your eyes a bit. If the artist’s realism anchor was the subject’s large-scale ratios, the blurry version seen while squinting will be indistinguishable from any photograph.
There's a schism in the art world. On the one side are the “narcissistic hyperrealists.” And on the other, the “pretentious abstract realists.”
 
 
As a young realism painter, I’d take offense at anyone dismissing the skill needed to render a photorealistic portrait. But at some most most young realist painters seem to hit a kind of "fascination wall." Precision alone can only bring us so far, eventually leaving much to be desired.
Oddly, it was the power of “squinting” that converted me. It was learning how to use ambiguity that brought me over to the abstract realism camp. (That…and twenty years of being a traveling artist—regularly meeting better painters than myself!)
 
 
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Surface: Medium-texture, soft

Media Applications:
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artwork by Julie Niskanen Skolozynski

cover artwork by:

Julie Niskanen Skolozynski

 
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433-8 8" x 10" Heavyweight, Glue Bound (8") 20
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433-18 18" x 24" Heavyweight, Glue Bound (18") 15
       
       
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