Today, this past week really, was a roller-coaster, so I wanted to do a drawing that showed motion abstractly.
The space on the picture plane is divided into stripes that are delineated horizontally with both varied and fixed bands of color to create an illusion of depth.
Vertically, the lines are organized in changing curves with strokes that go from almost vertical to horizontal along an imaginary point of rotation to create the illusion of a solid, if flexible object, like the folds in a skirt, traveling through space at a regular rate.
Though the drawing is made up mostly of lines, the blending of colors and the allowance of the paper to shine through in places are instrumental to the illusion of motion, if not so much depth. By blending similar, but distinct colors, the contrast in each vertical stripe spins into the next related color, but stands out against the background, while the horizontal stripes create the illusion of light and shadow by using high-contrast without blending colors as much.
Further, the transparency of the colors chosen for the vertical stripes, which were layered on top of the more opaque colors of the horizontal stripes, allows the viewer to imagine that he is looking past them as they move rather than seeing them as a series of stationary objects that block the view of the receding space.
Though all this is dry and formal, because this is an almost purely formal drawing, all artists think about how to show space and motion or stillness in their drawings. All drawing, even figural work, is an abstraction because it is the attempt of the artist to put something they see or think about into a limited medium for others to see. Whether those limitations are the 2 dimensions of the picture plane; 3 dimensions of a sculpture or installation; or more dimensions of temporal and performative artworks, whatever the artist sees cannot be directly communicated, and even the choice of medium influences who hears the message and how it is interpreted.
I should write more about this, but I’m falling short tonight. Maybe the next time I’ll play around with this idea some more.