We can look at the most obvious things first: it’s not a a psychedelic kidney-bean, a fetus, an alien, or even a psychedelic alien kidney-bean fetus. But of course you’ll have your own reaction to whatever you see and it may very well remind you of one or all of these things (as my focus group have already told me).
And you know what? I love that. I love the fact that this particular painting has caused some strong reactions. If everything in our lives became flat and consistent then our souls become washed out and worthless. The very purpose of creativity is to communicate. If that never raises so much as an eyebrow then I believe an opportunity has been wasted.
So here we have a painting that is square, it’s an amenable size (not too big and not too small), it has a charismatic shape, is full of colour and packed with tiny details. And because the main shape is so well defined it challenges you brain to make sense of it. That’s the really great thing about abstractions – we automatically look for something we already know in order to make sense from it.
We are always looking for a reference point so we can understand things, hence the feedback saying it looked like an alien fetus (I do worry about some of the people in my focus group).
The challenge for any kind of non-figurative art is to allow it to become it’s own point of reference and not rely on any kind of recalled memory or physical object to define it. So the trick here is to let go of what it reminds you of and let it exist on it’s own for a while.
Start in one place and follow a line of paint until it reaches another. Move along some of the clearly defined arcs and feel the gentle curve as it changes direction. A glance at the purple in the middle reveals a mountain range of colour and flow, ice-blues and aquas meet lava flows and sand storms.
See my point? Even I look for real-world reference points to describe it to you. If you can feel things I’m talking about then you’re half way there. Well done, gold star. As for the other half? That comes after it hangs on your wall. Trust me, you’ve got a lifetime to discover that bit, no doubt about that whatsoever.