When is My Art Complete

In August 2019, a bunch of artists joined a collective led by Arlene Shelton. It’s called The Aledo Arts Collective. I’m a founding member – I was on board the minute I heard about it. Now we have a space to show and sell artwork, teach classes and have a shared work space to create art.

That’s me, Julie Hiltbrunner. This painting is full of symbolism. It’s theme is that of a little girl who is in charge of her own destiny. It’s kind of a viking ship she’s on. In the source image she was standing on a toy boat in a playground, which drove me to take that theme further and create a place for her on the sea with a raven and an albatross. A few more adjustments will be made to the painting that will make the surface more even but mostly this is what the finished piece will look like. Painting occurred mostly in October and November of 2019. I messed around with symbolism and color schemes, layer by layer until I was proud of the painting. But, it’s hard to know when a painting is finished.

When I stand back and look at a painting and my eye gets stuck looking at one area then I know there’s still work to be done. You can sneak up on a painting, turn around quickly and look at it and if one area draws your attention and you can’t seem to move fluidly to the different areas of the painting, then something is missing. Every section should be moving you about to another section. It should have some harmony. Even abstract paintings should have some harmony. It should have interesting notes that you gaze upon but don’t get too fixated on.

You might think any idiot can create an abstract work of art but its not true. You need an idiot with vision and an understanding of the play between movement and rest. You might not have the words to speak but maybe you can express yourself visually… saying THIS is what I like. I like the way the paint feels when I move it about and when compete, it’s like a frozen dance on the canvas. You get to stop and save it like a video. You can whiz past it on fast forward or stop and look and spend a few moments with it.

The abstract artist need to be a good curator of the art. The artist must be selective. Show the viewing public the pieces that feel finished or purposely unfinished. Good abstract art looks intentional.

I plan to try my hand at abstract art. It’s not easy to explain abstract work in words. It’s an expression of something without words. I think we can agree that in public spaces abstract works of art, for example in shops or hotel lobbies, can enhance the moments spent there more than a blank wall might. They might even look great with your couch. For whatever reason we love or don’t love art you have to admit one thing, things that people call art has been valued as something important since… forever. There is something to art, something primitive and cross cultural. It’s something that can join us or divide us. It’s a civilization that creates art and the art itself is now often uncivilized.

Like civilizations, maybe art is never done. We just keep building on top of it layer by layer until the ancient disappears and what remains contains only remnants of everything that came before it.

How do you know that your art project is complete? What kind of art do you like? Maybe you make videos. Below is a video I made for fun, and a small look into my life. Because there’s so much more to us all, isn’t there?

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