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A bright and happy abstract collage painted over old canvass
**click artwork to enlarge**
(collage and oil painting on cardboard, 18X24, 2009)

"Everyday Joy"

Al Capp classified abstract art as " a product of the untalented sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered". I got to admit that when it comes to the majority of abstract modern art I agree with him. I have little interest in abstract with just a few exceptions. I do somewhat enjoy the works of Joan MirĂ³, Paul Klee and maybe a few of the Russian avant-garde painters. I prefer art that tells a story or at least allows me to come up with a story of my own. It doesn't mean that I'm looking for a Romain Rolland novel. However, I do need to see something in a painting that will make me not only feel, but also think. Unfortunately it's not often that I find suchlike characteristics in most abstract artworks.

You're probably wondering what would posses a person with my views on abstract art to create abstract art of my own. Let me explain. I'm one of those people who want to try everything (as long as it's not utterly pointless or overly dangerous). I wanted to create abstract paintings to illustrate my thoughts. It did turn out to be somewhat of a challenge since I had to think in different terms as I normally do. I had to come up with colors and shapes that tell a story as opposed to representational objects I usually rely on in my art.

I probably shouldn't admit this, but I also had a hidden motif. The truth is that I had quite a few boring paintings from my college courses collecting dust in the basement. I tried not to think about them. I struggled with myself regarding their future. I didn't see a point of keeping them, but didn't have the heart to throw them out. I finally decided that I should recycle my dull creations because no canvass deserves to be tossed out if it could be painted over.

I took my time to look at each artwork, and tried to think what kind of thoughts the colors on each one evoked in my mind, while trying to completely ignore what was actually painted on the surface. I assigned a theme to each piece and started working. It's hard for me to judge whether anybody would get what I was trying to convey with my abstract art, but I hope that he/she would still be able to see at least some thought behind it… or they can just read the titles of each painting to find out what I was trying to paint.

"I've been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract. No brush, no paint, no canvas, I just think about it."
Stephen Wright

"Who among us has not gazed at a painting of Jackson Pollack's and thought: What a piece of crap?"
Rob Long