Lost in abstraction

Hi all,

In this member’s minute episode, there is a bit of explanation of the abstract art.

While I was listening to this explanation, I had an eureka moment; I realised that some of the Chinese characters we use in Japan are actually the abstract art because they are the Chinese version of hieroglyph. Hieroglyph is also referred to as pictographic symbol or even more directly, “picture writing”.

I will show you an example…

This chart shows how a representational image of the moon goes through a progressive abstraction process and finally becomes the shape of the letter we currently use. The image at the last of the chart means “the moon” by this single letter because it originates from the shape of the real moon.

This also reminds me of an artwork which I purchased from a Japanese calligrapher some time ago.

The title of this artwork is “Clair de Lune”, meaning the moonlight, and it is not just the moonlight but the specific moonlight composed by Debussy.

I found this artwork at the calligrapher’s first solo exhibition in Tokyo, where she showed a series of calligraphy artworks aiming to express the realm of music and sounds. There was also an artwork which illustrated “Imagine” by John Lennon, which I bought as well.

This is “Imagine”.

After this exhibition, she made a huge step forward, which you can perhaps see from one of her latest works, “from ballerina to flower”.

Maybe not many of the VI members are so familiar with this, sort of, “extreme” style of abstract art, but if any of you are leaning toward trying to create abstract art for yourself, checking out calligraphy art, or perhaps some ethnic style of art may help you make a breakthrough so that you can develop your own unique style of abstract art. I myself have been wanting to create a series of abstract works focusing on water, but I haven’t been able to decide on what kind of approaches would be interesting. But thanks to this discovery about abstraction-hieroglyph relationship and the acute sense of abstraction of calligraphic art, looks like I can finally decide my own approach to the new series.

Have you got any particular styles of abstract of your favourite?


Love this. I will digest it and mayb arrive at some thoughts of my own in response. Thank you.

1 Like

Abstract Art has always interested me because I have often wondered where the artist is coming from mentally to create the art or in other words their reasoning behind the art? Your explanation of this one example of Abstract Art helps to understand their thought processes.

1 Like

Cool abstracts. Love them them.

1 Like

Thanks for sharing. I am always interested in new forms of abstract art.

1 Like

Maki, this is very interesting and I do love that Claire de Lune piece a lot. It’s so simple and so beautiful. As for abstracts, I’ve always been drawn to water as well. I’ve tried to recreate rushing water and frozen water with watercolour paint. I think it’s a very fun yet difficult subject to recreate realistically (at least for me!) but in abstract I can let loose a little and use more of my imagination. I do want to get more into abstract art but honestly am not sure where to go from here. Your suggestions are very good and I really appreciate them! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thank you for your comment, Patsy :slight_smile: Glad that you liked this post :+1:

Hi Rain, many thanks for your comment. Drawing water as realistically as possible is one of the things I’ve been wanting to try since I found some crazy works by Elena Degenhardt, a Malta-based pastel artist. I found her works on Instagram and was very impressed by her water pastel drawings. But I am also very interested in an abstract approach to drawing water. Unfortunately, I have been just too busy to try my own ideas presented in this post, but I have just finished my preparation for one of my exhibitions, so I think I will be able to squeeze some time out to give it a try. Once they are done, I will definitely introduce them here again :blush:

For your information, you can check Elena’s works here: https://elenadegenhardt.com/works

Hope you will find your own approach to drawing water, either realistically or in an abstract fashion :blush:

1 Like

Hi Maki :slight_smile:

I just looked up Elena Degenhardt WOW, she is awesome, I would love to learn how to do that kind of realistic water with pastels! Unbelievable how talented these artists are!! Thanks for that link. I will definitely be practicing water because it’s also the element I’m most drawn to and I use a lot of water in my paintings, or water-themes!

Congratulations on your exhibit! I hope it goes well. How rewarding! :slight_smile:

1 Like

As long as I remember from Elena’s past instagram posts, where I could see some part of the creating process of her realistic marine art pieces, I think she uses a mixed media approach, i.e. the really subtle parts of the water splashes are drawn using poster paint or something. Someone commented that she wanted Elena to do a YouTube tutorial someday and she replied that she would think about it, so we might have a chance to learn the “how-to” in the near future :slight_smile:
Thank you for your kind words about my exhibition! :wink:

1 Like

Oh that would be cool to see Elena’s tutorials!! I would be very into that!