View Full Version : Woo Sheep go to the City

09-25-2011, 09:30 AM
fraser's ( fraser paice ) woo sheep leave the country to go visit friends in a nearby city..:)...:D

09-25-2011, 09:48 AM
Yay! they are pesky critters hope they took a map.

D Akey
09-25-2011, 12:27 PM
Wow! Babe, the pig in the city has nothing on the Woo Sheep! WOO HOOOO!

Hahaha. Dazzling. I must confess a preference for the work you do that fills the canvas like this. Personal preference only.

Comparing it with some of your others, I'm not a huge fan of Klee and that sensibility, so I never studied what he was doing. I think I like things that are fuller and more . . . I don't know, complex and working color in a related way throughout a canvas.

Like this one I really like. Certainly evokes a response from me. I feel like the Woo sheep have a buzz. :D and me too from it.

Anyway, I like watching what you do in all cases and I may finally grok the Klee stuff as well. Granted they can dress up a wall in intriguing ways. And they imply a sort of esoteric artiness. But we don't have a room to see these in, so I go only based on the paintings.

But I like these a lot. Keep 'em coming! Take us on a ride!

09-25-2011, 02:48 PM
/me faints :eek: :confused: :rolleyes:

woooo sheep! <3 :) :) :)

09-25-2011, 04:05 PM
masterful it makes me keep looking

09-25-2011, 05:11 PM
So cute Gary, and great idea! This gal is about to count them! Good night dear man!;):D

09-26-2011, 12:27 AM
This an interesting piece to look at. The textures are especially interesting. Nicely done!

09-26-2011, 03:48 AM
Gary that's a serious art piece. splendid stuff. Fun to explore.

09-26-2011, 05:39 AM
Albert.... thanks for your comment that this is a serious art piece even though it was a wink and a nod at fraser's Woo Sheep.. :)

Bobbi and Sandy thanks for commenting... Sandy hope your sheep counting was a peaceful event ;);)

Cartoonman - thanks I am most happy you found this an interesting piece.

MSIE... steady girl.... the woo sheep will be safe..:cool::cool:

D Akey.. thanks for your elaboration on this work.... I am not sure I follow
"Comparing it with some of your others, I'm not a huge fan of Klee and that sensibility," which of my works were you referring to...:confused:... but would like to know so I can go back and reevaluate them a bit...

fraser thanks for your inspirational woo sheep....:D:cool::cool::cool:

D Akey
09-26-2011, 07:28 PM
D Akey.. thanks for your elaboration on this work.... I am not sure I follow
"Comparing it with some of your others, I'm not a huge fan of Klee and that sensibility," which of my works were you referring to...... but would like to know so I can go back and reevaluate them a bit...


Thanks for the push to look at Klee closer. Was rather pleasant. And I can see where the confusion could come from about what I meant since his body of work covered a lot of ground, more than I first thought. Much of it fascinating and beautiful, thus saying "Klee" was imprecise. I meant certain of Klee's works only didn't work for me.

And it is very important that you understand that my aesthetic sensibilities are cobbled together from what my life has brought me. Everybody's journey is different. So when I mention what I do, it's looking through my eyes.

I have some difficulty getting into paintings that don't create a cohesive image. I include some of the work below as examples. I also include a Miro (top pic below) because it's what I'm talking about only more extremely so.

When I look at a picture, I'm looking for qualities that create a relationship, whether through shapes or colors, design or subject. I need something to work as a handle for me to grab onto. The samples don't do that for me.

Some abstract paintings like to do things in new ways that the viewer needs to be educated to or initiated into which suits me if it opens my eyes to something eventually. That overlays an intellectual, esoteric quality to the work, and it stimulates thoughts often beyond the picture. However one can ignore too many conventions to where it doesn't communicate enough leaving me scratching my head. Plus it doesn't appeal to me visually because it's not employing things that make a painting work visually, therefore it's not working enough to give it my attention.

In fairness, Klee did employ a lot of those usual artist design things, and I like those pictures. But not in the pictures I am attaching because arguably the colors don't relate all that well to each other, and the marks are sort of floating in ways that are not relating to one another in the picture in at least one of the aesthetic ways IMHO.

Your picture "Calming Down" sorta fits into this category of not having a lot holding the different bits together, or rather I can't see it. Note that many other paintings do have things going on that allow me entry and show skill.

Back to the below samples, one can have brilliant ideas that don't necessarily come present in a painting, regardless of the artist's intention. Not everything works equally well. Experiments are experiments. And there are personal paintings in which the viewer is of no consequence to the artist. In that case, it doesn't need to connect with anyone. However if the viewer is of any value, some of the artistic conventions should be adhered to. And maybe the pic could be brought around to where there's a spine or visual theme or even a clever gimmick, or just plain pretty, or grotesque if that's the aim, to make it solid.

I could compare making a statement through words. There could be babble in which words don't have any relationship. Or one could say something straight, as a flat statement. Then in the hands of a wordsmith, they might start manipulating and layering in meaning and get into double entendre as a way to expand the same old same old. And still again one can craft the sounds to be listened to based on a pattern or rhythmic musicality that when exaggerated takes on an extra layer with the meaning in place or merely for the beauty of the sound.

And then you could go all the way to James Joyce who does all kinds of things, much of which is very esoteric and inaccessible while being brilliant and innovative, and to some it has gone full circle back to the babble stage, at least until they figure out the sense of it. People are free to rise to his level or not. It could be considered brilliant to those who are into what he's doing, and there are those who are put off by it. There's something to hang on to for some. However, I don't see people adopting writing like that though, and there are reasons for that but I don't want to digress too much here.

What I'm getting at is that the artist makes sense of things and then presents them in ways that communicate that sense or orderliness. I don't think it particularly meritorious or artistic to not make any headway of sorting reality in ways that create new things, or new ways of thinking, or something else of use. To find the sense of something is what it's all about. And then to communicate that with skill is the next step. Abstraction appears to push toward the chaotic, but it's really a re-aligning, a way of seeing according to a new set of parameters. And I personally most value that when it leads to something more. That's where the genius comes in.

Choosing one of those usual painting qualities to color the statement, in my opinion, makes for a stronger piece because paintings that are using things that make visual sense and have shape or pattern context one shape to the next in a painting show that the painter or writer or musician likely has something articulate to say. Were one to go in the other direction it becomes babble and is not sorted into an order of any kind -- that puts too much of the owe-ness on the viewer or reader to do the work for the artist. In a manner of speaking, I believe the abstract artist should present a statement in their painting(s) with arguments to support that postulation.

I think it's rather important as an artist to be able to sort reality in some way through Art. That's my personal aesthetic. Then it comes down to how well or badly that is achieved. That should not intimidate an artist, it should give parameters within which the sky's the limit.

Anyway, look at Miro below. And I'm sure he had something in mind and was probably quite sincere. Yet I don't like this painting at all for the reasons I have covered here. It's random and chaotic to my eye. And that's the part I don't really relate to.

Some other of Klee's stuff (not shown here) is subtle and brilliant and cohesive, while being abstract and unconventional for the time. But this below attached work is visually weak to my way of looking at art. At the time I'm sure it was very cutting edge and for that it had more than a little value in that context. I think that's part of the danger revisiting some of those ideas from a point in the evolution of art.

Anything done now in those veins has got to hold visually strong because the ideas have been in the open already and it's no longer innovative. That comes later for the contemporary artist to make it their own and then do something using their voice and then as a result hit those new cutting edge places that are out there to be discovered. Can't be forced, but exploring based on a good look is a better idea than walking the same path not looking so hot. So I would say pick the old stuff that's solid because it gives us more solid choices to grow into.

And that is what I meant about the fuller pics you do like this one in which there is a cohesive quality. I like your pic in this thread because I can evaluate it based on certain conventions. "Cooling Down" represents the other end that I feel I have less to work with. Doesn't mean it's bad. Just means it slips through my fingers before I can get something from it.

What do you think? I mean this to be a dialog.

09-26-2011, 10:32 PM
I just hope they don't make the wrong turn and enter the butcher shop! :eek::D I like this very much, almost like a platform videogame!

09-29-2011, 09:26 AM
Caesar remember these are NOT ordinary sheep they are WOO sheep ( sheep ninjas masters of stealth and disguise ) so not to worry about them..:D

09-29-2011, 10:02 AM
D Akey... I have been thinking over your statements.. they cover a lot of ground and I would answer with respect to Calming Down and Woo Sheep...

I tend to oscillate between the painterly brush marks, splashes, scumbling and other painting techniques and the clean hard edges flatter colors and simpler shapes. This comes out of the relative chaos , and conflicts I am sensing and seeing around me and the rest of the world.. sometimes the strict control and sharp edges give a kind of comfort against the seeming chaos of the world and other times there is a sense of letting go and playing with the work as it self creates under my hand.

I have to agree that in this context all painting ( figurative and abstract ) really use the same pictorial language elements and given that there are underlying principals of organization, structure, color theory, and application of the media they both are better if they recognize and adhere to them.

For quite a while I would have classified my work as a field of chaotic energy , paint and lines.. and while it was fun and cathartic they rarely produced works that others found approachable. I began to realize and admit that even at its most extreme ..abstracts need to work with the viewer's eye in the same way a good figurative work does. so I am still
working at improving my skill at that.

As far as the Miro's and Klee works even among the giants there are works that are bridges or explorations that are less successful in themselves but may have provided some insights to the artist about a new color combination, line quality, tonal contrasts or variation of a known compositional pattern.

For me the works of Miro, Klee, and more currently Helen
Ffrankenthaler ,Hans Hoffman Clyfford Still, Robert Motherwell offer a new view and one I am exploring and that is instead of "abstracting" from nature and creating ideographic symbols for flowers, fields, trees, water , mountains and citeis and arranging them into a compositional format. In Calming down I was taking emotional fragments ( color shapes ) and immersing them in the soothing blue greens of a nurturing atmosphere. while not strictly a color field I was aming at have less of symbol and more of a color shape who evoked its own meaning.. BUT as you have pointed out I was not that successful ( I think i had too many shapes giving none the spotlight and maybe they were also to complex in their handling ). I will do more in this direction because that is what fascinates me most right now ( holds the most magic ) . The color field painter tried for pure colors and to do away with the personal and mythic... I respect that but I think that those can be part of a color field work ( Mark Rothko ) but I am a newbie in with and as usual for me I tend to drag into new work some of the old ideas, brushwork of earlier periods...

So I hope that you see that while my current song may be out of tune I am trying to find the right keys ;)....

09-29-2011, 10:31 AM
Gary, I like this very much, wonderful colors and imagination, great job:):):):):):):):)

D Akey
10-01-2011, 01:59 PM
That's great, GX. Thanks for the clarification of what you're doing. Works for me. I feel like some light got shined in for me at least. My interest very much continues because I know what you're about and can track your progress on several levels.

It's always a joy to hear the thinking that goes into ones work. There's a movie title that I'm stealing, although the story has nothing to do with any of this but the title does: I feel like I'm getting Postcards from the Edge. When one is off on such a journey it's always good to get news.

I think of some of the artists, naturists, and archeologists who tracked their explorations with journals and drawings. I guess when one has discovered something new, a new idea or an old idea anew, it's something to see and analyze. Perhaps that's a little too discipline laden to look at Art in that way, but when some explorer scientific sort comes across a new find, like a ruins, there's the forms of it that their sketch artist records, but there's also what's behind it, the story of the civilization and persons that produced it.

I always have a mighty curiosity about all that stuff for Art too in its own way, but mostly at this point in my life, I look at it for how it can help me on the path I'm on. (I know that for the artist themselves that's a given and applaud their pursuing that.) Sometimes I can find great stuff I ignore and commonplace stuff I embrace, all depending on how it relates to my own track. And that's the prerogative of any artist, as well as viewer, because only they know how something applies or doesn't.

I love your thinking. And you already know I admire what you're pursuing. Thanks for detailing it. It adds a huge amount of dimension, and I've found that talking about it as the artist has a particular kind of benefit in regrouping and assessing on a new plateau. I'm happy that you agree about the value of having your art accessible to the viewer. That may or not be an ultimate truth, but I can't think of a time it would be a liability.

I have no issue whatsoever with using old techniques and ideas as we're basically part of the sum of human creation and these are among the chops from the human archives available already. It's visual form that way and evokes a tone and alludes to previous directions from those artists, and that's a component one has available to fast forward on a path. But it would be easy to take some of the old stuff and make it look good too (whenever it doesn't look all that great in the source pictures). It can still produce something of value. But at the core, harkening back is like hooking into what we find interesting without the weight of all the old context and mountains of art discussion about it over the years.

I don't mean this in a pejorative way, but it's like modular creation. And that is very customary until one hits their 'Eureka!' moment and have a new personal paradigm and are off on something that is directly hooked into the source of inspiration that leads us based on us. I suppose the burden of proof falls squarely on the shoulders of the artist at that point. And it's a wonderful and sort of disconcerting thing as well.

I wonder what the original artists who we classify as the poster children for Creativity were going through to get where they got. They all had their contexts. Nothing comes springing forward from the vacuum fully formed. Hindsight tidies things up into a neat little box and we all thereafter can sort of 'grok' it in an instant. But that hindsight runs the risk of missing the boat owing to just how much unseen stuff didn't get recognized in favor of the quick read, when we say "Oh, that. Yeah." because that's the convention placed on it. So picking up on a look may appear to hold the essence, but it may well not. It's a caution is all.

That ability to be able to see what other people have said about something quickly belies the true dimension of process. And I suppose the allure of borrowing a page from their notebook is that if they did it, that direction could still be fertile. And I think that's true but it's also a little creatively tenuous.

The not knowing, the discovery part, makes it all quite vivid and can take us way way out. And that's where the excitement comes in to do something new and then do it again and again and look at it to see what the heck is going on. I think that abstraction got us on that path that deviated into the unknown. And that unknown means we're not prejudging something into a hollow form. Because it is unknown, it still holds it all, all the life and all the potential with our artistic workings all hungry.