I’ve always been fascinated by abstract art, mostly because I can’t even remotely do it. There’s an alchemy that abstract artists channel that disengages them from the urge to represent the tangible world and focus instead on the ephemeral and indescribable. Abstract art is like music; sometimes it’s complex jazz, and sometimes a simple melody. Or perhaps it’s more like an adverb than a noun: it isn’t a thing… it’s what that thing is like.
Patty Flauto is an abstract artist, color expert, and art educator. She explains the challenge of working in a manner that isn’t representational – or perhaps she doesn’t. It isn’t about analyzing, anyway. In the end, it’s all about trusting the process.
Here is her story.
Abstract art is a glorious exploration of color, shape and line. It is exhilarating and challenging to create works that do not reference the physical world. Instead of relying on the external world of “things”, I am inspired by the possibilities of making something we cannot see but certainly something we can feel. How to explain this alchemy? I can always tell you how I start (process) and I can show you how I end (the painting) but dang I cannot explain what happens in the middle. The flow? The zone? A daydream in motion? Impossible to gather this middle part. I have learned to trust in the process of creating rather than overanalyzing.
Creativity for me is “of two minds”. I’m very intentional when I start each painting. Colors are pre-mixed and tweaked before a brush is even in sight. Layout and composition are inspired by my drawings and studies. This analytical process is Mind #1. This is a bit of a ritual for me and it is how I start every day in the studio. I love the contemplation of this. Mind #2 is intuitive and much harder to explain. This mind allows me to react to the canvas in a spontaneous way and it reflects the sum total of my life experiences. Mind #1 is only allowed to come back AFTER the painting is complete. NO JUDGING is allowed as I paint, only after and usually a day or two later. This is a challenge because unfortunately I am a bit judgy.
The past year has been extraordinary. The sense of Time unmarked has allowed me to slow down in the studio and in life. What a joy to discover that there really is a way to enjoy the slowness of time. Time does not have to always equate with fast and that is a new insight for me.
Thank you, Patty, for sharing your work and your process.
You can find her work on Instagram at @pflautofineart .