The Walk of the Blob: Inside the Head of an Abstract Painter

They stop in their tracks and stare…

What is it?

Look at that BLOB!

No, it’s not a bad horror movie… Welcome to my world as an abstract painter.

Well about that Blob… In 2015, I was honored to be in a juried exhibition at the Art League of Long Island. At the opening of the show, I was near my work… okay, yes I was lurking. I will admit to you that I positioned myself close to my painting and tried to look oh-so nonchalant as I attempted to hear and see what the reactions were to my work Universal Flow.

A couple did indeed stop in their tracks as they approached my painting. They paused in front of it and drat, I could not hear their discussion. So I sauntered up to them and introduced myself as the artist of this work. We had a lovely conversation until they asked why I would leave that BLOB of paint on my work?

NO, I did not kick them in the shins, but I would have liked to.

The painting that was called the blob. © 2014 Alicia R Peterson, Universal Flow, acrylic on linen, 36 x 24” $1100. Photo: Peter Scheer

The painting that was called the blob.
© 2014 Alicia R Peterson, Universal Flow, acrylic on linen, 36 x 24” $1100. Photo: Peter Scheer

 

I was at a loss as what to say. Every work that I deem complete undergoes a difficult and lengthy vetting. First, my internal critic goes to town and she is one tough cookie. I am then committed to my practice of external critique. I seek eyes on my work from many sources.

I have studied with the eminent painter Stan Brodsky since 2013. My times with Stan are one of my most treasured times as a painter. He and my fellow “Stan Clan” artists had given this painting a big thumbs up.

So what do you say to someone who asks, “Why did you leave that mistake (the BLOB) on your painting?” My answer was to describe my creative process.

So what is inside my head as I paint?

NOTHING! The world falls away as I ponder a blank canvas.

I am outside my studio set up in a wooded area with a bamboo forest. I feel the wind, hear the rustling of the bamboo, and the birds calling. I feel my feet on mother earth and I ground myself. I empty my head and fill with line, color and space. My work pours out of me.

 

Caption © 2017 Alicia R Peterson. Very scruffy me in my winter painting coat. Photo: Artist

© 2017 Alicia R Peterson. Very scruffy me in my winter painting coat. Photo: Artist

I reject external reality as a painter. I have since I first picked up a paintbrush in 1994. Actually, I haven’t picked up a paintbrush for over 15 years. I paint with my hands, I flow paint across the canvas, I sling paint and I pull and drip paint off the canvas.

© 2017 Alicia R Peterson. I revel in all parts of painting, even the snow drips. Photo: Artist

© 2017 Alicia R Peterson. I revel in all parts of painting, even the snow drips. Photo: Artist

On canvas, I create a spontaneous expression of the inside story. A story that I hope speaks to you and resonates with your story.

Have you found your story in art? Let us hear your comments below.

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