At a used bookstore in Tucson, I recently purchased a book written by Barclay Sheaks, titled Drawing and Painting the Natural Environment. It was written in 1974, published by Davis Publications, Inc., and is long since out of print. However, it is an exceptional book and quickly became one of the cornerstone books for my reference library on painting and drawing. There is a chapter, entitled: "Abstractions from Nature: Another Kind of Vison", that offered some really useful concepts and suggestions for creating this type of art. Between this book, and the other artists whose work I've admired for years (like Wolf Kahn) or artists whose blogs I read regularly, it seemed like a good time to try that myself.
For this particular painting, it is somewhat a combination of realism and abstraction. It is in keeping with my fondness for nature abstracts by focusing on shapes, patterns and values. However, it will probably be readily identifiable as what it is: reflections of trees on the surface of moving water, painted realistically.
I didn't want to get too fiddly with it, so I tried to work quickly and not over-work or over think the process - a rut that is all too easy to get into as a painter. The painting is based on a photo I took on my trip back from Flagstaff, of a creek just north of Payson. I'll definitely be doing more abstract paintings in the future.
"Reflections" - 9x11"
pastel on sanded paper