Abstract painting

New Paintings in Abstract Paintings Album

Drawing ! and 3 were done in the Steven Aimone Workshop "The Spiritual Language of Art". The Middle drawing was done in my studio.

Jill Ehlert - 48" X 48"

Jill Ehlert - 48" X 48"

Jill Ehlert - 36" x 48"

Jill Ehlert - 36" x 48"

Jill Ehlert - 48" x 48"

Jill Ehlert - 48" x 48"

These are a few examples of the paintings that I have done recently.

There are 28 paintings in my new Abstract Painting album.  

Joan Mitchell

JOAN MITCHELL 1925 - 1992



The Joan Mitchell Foundation writes on their website that:

Joan Mitchell was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1925 and died in a Paris suburb in 1992. Her expatriate years began in the late 1950s and continued uninterrupted until her passing in Vetheuil, France. She occupied a celebrated stature in the generation that succeeded Pollock and Rothko. 

She declined the theoreticism of her European counterparts, and remained throughout her career the empirical American, personally accountable for her memories and emotions. 

Her work is characterized in many developments from the 1950s to the early 90s shortly prior to her passing. 

She usually worked on multiple panels or large scale canvases - striving to attract a natural rather than constructed rhythm from the composition, a rhythm emanating from the expansiveness of the gesture or from the unrestrained use of color and the pervasive luminosity. 

The titles of her last paintings suggest the abstract valleys and empirical fields of her beloved French countryside. 

In speaking of Mitchell, others tell us of her physical materiality - how she exudes the visual sentiments of nature - the objectivity of her painting, devoid of anecdote or theater and in her own words "to convey the feeling of the dying sunflower." 

Joan Mitchell as an abstract expressionist composes with long curvilinear strokes or broad stains of color, contrasting warm and cool, often on unprimed canvases. Her perceptions enrich her work with a fascinating sense of the unfinished. Joan Mitchell demonstrated in painting just as in life, anything can happen.

Ambiguous Abstraction

The following images are by Mark Bradford

Recently I received an email from  VISA (Vancouver Island School of Art) advertising a series of workshops titled "Painting Today". There were a couple of workshops that really caught my attention. One was a workshop called  "Ambiguous Abstraction" which they describe like this: 

"Ambiguous Abstraction refers to a kind of abstract imagery that opens up the question of the painting's content to a range of (often provocative) meaning and associations. 

In opposition to ‘pure abstraction’ where the subject of the painting is its own form, Ambiguous Abstraction flirts with personal and political content, and “can also embrace broad topics such as memory and presence, materiality and transcendence, and the flattening of high and low culture. Following are a few of the artists that paint in this style" Mark Bradford, Fabian Maracaccio, Terry Winters, Ingrid Calame, Ian McKeever, Beatriz Milhazes, Arturo Herrera 

In furthering my search on "Ambiguous Abstraction" 

I came across "Painting Today" by Tony Godfrey 

Painting Today by Tony Godfrey: Book Cover

"Painting Today"  presents an international roundup of the best painters of the past 40 years. 

Written by Tony Godfrey a 20-year veteran at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, the volume begins with a look at the Global Scene. Further chapters explore the neo-expressionist movement of the ‘80s, photorealism and the use of photography as a point of departure for painting, pure and ambiguous abstraction, history painting, painting space, and installation painting, as well as the requisite review of the figure, landscape, and still life. Chapters on Death and Life, the Leipzig School, Post-feminism, and Painting Tomorrow round out the beautifully designed, dynamic 448-page book, which includes 550 illustrations, artist biographies, and a chronology of painting since 1968." 

For a more in depth look at this book with links to many of the artists in this book check out the blog: Flavorwire.com

Helen Frankenthaler


"Mountanins and Sea" 7' X 10"

"Frankenthaler's career was launched in 1952 with the exhibition of Mountains and Sea. This painting is large - measuring seven feet by ten feet - and has the effect of a watercolour though it is painted in oils. In it, she introduced the technique of painting directly onto an unprepared canvas so that the material absorbs the colors. She heavily diluted the oil paint with turpentine so that the color would soak into the canvas. This technique, known as "soak stain" was used by Jackson Pollock and others; and was adopted by other artists (notably Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland) and launched the second generation of the Color Field school of painting. This method would sometimes leave the canvas with a halo effect around each area to which the paint was applied but has a disadvantage in that the oil in the paints will eventually cause the canvas to discolor and rot away".  Quote from Wikipedia

Frankenthaler said "A really good picture looks as if it's happened at once. It's an immediate image. For my own work, when a picture looks labored and overworked, and you can read in it—well, she did this and then she did that, and then she did that—there is something in it that has not got to do with beautiful art to me. And I usually throw these out, though I think very often it takes ten of those over-labored efforts to produce one really beautiful wrist motion that is synchronized with your head and heart, and you have it, and therefore it looks as if it were born in a minute." (In Barbara RoseFrankenthaler (New York:Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1975, p. 85)

"Painters Eleven" Canadian Abstract Painters

Canadian Art Groupon their website says that: 

"Painters Elevenwas officially formed in 1953 in Oshawa at the home of Alexandra Luke; this formation was the result of a successful show, Abstracts at Home, held at the Simpson's department store in Toronto a few months before. 

The famous photograph by Peter Croyden taken for a show in 1957 at the Park Gallery in Toronto, shown here:

left to right: Tom Hodgson, Alexandra Luke, Harold Town, Kazuo Nakamura, Jock Macdonald, Walter Yarwood, Hortense Gordon, Jack Bush, and Ray Mead. 

The two canvases facing forward represent Oscar Cahen who tragically died in a car crash in 1956 and the canvases facing the wall are for William Ronald who had resigned from the group in 1957 and was now working in New York. 

Disbanded in 1960 all the surviving members went on to continue their careers and remaining true to abstraction."

Oscar Cahen (Canadian, 1916 - 1956)

Austin Healey 100 Engine
oil on board, 36" x 48", signed
Courtesy of the Cahen Archives
Thielsen Gallery Logo

Jack Bush

Bush changed his style of painting from abstract expressionism to colour field abstraction as a result of two major influences on his career - the French artist Henri Matisse and American critic Clement Greenberg. Bush's paintings are characterized by their muted, glowing colours that appear to be absorbed by the canvas. 

Oscar Cahén

Cahén achieved distinction as one of Canada's leading illustrators before becoming an abstract expressionist painter. His European training and maturity influenced many of his Painters Eleven colleagues, and were it not for his untimely death in 1956 certain critics believe Cahén would have become the major artist of Painters Eleven. 

Hortense Gordon

The senior member of Painters Eleven, Gordon taught art for most of her life, travelled in summer months to France where she studied and painted. A painting of hers was exhibited in an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Toronto in 1909, before most Painters Eleven were born. 

Tom Hodgson

Both Hodgson's large abstractions and his watercolours are noted for their rich, beguiling colours and juxtapositions, as are his beautiful paintings of beautiful women - wives, lovers, children. A champion canoeist, Hodgson competed in the Olympic games of 1952 and 1956 as a member of Canada's Olympic Canoe Team. 

Alexandra Luke

Luke refined her elegant abstractions through studies with famous American artist/teacher Hans Hofmann. She was instrumental in the founding of Painters Eleven - its inaugural meeting was held in her studio in Oshawa, Ontario. Married into the McLaughlin Carriage Company family, which later became General Motors, she bequeathed her enormous art collection to The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, founded by her husband in the name of his grandfather. It remains the largest repository of Painters Eleven work in the country. 

Kazuo Nakamura

Nakamura stands rather apart from the majority of Painters Eleven with his quiet, sonorous paintings. His twenty-five year study of the interconnectedness between art and mathematics, and on another level, music, produced a defining body of work, his Number Structures. Nakamura was greatly influenced by - not painters or art movements - the magazine Scientific American. 

Jock Macdonald

A distinguished art teacher, Macdonald was an inspiration to his students in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. He began working in abstraction as early as 1934, and his work evolved into several forms of abstraction and "semi abstract" styles, including his famous Modalities. He met Jean Dubuffet in France and counted him as one of his greatest influences. 

Ray Mead

Mead's work was first exhibited at the Hamilton Art Gallery in 1946. He stopped painting for a period of about 10 years in the 1970s, but after having a dream of Hans Hofmann giving him a painting lesson Mead picked up his brushes again. He achieved a level of sophistication in his paintings and watercolours through excellent composition and his use of black and white with colour. 

William Ronald

In 1955, Ronald left Toronto for New York and the following year was taken on by the famous Kootz Gallery, which represented top rank abstract expressionists in New York. Ronald produced a body of work that truly epitomizes his reputation as an outstanding colourist and larger-than-life persona. 

Harold Town

Along with his flamboyant personality, Town is celebrated for his work in many mediums: painting, collage, assemblage, sculpture and works on paper -drawings, monoprints, etchings, linocuts, lithographs and serigraphs. A master draftsman, his drawings have been compared with Picasso's. He gained his first international recognition in 1952. 

Walter Yarwood

A painter of deep, richly dense colours and broad brush strokes, Yarwood gave up painting in 1960 for sculpture. He received numerous commissions to create major sculptures for Canadian government buildings, universities and airports. In the last ten years of his life he returned to painting, during which he painted vivid, plein air landscapes.

Click here: thielsen gallery and scroll down page to see an online exhibit of the members work.

The brief bios above were written by Thielson Gallery

Abstract Expressionism - American Painters

Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Francis and Robert Motherwell

Abstract Expressionism

Check out this link at Wikipedia which has a great article on Abstract Expressionism. 

Scroll down the page to "Major Artists" are those significant artists whose mature work defined Abstract Expressionism. 

The second list "Other Artists" are those significant artists whose work relates to American Abstract Expressionism.

The third list is related styles, trend, schools or movements.

Steven Aimone - "The Spiritual Language of Art

I took two drawing classes with Steven Aimone, called "The Spiritual language of Art". Mary Stewart of Vancouver Island Workshops organized these workshops. One was held in Nanaimo, BC and the other in Cedar a few miles south of Nanaimo. Steven is an excellent teacher and had us all working hard. 

Steven Aimone (M.F.A. in Painting and Drawing, Brooklyn College) is an artist, fine arts instructor, and independent curator who has taught numerous design workshops and courses to a wide variety of audiences: professional artists and craftspeople, college students, museum patrons, and school teachers.

Steven is the author of two books:

"DESIGN! A Lively Guide to Design Basics for Artists & Craftspeople"


"Expressive Drawing"

Aimone was a resident of Manhattan for most of his adult life where he earned an MFA in Painting and Drawing from Brooklyn College. His paintings and collage compositions have been the subject of four solo exhibitions in New York City, where he was also represented by Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, and are included in corporate and private collections nationally. 

Aimone has taught painting, drawing, and design at both Western Carolina University in North Carolina and Stetson University in Florida. Aimone now teaches "The Spiritual Language of Art" workshops--and offers related fine arts lectures--through Aimone Art Services.