Artist Thyra Moore presents a dynamic collection of colorful, textural mixed media abstract works. See more of her portfolio by visiting her website.
Having always been about realism with textures and details, how did I transition to abstracts? It began with a juried watercolor society show. The juror, well known for fantastic, realistic watercolors, offered to teach a workshop; I jumped at the chance to sign up as fast as possible. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn how to create the stunning detail he achieved.
When the workshop began, he said, “OK, let’s learn about abstracts.” What? Abstracts? It became clear I had not read the prospectus. My supplies were all set up on the table. I scanned the room like a deer in headlights. It would not be easy to run unnoticed. And I would never want to be rude, especially to someone I respected. Despite having no interest in abstracts, I settled in and decided to make the best of it.
By the end of the first day, I was hooked! His process includes design (a nod to my past life in advertising), composition, color theory, and so much more than just an emotional outpouring of paint. I became immersed in the method. The week passed too quickly; I was addicted to abstraction.
Over time, as I developed this process and made it my own, I switched from gouache to acrylic, allowing more freedom to layer paint, add collage elements, and use graphite and other marks.
My process begins without a preconceived idea of the outcome. Yes, I may have an overall concept, theme, or even a title, but no visual in mind. For me, this encourages a more dynamic approach. Each piece starts with a random application of paint on a cradled board. From there, each action informs the next. In these early stages, adding multiple layers, the piece begins to find its voice.
Creating for me is inarguably conversations with paint. Yes, the art speaks to me. The painting lets me know where it wants to go, what it wants to be, and how it wants to change. And it knows when it is done. My approach is a provocative balance of power—I maintain control while surrendering authority to take full advantage of exploration and be open to all possibilities.
The world isn’t flat. Why should your art be? As the painting evolves, I begin to bring it to life and off the surface of the board using various materials for volume. The dimension and texture are intended to enhance the piece’s composition, interest and movement.
Throughout this creative evolution, the conversations with paint continue. The creation consistently lets its desires be known. Sometimes the art wanders into what I call the terrible twos. Yes, just like children, a painting tests the boundaries. Sees if you are listening, changes its mind, tries to get away with things and breaks the rules. Always encouraging me to try new things and grow as an artist.
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