You’ll be the first to know when a new poem is posted

I hope you feel at home amongst my words, and I hope you enjoy the important spaces in between them just as much…

Want to hear them read for you? Click here

It would be great to hear your thoughts, so feel free to share them…

Welcome to my thinking out loud…


The Monkey in the Mix

Posted on 3 May 2019 by Iain under Abstract Art
Cover picture of my Abstract Art of  a chimp on the cover of a magazine

Getting literal with the abstract!

Although I used to paint a few years ago, since getting into photography I have satisfied my need to be creative by thinking about what image I want to end up with, finding and taking the photograph to be the basis of what I want, and then utilising the software available to process the image, much as I would have done in a Darkroom.

All was well until a few months ago I went to an Art Gallery and was generally looking around and soaking it all up as you do, when I came across an abstract painting that, although I liked, set me thinking about the one thing that has always bugged me a little about abstracts. You genuinely have no clue whatsoever about what the artist was thinking when they created it! Were they thinking some seriously profound thoughts about the state and direction of the human race, or were they tossing a coin with heads for circles and tails for stripes… Who knows right?

For some people, this isn’t an issue, as they will find the process of thinking about the artist’s process beguiling and intriguing and all part of engaging with the piece of art itself, and that’s all fine of course, but just not for me.

I love art in all its forms and many of them have a clue in the work as to the artist’s intentions, but abstract and surrealism can be challenging in that respect, and that set me thinking about painting again, but maybe defining a project so that my art would have a clear intention. All good, my creative juices were flowing, but what to focus the project on and where to do it, as I am currently very restricted for space in terms of doing any serious painting.

As I always do with such things, I drop these ideas to the back of my mind where they can percolate and hopefully create a cocktail with other thoughts that pass by.

A few weeks later after a lovely day out with the camera at Twycross Zoo, I was editing my photo’s to either put on Flickr or sell on my website, and this is one of the photographs I took which got me thinking…

Photograph of the chimp preparing straw for its afternoon nap
Siesta Prep

What caused me to think was the look on the Chimp’s face as it prepared its bed for an afternoon nap, I was really taken by the expression, and this thought got put in the percolator too.

A few days later, quite by chance or due to synchronicity if you prefer, I was browsing through YouTube at various videos about  Photoshop techniques, when I came across a fascinating video on certain Photoshop Brushes called Grut Brushes, and the artists surface’s available with them, and how effective they are for painting in Photoshop. I watched it through a couple of times and decided to buy the brushes and have a go, Maybe I would have room to paint after all I thought…

During the time I was enjoying myself using Photoshop to create paintings, and using my Graphic Tablet and new brushes to simulate different paint mediums digitally, and being amazed at just how accurate they are, especially with a pressure sensitive tablet and pen that I have, the percolator gurgled and a few thoughts came together as a voice in my head pretty much like this…

“Hey, you’ve been using that strapline ‘The Art of Life’ for a while now, but what if you took that photo of the chimp you like, then painted over it in photoshop to make it abstract, then it really would be quite literally ‘The Art of life’ wouldn’t it!

This is how I gave birth to the project ‘The Art of Life’ and I am genuinely loving it. I am really enjoying being able to get back into painting, even though I am doing it digitally at the moment. I am really loving the process of taking a photograph of a living thing and then using that as the basis for creating something unique. It’s hard to describe but each photograph tends to drive what I create, and although it’s being done digitally, I don’t save all the iterations once I have completed something. It exists just like a painting on canvas…

Now you know my thinking behind the project, take a look at the art and consider whether knowing where I was coming from when I created it makes a difference to you – just click the link below to go to the gallery.

I have also recently done a few commissions for people where I have taken (or received) images of them with their loved ones or similar and created abstract art accordingly, which has been a huge success. Click the link below to check out the testimonials for more information.

Thanks for taking the time to read the post, and I hope you can find a wall in your home where some of my art will completely change the mood and conversation.

Best wishes

Iain Merchant

#TheArtofLife #IainMerchant #Abstract #Art #Canvas #photography #ThinkingOutLoud #ThoughtProvoking #Photo #pics #PhotoOfTheDay #PicOfTheDay  #ArtofLife #Life #Live #Love #Learn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All Images © Iain Merchant  2024
All Rights Reserved
  Tel: (0)7745 331613
Artist / Photographer / Author Leicestershire UK