A White Man Painting Like an Aboriginal

Posted in Miscellaneous and Travel on July 2017

I know. I know. The title might not sound politically correct, but there’s a point—just keep reading. I’ve always been jealous of artists who have incredible talents to create realistic paintings. For years I wasn’t too keen on Impressionism, Expressionism, and Surrealism, but they have grown on me—my favorite still being Baroque, with it’s dark colors, life-like people, and, often times, poignant depictions. As I continue to become intrigued and branch-out to appreciate different styles, my main passion, traveling, lead me to Australia. I’ve always known about Aboriginal art and its simplistic patterns. Albeit maybe seen as simplistic, it’s often hypnotic. In my spare time, after returning from Australia, I studied the history of Aboriginal art, scrutinized paintings, and watched Aborigines paint. I was inspired and wanted to create something exciting. However, studying techniques verbatim isn’t ideal. The idea of any art is to create something organic and unique. Copying a painting’s curves and placements are artificial and your work will easily reflect that notion.

I’m not an Aboriginal, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take my own inspirations and create Aboriginal-like art. I’m not a nineteenth century Dutch painter either, but I’ve tried Impressionism. The beauty of painting is the ability to share techniques and ideas. After much practicing to understand what tools, colors, and techniques worked best for me, I set out to create my own. My paintings took inspiration from different aspects of my life, like Australia, living in Florida, and general design. It was a visit that sparked a series of painting, which ultimately cultivated appreciation of a different type of art. I played with ideas of space, uniformity, and color. Some techniques, like using a dropper, felt too artificial, while having an umbra background looked off. Nevertheless, my series of paintings, on 30×40 canvases, are as follows:

Aboriginal red oxide paintingAboriginal green paintingAboriginal red and white paintingAboriginal feather painting

Thinking abstractly about your muse isn’t done in many styles, like Baroque. As fun as it was, it was also inspiring. Breaking from art-stubbornness, for me at least, was good. In a way, it was essential because I hope to apply that open-mindedness to more in my life. Although I’m not an Aboriginal, their history and paintings inspired me to rethink and see art differently.

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