Aurora studied at the Maine College of Art for two years, transferred, and finished her undergraduate at Sierra Nevada College, in Incline Village, Nevada. She currently paints abstracts from her studio in Western, Maine.
Understanding abstract art is easy: all it requires is an open mind and a big imagination. When you look at the painting on the left, what do you see?
Swirling shapes, an array of colorful patterns… The path of a flowing river cutting through fields of lush vegetation… or maybe you see pure energy and cosmic flow?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Abstract art is open to interpretation, and that is one of the beautiful things about it. Abstract art doesn’t jump out and declare “THIS is what I’m all about.” Instead, abstract art requires you to have an open, inquiring mind; you must enter the painting and see where it takes you. Abstract art gives you the freedom to explore the artwork and assign your own meaning to the piece. This intensely personal process enriches a viewer’s experience of an artwork.
Understanding abstract art does not come naturally for everyone. It is the kind of art that makes some people scratch their heads and say, “My 5-year old could do that.” What people don’t realize is that the best abstract artists have excellent drawing skills, a finely honed sense of composition, and a deep understanding of the workings of color. Most abstract artists have the ability to draw a perfectly rendered rose or a realistic portrait, but they choose not to. Instead they choose to express their creativity by creating a visual experience that is more free and unencumbered by the weight of objects.
Abstract art can also make people uneasy because they don’t automatically know what the art is “about” just by a cursory glance. Or they assume that because it doesn’t look like anything, then it is not “about” anything. Abstract art doesn’t contain recognizeable objects, so there is nothing to grasp or hold onto. This can be very confusing, even threatening, to some who are not used to assigning their own meaning to what they see before them.
The truth is, abstract art is not “about nothing”. At its basis, it is about form, color, line, texture, pattern, composition and process. These are the formal qualities of artwork, because they describe what the art looks like and how it is created. Abstract art is an exploration of these formal qualities. Meaning is derived from how these formal qualities are used to create a visual (and/or visceral, cerebral, emotional, etc) experience.
“Everyone wants to understand art. Why not try to understand the song of a bird? …people who try to explain pictures are usually barking up the wrong tree.”
— Pablo Picasso
“With a non traditional approach to the canvas I create colorful lines, textures and washes; building up layers and then removing them, leaving an imprint, hinting to a visceral memory of what was once there. I want to evoke an emotional shift for the viewer, an introspective moment. Inspiration comes from collected ‘moments’ out in nature. These moments are interpreted, abstractly, through layers, lines, marks, and color. “