There seems to be two ways that art is going these days: hyper-realistic and blob. Either people are painting reality better than reality or they are painting blobs.
Me, I’m in the blob category. Sure, it is fun. And nobody will know when I don’t get what I was aiming for, because what they see looks nothing like anything else anyway. When you try to replicate something that is real, it is easy to tell when you have missed the mark. Blob art is free from this constraint.
But then I see other blob painters charging hundreds, even thousands of dollars for what they made, and I wonder. Is someone actually buying this?
Blob art can be made by toddlers. The more you think, the less it works. In fact, part of the reason I paint blob art is because I want to not think. I want to disengage. I have tried to paint blob art with brushes and other paint tools and I just don’t like it. It is fingers all the way for me.
I call it blob art because that is how I make it. I pick up a tube of paint that looks nice and I squish out a blob of paint on the canvas. Then I pick up another tube and squish it out too. I’ll keep adding blobs until I feel I might have something to work with. Then I smear the blobs around and mix them together until I like the blend and the swirls. Sometimes I add in a few more blobs and mix them in.
It is kind of like how I cook. Spices, colors – it is really all the same. I’m heading towards a goal, and I take whatever I need to get there.
Painting realistically has never made sense to me. Just take a picture. It is faster. Sure, it is pretty impressive to find someone who can paint a picture that looks like it is a photograph. But to me it seems like a waste of time.
Now, one advantage to painting is that you can paint what isn’t there. You can paint all the good stuff and leave all the bad stuff out. This is especially appropriate when you are painting a family portrait and not everybody is available to sit for it at the same time. Or it also works if you are painting something that would be good for a science fiction illustration.
While you can create pretty amazing things with photo manipulation software, there isn’t really “art” in that. You aren’t making something new, so much as working with what is already there.
Is blob art really art? Sometimes it just looks like someone shoved paint around a canvas. Sometimes they did. Sometimes I do. Children can do this. So is it worth a lot of money to buy it?
Sure, the materials are expensive. Paint and canvasses are stunningly expensive. Framing is insane. Sometimes you can get deals on supplies but not often. So there is something about the actual physicality of the piece that will raise the price.
Sometimes what inspires people to admire artwork or writing or music is what it reminds them of. What they see in it has little to do with what the artist put into it. Some swirl, phrase, or riff catches their attention in just such a way and they find that a doorway has opened in their mind, or a bridge has been created.
That is one of the most frustrating things to me as a creator. I really feel like I’ve expressed something well, and people just don’t get it. They may like it, but what they like isn’t what I was trying to express.
Maybe that is why I make blob art. I don’t have as much invested in it. It doesn’t matter if they see something different in it, because I didn’t put anything in it. It is more about what I got out of it.
I discover when I create blob art. I play, too. I learn how the colors go together, and I relax into the creation. There is no stress because there is no specific goal to be reached. Just enjoying putting paint on the canvas is the goal.
It isn’t about creating anything. It is about creating me.