Category Archives: arts and painting

Revisiting Pointillism

Revisiting Pointillism.

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Posted by on March 8, 2012 in arts and painting


Revisiting Pointillism

125 Year Old Technique

I walked into an exhibition on a Thursday evening in 2000; and there was this small painting of a girl carefully made in small coloured dots that looks clearer from a distance. It was beautiful and I instantly fell in love with the technique.

I decided to give it a try. The painting above is the product of that trial. I named the painting ‘Algaita’ (The Royal Trumpet). It’s one of the musical instruments played for people of royalty among the Hausa’s in Northern Nigeria.

In this technique, small distinct dots of pure colours are applied to compose the image. The viewer’s eye and mind blend the coloured patterns into normal tones thereby making the image clearer (clarity is best when looked at from a distance)

The technique was developed by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac in 1886.

See you next time.

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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in arts and painting


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Abstract painting: How to read it. II

Hi There..

Last month, I discussed the first few steps on how to read abstract painting. Here are the last few tips:

A balance of form and colour

Since the initial stage of contact (a representational element) is disposed off in abstract painting, you will find yourself confronted by balance of colour and form. If there is balance of colour and form, the relationship between elements becomes clearer. Then composition which can be lost through the potency of the subject may emerge. Here the onlooker will be undisturbed; and he is taken into a cool world of ideas where harmony reigns supreme.

Participate with the artist

One can only approach this understanding by participating with the artist. This is because on one hand, the artist gives a totality of himself and his own interpretation of the world around him (inner meaning). The spectator on the other hand, only accepts the facets of this interpretation through the facet of his personality. This constitutes a meeting point between them.

It is true that understanding and appreciating abstraction demands great intellectual efforts, i.e. meeting the artist half way, going intellectually and consciously towards him. In language, abstraction means departure from the concrete, and in art, it denotes abandoning the conventional.

Abstract quality has always existed in art. The abstract quality of a painting is when all the pictoral elements such as composition, colour etc, can be decomposed into absolutes (angles, squares circles etc) and are subordinated to the harmony of the whole composition.

Quality assessment of abstract art must therefore, be judged through the harmonious balance of elements with each other, and so also the total effects. It is also important to understand that every picture is a combination of varying degrees of emotion and intellectual ideas subordinated to a central feeling.

See you next time

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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in arts and painting


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Abstract Painting; How to Read It

Crazy Crazy!! 
If there was anything in art people find so incomprehensive and unconvincing, that would be abstract art. Abstract paintings, to those that find it hard to stretch their intellects, seemed meaningless. And in a country like Nigeria where art appreciation is at minimum, abstraction was madness.
On an exhibition, I saw an outrageous comment written by a medical student about an abstract paintings. He suggested that artists should undergo a ‘psych’ evaluation; and why? Simply because most of the paintings  were ‘meaningless’. I thought at first the individual was been unfair and unkind, but then I carried out a simple test; I chose a painting from the exhibits and placed it side by side with the word ‘meaningless’. Then I asked some onlookers whether they could make a meaning out of it. To my amusement, most of them looked at it for a moment and simply said ’you tell me’. So I rested my case
The Idea: bstract art is just a play of shapes.
In abstraction, nature is expressed by pictoral absolutes such as cubes, spheres, spirals, and triangles etc, achieved by composing those absolutes into a harmonious whole. To simplify it further, it is concerned with the essence of outer appearance of things and their rearrangement into forms and planes so as to fit in some general pattern. Understanding abstract art, assessment of its qualities as well as appreciating it thereby deriving pleasure from it have some mechanisms.
There are indeed some difficulties in understanding abstract art. But here is a list of some tips I’d like you to consider:
  1. Abstract art has a subject; you should know that.
  2. Know that A balance of form and colour makes abstactions pleasing to look at. 
  3. Participate with the artist helps a lot.

Now lets take a look at these points in turn.

Abstract art has a subject; No?
Just like representational art, abstract art also has a subject, but it is one that is not representational i.e. it may not take the pretext of object familiar to us, such as a tree, a human face or an animal. However, the abstract subject is the balance between these absolutes that exists only in our intellect; because the artist have eliminated the first line of contact between his artistic personality and the onlooker i.e. a representational element. So it is important to understand that the subject in an abstract painting is only a means for display of colour and form.
So what’s the next thing to consider after the Subject? Mind you, it’s still difficult to read it since the initial stage of contact (a representational element) is disposed off in abstract painting. we’ll talk about that next week. 
See ya
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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in arts and painting