Spontaneity in Abstract Art
Posted on November 09 2020
As an artist, freedom is part of my foundation – it is vital to who I am. As I seek and explore freedom in my work, I often wonder how others think of freedom.
While reading about the concept recently, someone used the word “spontaneity”. I was surprised I had never used this word in my thoughts before. It is a natural part of how I define freedom – yet I had never thought of it as “spontaneous”.
As I continued to read I began to think about how so many have described my work as spontaneous. I realized that, while I had never thought of my work that way, others have seen spontaneity in my search for freedom.
When awarding "Fresh Flowers from the Garden" with the Illinois Watercolor Society "Creative Spirit Award", Judge Stevie Puttrich commented:
“I wish most artists could get this free and courageous with their shapes and color . . . I hope by winning this award other artists could stand up and take inspiration from your approach and tell themselves it okay to just dive in.. . I’m honored to be chosen to give you this award.”
Spontaneity is at the heart of my abstract art. It is revealed in my marks, drips, lines, colors, and the swipes of my brush. They are the result of my focus on creating something that is part of who I am – my spirit, my ideas, my individuality. I am not, and my works are not, what someone else thinks they should be.
I explored the contrast between my free gestural marks and controlled straight lines in my gears series. My marks are mine – they are not part of the machine. My gestural lines are spontaneous - straight lines are not.
CLICK HERE to read blog: The Mind of an Artist - Alfery Explains the Gears Series
Expressing yourself that freely can leave the self very vulnerable. Like writing a journal, it is way to expose yourself, your life, to those who encounter what you put down. When I seek to be free from the influence of others – to be spontaneous – I expose what is different about me. I risk rejection.
What if people don’t connect with my work, what if they don’t like the pure spontaneous expression of who I am. What if they call me strange, or make fun of me for being the kid who never stopped finger painting. They may say I am undisciplined, that I shoot from the hip and don’t know what I am doing.
I think about the never-done-before pure abstraction of Jasper Johns and other early expressionists. Lucky for them they had Milton Greenburg to call their work successful, unique, different. That didn’t stop others from judging the spontaneity of their works, but in the end they created an entire movement – ignoring the nay-sayers who didn’t understand. I studied and admire those artists, so it is no wonder that I seek freedom and spontaneity.
"Christine Alfery’s works are carefree, impulsive, vivacious, sometimes monochromatic, more often colorful, and always executed with a touch of humor. "
- James Nelson, The Birmingham News
If I listen to the comments of those who admire my work, it is the unique quality of my spontaneity that they admire as well.