The Process of Concept Formation and Abstractions

Christine Alfery

Posted on June 09 2021

The Process of Concept Formation and Abstractions

Featured image: Clusters

The process of abstraction in art and concept formation is a process of thought, of thinking and of reason. It is not automatic nor instinctive. Frequently folks tell me, "I could never draw, I could never be an artist. You have a gift." Well, perhaps at first my inner heart and soul said, "What a pleasure this is to do. I was lucky to have found it at a very young age, but a gift, I question that?"

It's true that only I can initiate my work. And only I can create what I do. I have to want to do it. I have to want to sustain it and I have to be responsible for its results. As I create a work of art, I have choices all along the way. I also have choices along the way as I create and live my life. I am responsible for my choices. A choice such as to think or not to think and then create. I choose to always think and then create, it is a process.

The aesthetics of the process. - The process of creating has three steps. First there is the "ah ha" sensation. The aesthetic moment that stops my wandering about in the woods, and second, when I perceive, I see, and my mind tells me that all the trees are covered with water and glistening in the sun. It's when I see the tear drops of rain hanging from a pine needle or when I notice the golden light that creates a canopy over my head. But first there is the "ah ha" sensation then, the perception.

Third, there is the conception formation. Concept formation takes sensations and perceptions, which are just thoughts at this point and are still abstractions, and creates an idea that in turn will become visible and a painting.
For many who ask about these different steps in creating, I am documenting the different layers of a painting I am working on called, for right now, "Sunflowers." I am also working on about five other paintings at the same time including one for my series on Rugged Individualism, and the others are birds.

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