How should you title an abstract painting?

‘The Three Realms’ by Peter Corr

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‘The Three Realms’ by Peter Corr

For me, a title is an important element in the creation of a painting. I know that many abstract painters use numerical systems to identify and classify their work. I prefer to title each image and through the invention of the title, try to enhance the life, associations and potential relevance of the work. In this instance, I really wanted a title that would express in a very direct way, the inspiration and the key components of this painting which of course relate to landscape. The title of this painting therefore is relatively straightforward; it refers to the three realms of earth, sky and water. I wasn’t aware until later that ‘The Three Realms’ has other, in many ways more interesting connotations. In Nichiren Buddhism ‘The Three Realms’ are, according to Quora:

(1) the realm of the five components

(2) the realm of living beings

(3) the realm of the environment.

These could be thought of simply as, from the standpoint of a human being, the person, society and the environment.

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Detail of ‘The Three Realms’ by Peter Corr

The materials used in this painting include oil paint, pumice stone and cold wax medium. The heavy impasto creates an almost rough hewn marble like surface pitted and marked with successive layers of cold wax and oil paint.

After the Rain: Peter Corr

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‘After the Rain’ 80 x 80 cm on canvas by Peter Corr

‘After the Rain’  could be seen as a departure from the tonality and minimalist approach I have been using recently, but even so, this painting remains firmly in the realm of abstraction.

The weather here in England is a a limitless topic of conversation for all of us and we have just experienced one of the hottest Summers on record. However, the wind and rain is never far away and this painting reflects my experience of cycling though the Fenland landscape, experiencing alternate moments of warm sun, showers and gusts of wind.  In Cambridgeshire, the wind either carries you along on your cycle or stops you in your tracks. I can travel the same journey in half or double the time depending on the prevailing wind direction. I am increasingly convinced that the weather here in this part of the world is a living entity, a whimsical creature, a chameleon.

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Detail from ‘After the Rain’ by Peter Corr

In ‘After the Rain’ I have tried to convey a sense of movement and changing light, using angular shapes, a kaleidoscope of colour and dissolving  forms. You may detect the spatial devices of overlap, fragmentation and multiple viewpoints employed by the Cubists and later on, the Italian Futurists.

“……..Nobody would affirm that the tree grows its crown in the image of its root. Between above and below can be no mirrored reflection. It is obvious that different functions expanding in different elements must produce divergences”.

Paul Klee

 

Mercurial

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‘Mercurial’ is a painting I have just completed for the ‘Cambridge Envisaged’ Exhibition; the composition, structure and style closely follows the other images in the series. I have retained the square format, recurring geometric shapes and warm tonality seen in previous works. The influence of American abstract expressionism is visible in the flatness and absence of overt representation; at the same time I have tried to convey a sense of the architectural qualities of the city of Cambridge. The painting is designed as a bridge between two different vantage points, an aerial or plan view of  buildings, rivers and parks and a vertical ‘stacking’ of these interconnected and interchangeable motifs.  The Cubists kaleidoscopic rendering of physical objects and space has liberated us all to see the world through our own eyes and intuition.

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‘Mercurial’ Close up detail

River City

 

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River City

Acrylic painting on canvas 100 x 100 cm

I am currently working on a series of paintings based on the city of Cambridge in the UK.

This is a multi layered mixed media acrylic painting on a high quality canvas frame. I am currently working on a series of paintings based on the city of Cambridge. I don’t believe that we can ever really know a particular place or location, not in a purely objective way, not even through the ‘impartiality’ of a camera lens. There are so many different ways of seeing, understanding and interpreting; our view of the world is a subjective, personal experience.

I have developed these paintings through a sort of conversational process, an exchange of ideas and thoughts; of talking and listening. What you see here is the result of many such conversations; a constant give and take between what I think I have to say as a painter and what the painting has to say to me. The painting often contradicts me and frequently suggests that I may be mistaken in my views. Out of consideration for my feelings it may abruptly suggest alternative ways of progressing. I sometimes delude myself into thinking I am directing the conversation but I know that this human activity of ‘painting’ is a joint construction, a combined effort. What you see here is a partnership between planning and accident, conceit and humility, confidence and deflation, wisdom and foolishness, a conversation between friends……we were just talking about the city…..I expect the conversation will continue.