'Shapeless dreams' - 60x40cm

Over the last couple of years certain thoughts and feelings have swirled inside my mind of which some I attempted to express in this painting. I've put a lot into this piece  with days and days of just planning and cycling through ideas untill I arrived here. I know it is not the 'usual' realism this forum is mostly about and I suspect a lot of people will dislike it, however I would still like to share this as it is very important to me with it being full of symbolism and an attempt to express myself in a certain composition.



  • I like this a lot. Although fairly abstract, there are realist elements in it that serve as your symbols and they are interesting but, to me, speaking subjectively, it is primarily about painting - about creating interesting marks, colors and textures. It's also an intriguing composition. This is the sort of abstraction that I like. :)
  • Really dig the figures and colors.
  • I'm drawn to art that tells a story in an image.

    This is pretty cool. I love the red highlights in the centre figure, suggesting an inferno off picture to the right.

    Keep posting. 
  • I like this a lot.  neat texture, well laid out composition and interesting activities the figures are involved in.   You must lead a busy life with your climbing, skiing, music and is that a pekingese I see?  The dark figure on the right seems to be bending to a wee dog, but I am probably way off base as I see a chainsaw also.  My imagination is running overtime with this painting!
  • edited December 2022
    I had to spend some time with this and I think it has a quality that the longer you look at it the more it will yield to whoever hangs it. For me it is Plato's cave, where experienced existence is only a shadow of reality, except the cave is a modern building and all the figures are chained and have their necks fixed on what they are doing, occupied, as in the allegory. 'You're locked inside your houses, there's no time to find you now.' (Jackson Browne.) Except one... who with loosed chains and lifted head and has ascended and found the window - to wipe off the dust and see or perhaps even shatter. That may have nothing to do with your intent, but it reads very powerfully for me in that way.
    So then the architectural diagonals and structure and grey/ black corporate colour scheme creates an evocative modern setting to bring the parable to our lives, our context and see ourselves. I also love that, unlike the horizontal orientation of a cave, you have created a diagonal, upward source of the light and way of escape - so optimistic. I feel my spirit rise with that figure, wanting to break free. What break free means is very personal to anyone who sees themselves with shackles undone and ascending.
  • I really like this too! Even if I'm not sure what's going on it makes you ask questions about the painting, which is a good thing for me :)
  • edited December 2022
    @tassieguy I'm glad that you like it. It is funny how free it feels to use paint in this manner: using a lot with a palette knife and let intuition guide you. I like to feel the physical built up paint in contrast with the smooth surfaces next to it.

    Thank you @dakmediocreart @Richard_P and @heartofengland for the kind comments!

    @toujours to be honest I'm really happy to see all the associations that came to your mind! I have my own specific intent with the figures but I'm glad it moves something inside others.

    @Abstraction: It feels very special that you took time with the painting and word all the thoughts you had about it. I was a bit afraid when I wanted to incorporate the allegory of Plato's cave thinking it would be far fetched for others, but for me it was very expressive. I'm happy that you recognized it in my painting amongst the upmost figure and its intent and meaning. Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it. 
    I think I will write down in a comment my thoughts and intentions with the painting if anyone is interested after you touched apon these ideas

  • edited December 2022
    I think I'm going to attempt to share my intentions with the painting:
    Composition was inpired by Rubens' Raising of the Cross. I have a great admiration towards dynamic compositions and as I were going through a lot of ideas, this one clicked with me.

    I arrived on a slightly different approach (not all lines are drawn here), but my idea was to be able to represent my figures in a rather schematic and static way while giving life and movement to the painting arranging them in this manner. The lower and upper half of the curve emphasizes two different states of mind: the bottom figure facing away from light turns its attention to himself, while the upmost figure is facing the light and is deemed as a positive symbol as he is also placed on the top of the triangle made out of those diagonals seen amongst the gridlines of the painting.
    Figure at the bottom is isolated from the rest of the figures holding a gramophone which he is operating. He has no interest of the outside world as the only light is coming from the lantern of the figure at top, who is able to see the reality through the window. This is an reference to Plato's cave allegory as the figure is living in a world of illusion.
    The gramophone represents timelessness, melancholy, distant memories and is giving temporary comfort to the figure. I wanted to indicate that this device has to be wound up which contributes to the cycle the figure is trapping himself in - hence he is the one operating it.
    Figures in the middle: On the right a tall, black figure is holding the other one by his head, rendering him incapacitated which refers to the inability to think clearly and the lack of ability to change things. In the middle a figure is facing away from light, holding one hand out to shade his eyes from the lantern. He refuses to accept reality. Behind him another black figure is embracing him.
    Figure on top represents wonder as shown by his face tilted upwards. His right hand grabs onto the edge and he is holding a lantern with his left, representing the struggle for greatness and the leadership towards the other figures. He is the only one looking at the reality depicted as a cloudy sky outside of the window,
    The final key is that all of the figures are depictions of myself
  • edited January 4
    I can recommend The Painter's Secret Geometry - A Study of Composition in Art by Charles Bouleau to anyone interested in this topic
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