About my work...

Many people out there are not fans of abstract work. Sometimes I think it’s because the brain wants or needs to have something to grab onto that’s familiar. I think not having that is unsettling for a lot of people. They need to “get it.” My mom actually says that to me often when she comes to my shows. “I don’t get it.” People look at abstract paintings as if they are trying to solve a puzzle, or laying on their back looking at the clouds deciding what animals they see in the sky. And that’s great. If that’s why they like a piece then so be it. It’s for them to enjoy or not as the audience. For their own reasons. If that’s because they see a big apple, then so be it.

The irony I feel is that, what a painting is about is for me. Not for you. I finish a piece when I decide it’s done. I paint about what I want. It is not directly influenced or affected by you necessarily.

I’m not going to tell you what it’s “about.” You have to make up your own mind. People have looked at my work and have said “it’s just a map!” or “it’s a dog” or whatever. Sometimes they look at me like I’m supposed to reward them and say “Oh you got it! You figured me out!”

Abstract work is not easily quantifiable. From an academic standpoint it can be about color, form and composition and other elements and directives of academic study. In the art industry where people are actually buying and selling art, it may be more about individual subjectivity, emotion and personality. Subjectively it is about how we feel when we are around it, looking at it, living with it in our house, apartment or office.

I believe abstraction affects us more than we realize. Buy an abstract painting, put it on your wall, and live with it. You’ll know deep down somewhere whether you really love the piece or not sooner than you think. Although you may not be able to quantify your reasons why. Some of my favorite painters are reactive, inspiring, and thought provoking and yet they some people think they “just make marks”.

Does it matter to you that I am well studied or well known? Is it important that I studied at university X and was trained by professor famous. Is that what gives my work value? Is that what makes it worth something to you. Undoubtedly for many people the answers are “yes.” Sigh. Frowny-face.

“So what is it about? What does it mean? What are you trying to say? ” I maintain that my goals are much more selfish. It is about me. It is for me to know. I like to think that abstract painting is one of the last true refuge’s of “the original.” No one has anything like my work. It’s mine. Do you the client, the gallery, the buyer, the audience all care so much about the work or the story. Is that what’s important? To you? Do you buy art because you like to see the artist’s brushstrokes? Do you buy art because you know the artist’s name? Because the artist is famous?

I strive to be original. As an abstract painter my work should say “that’s a Schmidt” without words. My paintings are like onions or people. My people. Layer after layer.


         . #thejschmidt