Reimer’s instructional debut portrays the “adventure of abstract painting” for neophytes and admirers of modern art.
Innately human, the need to create images stems from our need to communicate, says the author, an accomplished artist. Since it concerns the “personal feelings and perceptions” of both the artist and the viewer, “works of art should not be translated into words,” contends Reimer, “least of all by the artist.” Nonetheless, from approaching and interpreting others’ work to setting up the proper space in which to create your own, the Danish-born author teaches basic skills and techniques through “fun projects,” in acrylic and watercolors—due to their shorter drying times—and helpful instructions, including a foolproof, step-by-step method of stretching your own canvases. Reimer covers the importance of practicing three crucial steps—drawing, underpainting and overpainting—as well as critical self-evaluation and knowing when to put down the brush. To generate ideas, she suggests listening to music and picturing the “sounds as shapes” or placing limits on your use of color, tools, materials and media to help discover various possibilities. Reimer’s at her best discussing the “color compass” and the visual harmony of complementary, related and tertiary colors. She also explains how organic subjects display warmer, redder hues, while inorganic subjects are marked by cooler, bluer colors. Surrounded as a child by Viking mythology, Reimer conducts an ancestral conversation as she appropriates ancient motifs into her bright, minimal work, shown here alongside her more representative flower watercolors. Although intended for “serious artists” unable “to obtain a formal arts education,” the author provides useful information and advice for anyone with “the urge to paint.” Her discussions on the meaning and interpretation of paintings would be great for kids just discovering abstraction and tremendous help to anyone who can’t understand why a Pollock or a Rothko affects them the way it does.
An educational, eye-catching primer on how to look at art and “see as an artist.”