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Jeff Katz

Location: Novato, CA US
Website: http://t.co/vMzUi1imVS


I began painting abstract seriously in 1970. I had a tremendously talented mentor to whom I owe much of my success; I describe him on my website under My Story : http://www.myfavoriteabstracts.com - My former father-in-law (he was climbing on scaffolding in his eighties to paint large, nonrepresentational abstracts) knew how to teach the fundamental principle of abstract composition, and he did it in an unorthodox way. His trick: to eliminate any obstruction to the eyes’ continuous movement. The eye wants to keep moving in order to continuously find new interest. Today I wouldn't call a painting complete - whether it be oil, acrylic, watercolor, mixed media, or collage - if the four principles Ifocus on are not strong: line, mass, color, and unity of composition. I look at each element and determine how it can be strengthened before signing off, calling it done. Another criterion for determining if a painting is finished is if you can answer YES to the question "Would I want to live with it, would I like to see it hanging on a prominent wall in my home?" If the answer is NO, the painting needs more work. A masterpiece is a painting that anyone would want to hang, and that's what the artist strives for. So many people love a certain piece of abstract art but don't have a clue as to why. Like any art-form, such as a musical composition or a piece of poetry, the conscious mind may be trying to ascertain where the beauty can be found, but it is only the subconscious and superconscious mind that can really recognize the essence of beauty when it appears. I find that whether it be art, music, or poetry (I was blessed to find each in a different decade), the beauty of any creation will be recognized to the degree of one's overall appreciation as well as one's own personal experience using a medium.