Toying with Abstraction

I have been enamored of abstract art for many years but have been reluctant to try my hand at it. A recent purchase of an iPad and Apple pencil along with the Procreate app have started the abstract juices flowing (or at least dripping)! For a long time I have wanted to try abstraction using acrylic paints but didn’t really know how to go about it and didn’t want to waste a lot of canvas and paints. Using the iPad has allowed me to freely “play” with ideas in a very spontaneous and inventive way. There are various brush tools available in the app and I used these experiments to discover some of the techniques that can be used with them.


“Radiation” 12/18
“Spots Before My Eyes” 12/18
“Happy Brushes” 12/18
“Klee Play” 12/18

There is no question that these are frivolous and incomplete experiments dealing with the elements of composition; shape, texture, color and value but I was surprised at how “freeing” the experience has been and thought it might be of interest to share some of the results. I hope to do more experimenting along these lines and will post occasional examples.

Author: Jeff Gold

I'm a retired musician (oboist) now living in Vermont and exploring various avenues of art, urban sketching, life drawing, block printing and digital abstractions.

6 thoughts on “Toying with Abstraction”

  1. I like the first composition best. The earth colors juxtaposed with brilliant blue and green are pleasing to my eye. If I hadn’t read your explanation regarding the iPad and Apple pencil, I would have thought you used pastels.


    1. Thanks Judy. Glad you liked the first one and surprised that you thought it was done in pastels! The app is really amazing and it’s great fun playing with it and trying different approaches. Who knows what monstrosities this may evolve into… frightening thought!


  2. Jeff, I like these. I find them pleasing to look at, surprisingly. Like Judy, I wouldn’t have guessed that you used an Ipad app to create them, with the exception of the blue arc-like lines in Radiation. My favorite is Klee-like. Will we be seeing Pollock-like soon???LOL


    1. Thanks Donna. Don’t laugh too hard…no telling what might turn up. I think the “Klee” drawing is my favorite too. They were all just experiments to get to know the Procreate app which has an amazing variety of options for drawing. BTW I didn’t plan on making a drawing that looked like Paul Klee’s work. It just looked like something he might have done so I named it for him.


    1. Hi Ruth. I got the 6th generation iPad 128 GB and the 1st generation Apple pencil. I felt that I could do what I wanted to in Procreate without going to the Pro model (which would have cost twice as much or more). Do you know the Procreate app? It’s really amazing.


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