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POWDRELL

Abstract art at the Santa Barbara Harbor
updated: Aug 09, 2014, 11:00 AM

By David Powdrell

My favorite place to shoot photographs is at the Santa Barbara Harbor, crack-o-dawn. Always has been. The people at the harbor in the early morning hours captivate me. Some are slow moving; groggy with crusty eyes and dishevelled hair. Urchin divers, on the other hand, are busy preparing their boats for the arduous channel crossing and early morning runners train hard for long distance races. Foreign tourists haven't yet made the adjustment to our time zone yet; they've been awake since the wee hours.

My recent outings to the harbor, however, led me on a different tangent; attempting to understanding that ever-elusive art form known as abstract art. Candidly and somewhat embarrassingly, I've never been able to understand abstract art. I just didn't get it. I'm still not sure I do, but here's what I've learned since photographing odd-shaped colored reflections on wind swept water in the early morning light.

"Abstract art includes a departure from reality. Total abstraction bears no trace of any reference to anything recognizable", per Wikipedia, "but this departure from accurate representation can be slight, partial or complete. Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world."

"In geometric abstraction, one is unlikely to find references to naturalistic entities. Figurative art and total abstraction are almost mutually exclusive. But figurative and representational art often contains partial abstraction. "

My interpretation: Pretty much anything goes with abstract art, but I'm open to further education on the topic.

My good friend, Hugh, is an award winning abstract artist. I've wrestled hard to understand his work, but maybe now I'll ask more intelligent questions when I view his art. Or maybe I'll quietly stand back and appreciate the dance between form, color and line on his canvas.

In the meantime, here are a few photographic images taken with my trusty old Canon Powershot camera of my interpretation of abstract art at the Santa Barbara Harbor.

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