Abstract Thoughts in a Concrete World

Prussian Blue Permanent Rose Watercolor Abstract

Another shooting

this time at Inland Regional Center, a conference center in a community facility in San Bernandino, California that serves people with developmental disabilities.


Innocent lives lost to craziness and confusion and ugliness.

As I watched the non-stop coverage on the news –  trying to understand – not allowing myself to become “desensitized” to the madness,  I felt compelled to paint.

I wanted to just express my abstract thoughts and feelings in this concrete world.

Before I ever tried to paint, to watercolor, to create art,

I would look at abstract art and laugh, or dismiss, or discredit.

I thought to myself, and even said out loud, that anyone could “do THAT!”

It’s just paint splattered on paper.

But I’m drawn to abstract art now – like never before.

And I dare you to try it!

It is not as easy as it looks to the inexperienced critic.

It is actually much easier to paint and draw literally and concrete and exact.

But to paint abstract is to let the art speak your feelings, to let the paint “do it’s thing.”

So I brushed my paper with Prussian Blue and Permanent Rose and then a delicate mix of the two of them.

Then I splashed water on it all, expressing my confusion, my angst, my inability to understand our world’s inability for peace, for tolerance, for understanding, for love.

These two colors create such a beautiful tone when mixed together – like all of us.

But we can’t, won’t, don’t let it happen.

We fight it, we try to control it, we try to keep it separate, we try to make the rules, define the lines, keep it simple.

But life is not meant to be separated, defined by lines or be simple.

Life is about freedom… about being connected…

Life is complex.

But it is also loose and expressive and beautiful.

And so I created this abstract watercolor painting

that I have to admit I love,

and I am nervous to share for fear you will not – like – understand – feel – care – accept.

But I am being brave, and I am sharing.

It is my little expression of abstract thoughts in a concrete world.

Cheers & Hugs,


PS  Thanks to Deb Riley, an amazing artist I adore and follow and would love to emulate.   You have encouraged, enthused, and inspired me!

58 thoughts on “Abstract Thoughts in a Concrete World

  1. Oh Jodi, there are no words! This is a beautiful sentiment of the chaos that happened yesterday that was so sad! I will admit I am one of those who have thought what you wrote about abstract paintings. I too thought Shoot let me just throw some paint on a paper and sell it for a million dollars 🙂 BUT you opened my eyes to the beauty of it by your post. Thanks for being brave to share and I urge you to do more. You are so talented my amazing friend! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen. Much harder to create abstract work that speaks your feelings, and you’ve done it so beautifully here, Jodi! I’m so frustrated by what’s going on in the world that I lack the words any longer to communicate it. I was drawn to my sketchbook last night too, in my case drawing the faces on the screen. I think your painting is a beautiful expression, and what a wonderful way to vent those feelings, taking the horror and transforming it into something lovely. I’m glad you shared this, and I hope you feel led to create more of this kind of transformational work. Peace, my friend. And thanks for your encouragement yesterday, the result of which posted this am. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This world is going insane day by day and there’s really no words to express it. Better to paint these thoughts as you’ve done so brilliantly here. This is phenomenal Jodi, I’m so happy you decided to post it. ❤️❤️ The world may be getting ugly, but we artists can answer back with beauty. It’s our weapon. And one that only comes from a place of peace and love. 🎨🌹

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Thank you. Your post shares such though and your painting illustrates it. It is not paint brushed on paper. It’s a reaction to the world and the desire to understand. It’s beautiful and vulnerable, it’s tender and thoughtful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful abstract art Jodi inspired by such an ugly thing – the shootings in California. It makes me remember that even in all the ugliness in this world there is still so much beautiful and that beauty is also found in our hearts. Because we love those people that lost their lives and feel sad for them and their families and friends. Keep sharing your beautiful art.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My thoughts exactly. Now, if i could just do abstract as well as you do…maybe I could rid myself of some of the angst and frustration I also feel about the whole “we want you to be like us or die” philosophy of some in the world. And also the angst and frustration of some who refuse to see these situations for what they are and some of the unfortunate things that must be done to affirmatively survive within the definitions of these new paradigms. And most of all, the sadness for those that are innocent of it all and yet entangled in the snares of the Kraken that seeks to devour all in its path. (…thank you for listening to my ramblings of my abstract thought…)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. When I first saw your painting I was reminded of blood shed. Thank you for being brave and expressing yourself in your art, Jodi. Painting abstract is not easy but I believe it can be a very powerful way to express feelings. I often turn to humor in my art as a way to release stress or frustration. I’m so glad we can all express our feelings through our art and have such a supportive blogging family that allows a safe place to share. 😊💖💕 Peace

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Mary! I love what you see! I see and feel it too! I just didn’t know if anyone else would! Thank you for letting me know you see that! You are so right! There is no wrong! I love what you see! THANK YOU!


  8. Your words are poignant, brave and ever so true. Your painting is wonderful, beautiful and powerful. The thing with abstracts from my perspective is that they can move beyond color and composition to a purely emotional level…and yours my dear is so full of emotion and heart, thank you so much for sharing heart and hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Haunani! Thank you! Thank you so much! I am so blessed to know that your heart is touched by this. I was so afraid. So fearful that it would look “cheesey” and “inexperienced.” So thank you for understanding and feeling and expressing what I hoped was evoked. Thank you for empowering and encouraging me. I am so very grateful!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. a bridge of unification is what you created in my eyes, Jodi 🙂 lovely and perfect. I got a bit teary! great post in every way. Abstracts are the single hardest subject to Conquer. Few take the time to understand them. I admire you Jodi, for doing so. you have a brilliant eye for design. Thank you so much for your Lovely compliment towards me!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt words and art Jodi. It is through our creating that we can sort out our own feelings and make a difference. Also, I agree with you about Debi, her creative wisdom is helping us all.


  11. Good for you for trying abstract art and sharing it! Art can be a wonderful way to express our complex, sometimes unexplainable emotions, both for the artist and for the people looking at the finished work. Personally, I like this one very much….

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jodi, I too cannot grasp the senselessness of the hatred and misery that surrounds these acts. Your abstract piece so beautiful depicts the division and yet, the criss cross lines denote those of us – across both sides – that make connections and don’t want to be divided by differences in color, race, religion, politics – or any other divisive demographic. thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great post. We were just talking about abstract art the other day in my classes. It is not easy to do. It almost begs the artist to let go and experience, not just their thoughts and feelings but the paper and the pencil and the paint and the movement of what they are doing as well as creating. I think your painting is excellent for just that reason. What a big step you took to begin to allow those abstract paintings in the art galleries to talk to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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