This semester, I’ve explored abstract interpretations of some of my favorite details from classical paintings I was able to see this summer. Using my own photo references, I am finding abstract compositions within these classical works and paying homage to the brilliant and energetic brushwork, textures, color relationships, value patterns, etc. found in a small portion of the original painting. I’m interested in the relationship contemporary artists (and non-artists) have to historical work, the unique phenomena of experiencing a painting in person, the different responses to similar compositions in a representational vs. non-representational abstraction context. I don’t think we can avoid the long heritage of artists who have come before us or the traditions that art history has given us. So how do we make original work – our work – in light of this? Even though these started as references to what I’ve seen, they emerged as pieces that very much reflect my hand, aesthetic sensibilities, and creative process in responding to a painting that is mine and in front of me.