“Into the Woods” Abstract Series

Photo of Rick Osborn Art Abstract paintings Into the Woods

“Into the Woods” is my new series of abstract paintings that comes from a place of deep feeling and emotion. As I paint these abstracts I feel like I’ve been able to tap into something esoteric, something unknown even to me, that comes from deep down. In process it occurred to me that I was painting these purely by intuition - raw and inaccessible to me on a conscious level, yet revelational through the painting process.

Creating an abstract painting, for me at least, is a voyage into the unknown. As an artist, I might feel secure about how to paint realism, due to several years of study and practice. But an abstract, well, that’s a whole different process - one that initially rattled me to the core, and left me scratching my head each step of the way. In the past, I’ve looked at so many abstracts, but rarely seemed to get the why, how, or what. Abstracts were something that other artists did - not me!

Why am I telling you this? I guess it’s because I want you know where I come from when I started this “Into the Woods” series of abstracts. To be frank, I entered this world from a place of doubt, uncertainty, and insecurity. For me, this endeavor has been a total leap of faith, but one that has become so enjoyable, exciting, and rewarding!

Why do I call it “Into the Woods”?

Perhaps, it’s a take from the actual play “Into the Woods.” When I was in my early twenties, I acted, and sang in the actual play, which I loved. If you’ve never seen the play or the movie version, check it out. And when I started this series, I began with the idea that I was going to do several studies of shape and color, in the form of abstract landscapes. What I discovered is that trees kept appearing in the process. Before I knew it, each painting morphed into abstract trees, each piece taking on the semblance of an abstract forest of sorts. Eventually, I needed a name for the series. “Into the Woods” seemed perfect.

Strange and magical things occur in the woods.

Subconsciously I think this series is a revisit to my childhood. As a kid “the woods” was a place where my brothers and I would play and pretend for hours upon end. In the trees, we became superheroes and explorers in the most natural and beautiful setting imaginable. Back then, all we had was each other, our imaginations, and the beautiful woods and countryside of Southside Virginia. Almost daily in our spare time, we would enter the woods, play in the creeks, climb trees, and spend hours in this magical world that meshed perfectly with our overactive imaginations.

Today, I still go to the woods as often as possible, for exercise and for clarity of mind. For me, “the woods” is still a magical place - full of refuge, peace, and tranquility - a place where I can recharge from this crazy, uncertain world, where I commune with God and nature. I’m no longer a superhero in the woods, but I feel like one each time I go there.

So, the series continues. I’m not sure how long, but with each painting I feel like I’m pouring a bit more of my mind and soul onto the canvas. I’m pleased and excited with what I see in each completed painting, and I’m even more excited to see what comes next!