I found a reference of this book on the internet somewhere. It’s called ‘The spiritual in art – abstract paintings 1890 – 1985’ It’s an exhibition catalogue. By the title alone I was sold because the subjects … … abstract art and spirituality are both near and dear to me. So let’s talk, paint and look at art. Just after this. Hi there, my name is Albert van der Zwart, welcome to Imperfect Paintings … … where it is all about improving your painting skills by looking at art, yourself and the world around you. Drawing, painting, doodling or any way of creating an image on paper or canvas … … is in my opinion magical or spiritual. First there was this idea in my mind and later this image on paper. I see this process of creation, no matter what skill level you’re at, as a spiritual process. But, for me, there is also this other aspect. When I want to make a video I start painting … … and in this process of applying paint wonderful things can happen. I will show you later on what I mean. The first idea for this video was an image like this. A light in the sky, something outside me, but still, I feel connected. Another way of looking at it is this one, a light inside of me. No matter what happens around me, the eye of the storm, the quiet zone can be inside of me. I feels like someone is watching over me or helping me. It happens driving my car when I suddenly lift my foot of the gas … … only seconds before a traffic jam appears right in front of me. I whisper ‘Thank you’. But it also happens when doing whatever, for no reason I look up … … and see this wonderful rainbow in the sky. Again I whisper ‘Thank you’ . And only a few seconds later it is gone. I feel blessed every time something like this happens. But I also want to lift these paintings to a next level. So I write down the most important words that come to me when I think of spirituality. Size / something / religion / others / me / color / connection / distance. The most important are: something / me / connection. Let’s make some sketches. Something up there and me down here and our connection. Or is it sideways? No, this feels more like a relation to a friend or family. Or could it also be accurate? Is it only about the connection? Does this energy have to be in the painting? Or myself? Is a small line enough? Or would it be better to make the line from top to bottom? Or is it better to put myself in the center? Reaching out or receiving from above? Is it more interesting to make it even more abstract and skip the head? No this isn’t right, it looks like the letter Y or eh … you probably get it. Another variation is this one, looking like American football goalposts. It also looks as myself showing my biceps. Maybe it is interesting to take a different approach and show what gives me strength in life. I paint a background from mixed yellow ochre and titanium white. Because there is this invisible energy, a radiance or shimmer … … I apply some mixing white, less visible than titanium white. The last step is painting the sign. I leave the circles open to get an idea of openness, as the opposite of solid … … to show that the strength is a combination of me being open … … and in connection with this energy. Interesting. In the catalogue of the exhibition the spiritual in art abstract painting … … are a number of paintings that connect to the idea of this ‘something’ and ‘me’. To me these spiritual modern art paintings relate visually to the subject. The first one is by Barnett Newman, Onement #I. He explored this paintings style and made several of these, later called, zip-paintings. When I think about spirituality I see it as an ongoing process. It is like these painted pieces of paper. They are identical pieces. Do you focus on the pieces or on the space between them? Do you keep to your routines or are you flexible to play with your cards? Move them a little bit? Later, when editing this video I saw a person below the arrow I just created. This is a coincidence, or is it, that happens all the time when I am painting … … I see things, or get hints from somewhere. The person looks like the Thinker, made by Rodin. In the western world we think about the concept of past – present – future … … in a linear way from left to right. The person-like opening is positioned towards the past. When I put down the pieces again, without any preconceived plan … … the cards create a different image. A head looking to the right, at the future. Interesting. Flow and patterns are also common in art. Here some examples of spiritual contemporary art. Are you another version or a part of this higher energy, being or something? Are you a sparkle of it, as every star is a part of the total universe? Is something or somebody blocking the free access to this energy or being? Can you still get around it? Or can’t you. And is there hope in this situation, a tunnel with possibly a light at the end of it? Or is the situation the other way around and do you have to wait … … not knowing if or when a hole from above is dough completely? So let’s take this image. You can look at it and leave it like this because this is how it feels for you at this moment. But what if you could change the situation, what would you do? Would you make the tunnel wider? Nibble at the sides? Or change the situation like this and in a way taking a step back. And make a connection that turns into a team effort. And again something unexpected happens, I see two eyes. Who do you see? Or are you looking in the mirror? This way of painting looks like a light version of art therapy. But it is also an interesting way of exploring a subject while painting. Or just a sketch in the process of making art. These modern art paintings remind me in a way of me being a sparkle of something bigger. Or being blocked or the process to get un-blocked. All artworks in this video come from the second-hand exhibition catalogue … … The spiritual in art – abstract painting. Title, ISBN and other info in the description below. And another one where I explore where I start and where I end … … what color represents me best and how I would portray myself. A solid base but after that anything can happen, depending on where I am, with who and what I do. Art can just be paint on paper or evoke all kind of feelings or emotions. If you would like to hear it from somebody else too, link up here for an interesting TED-talk. Thinking about light and dark is interesting but painting light and dark is even better. When you paint it you will discover that, although everybody thinks they are counterparts … … they are actually best friends. Do you want to experience this yourself? Click on the link and I will see you over there in the next video.