Three New Non-Objective Abstractions in my Artist Journal

Three New Non-Objective Abstractions in my Artist Journal
Taking Stock (mixed media with collage) by Polly Castor

I’ve been trying some new things this week in my artist journal, focusing on materials and not concepts. This kind of work adds to my understanding of how materials influence a piece’s outcome, as well as generates new ideas of how to use them in future work.

Taking Stock started and finished with a collaged layer of old stock certificate edges, from a couple shares of defunct GE stock my aunt had given my kids for their birthdays when they were young. A repurposer at heart, and loath to waste anything that has possibilities, I’ve used them here. I’ve got more which may show up in conceptual work; now that this piece turned more conceptual as I worked on it, I’ve “taken stock” of all sorts of other ideas. I loved the radish/turnip shape here, as it seems to be harvested from the ground, and the puns started to surface too, stocking the pantry, and making stock for soup. Hum what’s next… a stock broker, a stock exchange, or a stock split? The New Year is a great time to take stock of one’s life and goals as well.

The Iridescent Leaf Pattern came from playing around with some new metallic watercolors and some iridescent Flashe. At first, it felt like I had wasted my money on the metallic watercolors, but I kept working with it until I had something I liked. This page is much better in person, when you can move it around in the light to see it shimmer. The step I liked best was putting down matte black Flashe over an under layer of the metallic watercolor, followed by the metallic blue on top. The metallic watercolors on top of matte black is definitely something I’ll utilize again to rich effect.

The Listening on Zoom was just what it sounds like. I listen better if my hands are busy. Not much of my consciousness was invested in this piece since I was concentrating elsewhere, but that is non-objective abstract art for you, void of overt intention. The point for me here– beside playing with pattern, and systematically leaving white space, while leaving larger areas of white as a focal point– was to use my India ink again.  I have not pressed these into service for a long while. Maybe I’ll do more?

Which one of these do you like best? Or do you prefer conceptual work?

Iridescent Leaf Pattern (mixed media) by Polly Castor



Listening on Zoom (India ink) by Polly Castor


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Sue Wall 2 years ago

    I love them all!

  2. John gregory 2 years ago

    I am very attracted to the listening on zoom.
    Vibrant detail…💕

  3. Laura Beckering 2 years ago

    Very nice “Abstraction” Zoom presentation for the Pastel Society of Maine. Yes there is abstraction everywhere and in everything. Lovely photographs and art. Thank you for sharing with us. I learned a lot.

  4. Ellen 2 years ago

    I am in awe of all 3 of them……I think I like the first one best…..

  5. Dilys 2 years ago

    I like the colours in Taking Stock and the shapes in Iridescent Leaf Pattern and O appreciate all the work that went into Listening on Zoom! Three quite different works – well done.

  6. Cheryl 2 years ago

    I like the iridescent leaf pattern best.

  7. Rusti Race 2 years ago

    I like all 3, however I lean to Taking Stock as my favorite.

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