I have been circling around this dilemma for months. Although I have said the I am not being representational, many of my cold wax pieces do indeed try to represent cliffs: rectangles, verticals, sky at top, &c. In a way, I am working against myself. I cannot find a happy level in between the completely representational and the completely abstract. And for some reason I am still uncomfortable with letting go of representation completely. I think this is because I do not want to paint "emotion", I am not an expressionist. So, how do I define and pursue an intention in my painting? Now that I have settled on a medium that I love, what do I want to say with it?
My general intention in painting is to create an abstract vision of my impressions and reactions to living where I live. To refer again to Rebecca Crowell's "Form" and "Content" discussion, my Form is oil paints mixed with cold wax medium applied to flat surfaces. My Content is sandstone, desert, cliffs, sky. Perhaps this would be better expressed in adjectives, in order to get away from the representational. What does that Content say to me, that I want to convey in my work? Stasis, solidity, serenity (even when storms move through). Space. Light. Layers.
To come back to my current theme of marks: If marks are to reflect my Content, they should express the adjectives above. My work should be describable by them. Rebecca said, "If an artist begins with F(orm) ... the challenge is to develop intention and a unique vision along with mastery of the medium." Sounds like my situation to me. Perhaps I can find my way to my abstract voice by using adjectives and interpreting them, staying away from anything remotely representational. Perhaps the next challenge is to decide what design and what marks portray serenity, space, light.