Surreal Abstract Shell With Lines – Black and White

Seashell fragment with lines. Surreal abstract art in black and white by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Lemon Laeotrope Black.

I didn’t even try to echo the tone of the color version here, and as such the brightnesses of all the elements is mixed up in comparison. I quite like that, though. The feeling of black and white is different anyway, but switching the shell and geometric lines to be the darkest features generates even more of a mood shift.

It’s difficult to predict what a black and white will require ahead of time. Some work merely by stripping out the color of the original version, others like this one require tonal balancing, and yet others could work with multiple tonal schemes.

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Surreal Abstract Shell With Lines

Yellow seashell fragment with lines, on blue background. Surreal abstract art by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Lemon Laeotrope 2.

This image is an update of one of the first pictures I did in this vein. The original was was subsequently deleted because I eventually found it uninteresting, and its color scheme began to bug me. But I like the overall premise of it, so I’ve reworked it. Quite heavily as it turns out—it has a much stronger and more dramatic color scheme, plus the surreal element of the lighter section of the background.

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Surreal Abstract Seashell With Lines – Black and White

Seashell fragment with lines. Surreal abstract art in black and white by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Laeotrope 2, being the black and white version of Laeotrope.

I mentioned in the post on Laeotrope that the title originated with an old image named Lemon Laeotrope. That’s true also for the composition—this was the result of an idea brainstorm that resulted in Lemon Laeotrope. Ironically that one didn’t stand the test of time, but this one caught my eye when I was looking through my archive recently. However, maybe I’ll revisit the original sometime, too. It’s a very simple composition, and the challenge of making it work is appealing (edit: I’ve now done this).

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Surreal Abstract Seashell With Lines

Red seashell fragment with lines, on blue background. Surreal abstract art by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Laeotrope. Laeotropic means turning to the left, often in reference to shells. So I made a noun of it for the title here after taking a shining to the word. That seems to happen a lot with me and words.

I also considered sinistral as the title instead, which means the same as laeotropic and is also a nice title-worthy word. Leaotrope won for its alliterative value (an older version was named Lemon Laeotrope, the ‘lemon’ part in reference to the prior color scheme. Edit: there is now also a new version of Lemon Laeotrope).

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Surreal Abstract Seashell Deconstruction – Black and White

Black and white seashell deconstruction. Surreal abstract art by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Sturnidae Waxen Black.

I’m currently drawn to experimenting with the interplay between background and subject, and blurring the lines between them (literally, given the role of hard-edged geometrical elements and crops).

That’s introducing more complexity, though my work’s still fairly minimalistic on the whole, which is consciously so. There’s an appealing purity to simple shapes. I don’t imagine that will change, but can’t say for sure—I couldn’t have predicted where I am now a year ago.

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Surreal Abstract Seashell Deconstruction

Yellow, blue, and red seashell deconstruction. Surreal abstract art by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Sturnidae Waxen. My titles are often from a Rorschach test-style reaction to a piece after its completion. Putting words to an impression in such a way normally gives a pleasingly arcane word or phrase to complement the picture.

For this image two things occurred to me: a wax letter seal, and a starling with wings outstretched. I don’t know why specifically a starling, but it’s still quite distinct in my mind.

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Deconstructed Surreal Abstract Seashell Collage – Black and White

Deconstructed seashell and lines, in black and white. Surreal abstract art by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Antiperihelia Smoke, smoke here used as a metaphor standing in for black and white.

This was another black and white conversion in which achieving the contrast of the color version was difficult. Simply turning down the color didn’t work. In these cases, there’s a whole new set of creative choices to make, and the mood will differ from the colored one.

And further, for some reason most of my black and white work tends to look better on a light background, even if the color iteration is opposite.

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Surreal Abstract Seashell Collage Split in Three – Black and White

Fractured seashell collage on multi-tone background. Surreal abstract art in black and white by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Qua Obscurant.

This piece continues the exploration of background division and general asymmetry. It makes for compelling experimentation, and I think adds a nice dimension to what I’ve been doing.

I really like the juxtaposition of more traditional photography, in this case a seashell, with the hard crops and divisions. Kind of a fractured collage effect.

The color version of this image—in green, blue, red, and yellow—is called Qua.

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Surreal Abstract Seashell Collage Split in Three

Fractured blue seashell collage on green, red, and yellow background. Surreal abstract art by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Qua. Qua, meaning “as” or “in the capacity of”, is a play on the idea of art being representational and imbued with meaning, and also the fact that interpretation is part of all art.

The latter point is never truer than with abstract work not intended to reflect anything in particular. Subjective interpretation is all but forced, especially given how readily pareidolia comes to us.

I’ve had some surprising and unexpected things seen in my work, including monsters, pole-dancers, and star signs. Totally unintentional on my part, but that’s part of the fun. (Though it makes me careful to avoid obvious resemblances to completely undesired things.)

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