Surreal Abstract Jawbone Collage and Lines – Black and White

Jawbone collage with lines, surreal abstract art in black and white by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Innaiant Coal Redux.

This composition was rescued from an old draft that became Innaiant. As such, I’m struck by the difference between this type of art and the landscape I used to do.

They’re both photography-based, but landscape’s typically greater number of elements dictate fewer options in editing. For example, there’s some latitude in post-processing, but unless you spend a huge amount of time, the overall lighting is set. However, with what I’m doing now, I can completely reverse the lighting reasonably easily—ie, make a light subject on a dark background the opposite.

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Surreal Abstract Jawbone Collage and Lines – Pink

Multi-colored jawbone collage with lines, on pink background. Surreal abstract art by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Innaiant Ice Cream Redux. “Ice cream” because the color scheme brings to mind hyper-colored ice cream packaging.

Actually, this was a last minute addition. I made the red on blue-green Innaiant Redux, then the black and white Innaiant Coal Redux, and intended to stop.

But I got the urge to go crazy with color, and played with it until reaching what you see here. I think it’s just on the right side of tasteful, which is a good place to be. If you don’t push limits you run the risk of becoming staid, or pigeonholing yourself creatively.

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Surreal Abstract Jawbone Collage and Lines

Jawbone collage with lines, surreal abstract art in red and green by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Innaiant Redux.

This composition was originally a draft on the way to what became Innaiant.

I try to delete most drafts that get superseded, simply to save hard drive space. Ideally I’d keep most of what I do, or at least the stuff that has a glimmer of promise, but each file is normally the better part of a gigabyte at minimum. That means it’s just not feasible.

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Surreal Abstract Seashell Collage and Circle – Black and White

Seashell collage with circle. Surreal abstract art in black and white by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Immersion Cinders. Another black and white, another word used as a metaphor for that (cinders). I wonder how long I’ll be able to keep this up till I run out of options and have to repeat myself.

I’m having fun with it so far, though. The type of fun no doubt reliant on a love of language, but I have that, being the type of person to read word-of-the-day columns, and consult dictionaries regularly.

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Surreal Abstract Seashell Collage and Circle – Blue

Dark blue seashell collage with red circle on blue background. Surreal abstract art by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Immersion Blue.

That chaotic shape beneath the circle is composed of a shell photograph.

Actually, this series, Seriatim, Limen, Fugue Mechanics, Antelucan, and the one I’m currently working on are all based on the same shell. They all have hard crops and juxtaposed geometric shapes, yet all convey quite different visions and moods.

Curious how that happened. But since focussing on abstract work instead of landscape, I’m finding less need for starting with a completely different subject each time. That’s because more of the creative work is done after the initial photo, whereas landscape requires a more complete composition at the moment you activate the shutter.

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Surreal Abstract Seashell Collage and Circle

Yellow seashell collage with white circle on red background. Surreal abstract art by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Immersion.

I notice my style slowly evolving. In particular I’ve been choosing bolder colors instead of the prior muted shades.

The reason is unclear to me—it’s not really a conscious process. And there’s a risk with overly strong colors, they can easily look amateurish and gaudy. But I’m enjoying the exploration of that threshold, of course the goal being to stop on the tasteful side, and the payoff being impact.

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Surreal Abstract Tiger Skull Collage – Black

Tiger skull collage on white square, over dark background. Surreal abstract art in black and white by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Protean Black.

The original color version of this, Protean, was created a while ago. But lately I’ve been on a black and white variation kick, and though not all images work in black and white, I think this one is quite effective.

Most of my black and whites require extra tonal adjustment from the color versions because you don’t have color providing contrast between elements (it’s funny just how bad a straight desaturation can look). This one needed the background darkened considerably, and the subject lightened.

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Surreal Abstract Tiger Skull Collage

Blue tiger skull collage on white square, over red background. Surreal abstract art photo by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Protean.

I swear, due to the nature of my abstract art, I look at some of these images and wonder what the hell they were originally based on. That is, they start life as photos of something, typically boney, but I hack them up and manipulate them so much that I forget what the original subject was.

But of course I keep the originals, this time an iPhone photo, and can normally work it out. Though in this case it’s still a bit opaque. It was a skull of some sort, a big cat I’m pretty sure.

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Surreal Abstract Pelvic Bone Collage and Rectangles – Black and White

Pelvic bone collage with rectangles. Surreal abstract art photo in black and white by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Cinerealism Bereft. And so continues the challenge of finding descriptors to indicate a lack of color, without resorting to “gray” or “black”. For this one I chose “bereft”, which for that purpose is probably a bit oblique.

But I welcome obliqueness in art, it can open up avenues of interesting interpretation. Besides, it matches my imagery, which is all oblique as hell anyway.

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Surreal Abstract Pelvic Bone Collage and Rectangles

Pelvic bone collage with red rectangles, on yellow and blue background. Surreal abstract art photo by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Cinerealism. Cinereal is a word I encountered when looking for a synonym of black and white. In that sense it means ashen. But it also means of or relating to cinerea, which is another word for gray matter.

So to continue the occasional theme of brain and perception related titles, I coined cinerealism. It represents existence and subjective experience being a product of the brain, that concept in turn being represented by the image.

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