Surreal Abstract Frog Skull

Black and white frog skull with lines. Surreal rectangular abstract art by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Black Chalice, the actual chalice part being a reptile skull of some kind (if memory serves, which it might well not).

[Edit – yep, memory didn’t serve. I subsequently looked it up and found it’s actually a frog skull.]

Typically my images are color first. If I decide to do a black and white version, I often prepend or append “black” to the title. First it’s indicative of the lack of color, but I like the poetic effect also. The word black can really change the connotations of a phrase. The color sibling is named Chalice.

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Surreal Abstract Skull Fragment

Geometric abstract skull fragment, surreal brown bone with lines on blue background. Art by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Diagesis, which is a lovely word meaning narrative. Part prosaic and descriptive, part meta, because art always involves a narrative. I like the tautological recognition of that without explicit explanation of what the narrative is.

This is a transitional work, halfway between my older skull images and the newer abstract direction.

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Surreal Abstract Jawbone and Lines

Geometric abstract jawbone with lines. Surreal artwork in orange and dark blue, by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Peach Vitium.

This is a variation of the original, which is in lighter blue with cherry red, named Cherry Vitium.

I’d generally rather not do endless variations on work, but sometimes when you’re testing ideas multiple iterations catch your eye and it’s worth a couple of versions. In this case, it was the different tones of blue. Comparatively, the darker shade in this one is almost more a silhouette, and I find the lower contrast look of it compelling.

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Surreal Abstract Shapes With Lines

Curves with geometric lines. Surreal abstract artwork in black and white by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Avidity.

The curved shapes beneath the lines are the same as in Propinquity, from a photo of a saxophone I took. Those shapes are the keys, which I isolated and distorted.

It’s a simple image, but composing all the elements was surprisingly time-consuming and involved a lot of experimenting. But that’s always the way—I rarely have a concrete idea of where I want an image to go, but I know what I don’t like. So the process is to tweak and test till it works. Probably not the most efficient workflow in the world, but it gets me there in the end.

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