Abstracting Hope

Today we are going to look at abstract paintings that dabble in social justice and resound with hope.

  Adoption is 4 x 3 feet acrylic painting on birch panel.

Adoption is a breakthrough painting, it was my first large scale abstract, and it was the first time I had painted on this sub-strait. This painting was my prayer while a family member was going through a painful adoption. It is a painting of perseverance and victory. Adoption explores the power of hope and the beauty of joy.

  Late Blossoms, 12 x 24 acrylic on canvas board, is a marvelous expression of happenstance. Of going with the flow and holding plans loosely! One thing leads to another and suddenly one thing is something completely different. This began as a beautiful realistic painting of lilies.

I thought it needed a touch of cadmium red. Then a touch more and before I knew it Jubilee was sitting on the floor crying, “Because you ruined it.”

Poor baby. What she saw as ruined had me doing the happy dance. I kept the title even though the original intention evaded capture! ( would insert one of those laughing smiley faces but I don’t know how.)

The texture in Late Blossoms revved up  my texture curiosity and Not By Sight was the next step.  Could I paint something that would be interesting for someone who could not see?

Yes! Mixed media and collage on canvas. Paint applied with a knife the way one applies butter to fresh bread- thick, thick, thick! Not by Sight hangs vertical or horizontal. There is a musicality in this painting that I just adore.

Overarching Considerations dabbles in questions of social justice illustrated by the variety and subtleties of the color black.



Winter Solstice continues the exploration of black as a color and as an ideal. Black paint, when watered down, reveals a plethora of surprising colors. Warm blacks against cool blacks. The purples in this painting is part of one of the black paints.

There is a richness in the black that is seldom explored. A richness worthy of exploration.

So as not to end on a heavy note…

NOPE! We are going to end on a heavy note.

Not a negative note, but a serious note. The Prophet, 25 x 35 acrylic on 140# paper deals with boundaries.

The prophet sees the boundaries, sees the blockades, sees the struggle and in spite of it all sees beyond to victory. The prophet sees the way through. The way to the other side.

There are innumerable boundaries and blockades in our society. The struggles are real and the struggles are endless. But we are not without hope. This painting reverberates with the promises of hope and the promise that we will get to the other side.

I take my position as artist seriously. Something in me drives me to create. So often I am creating out of personal experience. Other times I am creating as a response to what is happening in our world. There are times when I do not understand what I have to say until the painting is complete.

My hope is that you will find a work of art that gives voice to your heart.

Much freedom, Gwen Meharg

PS. If I can help you with any questions my number is 817 832 6952. I often know where my phone is and I make moderate efforts to keep the ringer on. Just in case, though, you can leave a message or email me at Gwen@Gwen Meharg.com

Thank you, Gwen

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