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In the last week I have received a few notes and emails from people who seem concerned that I'm walking away from graphite realism.  Nothing is further from the truth; it will always be the main focus of my work.  But I have to say work like "Waking up the Ghost' and "Fence Line" is just as significant to me, they give me creative outlets that drawing alone could never provide. Abstraction in a sense is more "real" then the illusion of realism could ever be.  These works are about material, paint, composition, color, construction, and a strong feeling of discovery it's not an illusion-it is what it is.  For me, this kind of work is not so much a narrative as it is a starting point for the imagination of the viewer. These works are not meant as "easy" to grasp, such as realistic drawing of Johnny Depp where the viewer only needs the ability to recognize and only thing that get stimulated in  the viewers mind  is the "wow it looks just like a photo" remark. As an artist that's not enough, that's why I draw things that are heavily symbolic or intensely complex, I still enjoy rendering in hyper-detail but it has to be more than copying a photo and of much more interest to the viewer. It has to be a depiction of something that most people would never notice unless presented in a drawing and that still rocks my world.

Abstraction gives me a sanctuary where I can create with fortitude. There is an unbelievable freedom by not sticking to a script but letting the work itself bring in new ideas and ways of seeing that were never planned.  This is not a new way of working for me, I have always gone back to this freedom and it always strengthened my drawing and realism in ways that would never have happened in any other scenario.

So for my friends who asked me, are you quitting the drawings? Absolutely not, but I'll never be a one trick pony either. Art is a passion that's fulfilled by different "isms" and ill continue to explore…Thanks for asking.

Armin Mersmann

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:iconsgilliss:
sgilliss Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
"Why Realism?" see my thoughts via [link]
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:iconsenecal:
Senecal Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
"Abstraction in a sense is more "real" then the illusion of realism could ever be. "

Amen. It is all around us and it's only the choices we make consciously, or unconsciously through whatever systems of organization that kept our ancestors alive that necessitated the concept of "realistic".

What is more real than the quadrillion-fold scattering of light and tone on the surface of something our mind elects to disregard?

An artist should have a foot in both worlds, I believe. Huzzah to you for letting the artwork guide you. What is there really, that any of us can do as we pretend to control these strange beasts?
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:iconarminmersmann:
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
i think there are many ways of making art, any "ism" has great potential but squeezing out that greatness is very rare indeed. I can only give it 100% and its still a crap shoot at best. If the ART never really happens the journey is still full of snippets of magic that surprise me all the time, that's why i make art.
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:iconavalonne65:
Avalonne65 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Enfin un artiste français !! =D
Et franchement, côté réalisme ... c'est incroyable !!! Je pensais vraiment à des photos au début !! J'ai toujours révé pouvoir dessiner comme ça ... ^^
En tout cas bravo et j'espère que vous continurez encore longtemps ! : )
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:iconpocheros:
pocheros Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2011
Your abstract work is just as beautiful and stunning as your portraits. They're like portraits in their own way, in that you can look at them and search for their meaning the same way you look at a person's face and try to figure out what they're thinking.
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:iconnanna:
nanna Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011   Traditional Artist
It's actually because you chose to explore more besides hyperrealism, that made me decide to follow you. Nothing wrong with realism, I just enjoy when artists try out various forms of expression.
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:iconarminmersmann:
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
thank you, hyperrealism,is certainty a challenge but at the same time will never give me the mystery and wonder of experimentation
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:iconshatteredswords:
ShatteredSwords Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2011  Professional General Artist
Good for you. Personally, I can never stick to one style, there is too much out there to confine oneself to a singular method of creation. I have always found all your works beautiful and will continue to do so. :)
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:iconbroadstreetstudio:
broadstreetstudio Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2011
Well who cares what they say!
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:iconarminmersmann:
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
yeah i hear ya Jason, in some ways i certainly feel that way, but as a teacher i try have people look and appreciate all kinds of good art, every "ism" has its place and greatness. im a better realist because my love and interest in abstraction. Its like you, you're a great realest because you have something to offer that's only seen in a Jason John painting. Your work is tied to a knowledge of art history and many "isms". the folks who do a drawing of a published celb photo, and say abstraction is garbage these are the ones who need the education that we can give.....that's if they want to listen if the dont, i agree fuck'em
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:iconbroadstreetstudio:
broadstreetstudio Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2012
thanks. Yeah I feel that I have shed a lot of ignorance over the years, but I am really grateful for that. I hope I can help my students do the same.
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:iconsapharodon:
Sapharodon Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Student General Artist
I know what that feels like - drawing a face or something easily recognized (though not nearly as well as you can... agh, I should practice more) and having people compliment the technique, but not the actual content of the picture or any other meaning to it. Technique is never a bad thing to perfect, no, but sometimes it's fun to just delve into completely creative, out of the box pictures that take a moment or two to understand instead of being completely recognizable up front.

Eh. You said it better anyways. :P
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:iconjanellemckain:
janellemckain Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I couldn't agree with you more... well said!
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:icons3v4str4:
S3V4STR4 Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome! Very well said!
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:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Hmm...

I never felt concern that you would stop doing realistic work, Armin.

Does that mean I'm disinterested, passivistic, or perhaps simply that I trust your artistic vision? I mean, honestly, I think you are going to do exactly what you want to as an artist, no matter what your various fans and followers say, and I have complete faith in you to do exactly that. Further, I think you are going to finish exactly as many pieces as your life span will allow.

I am normally disinclined to assume much of anything, but in this case I feel certain my assumptions are probably pretty safe.

Lord have mercy.
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:iconarminmersmann:
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Rob you being a seasoned artist, articulate and incredibly knowledgeable I would expect nothing else from you. But some here don’t have the depth to understand that artist have to follow their passions, experiment and follow other journeys no matter what happens to ones standing in the popular realm. That’s why I could understand Metallica’s reasons to make St. Anger, without changing you are not growing as artists but there are plenty of “fans” that think they just need to redo Master of Puppets every time, unfortunately that’s not what drive creative people.
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:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Anyone who mentions Metallica in almost any context is ok in my book, Armin.

Unlike some rabid metal heads, I happen to appreciate, at the very least, the range and creativity expressed by >most< of the band's various experiments. I don't like to be stereotyped, and so don't tend to quickly stereotype others.

Although Master Of Pupets WAS an insanely awesome album. And I have to admit, it all sort of went downhill for me as a Metallica fan after Ride The Lightning. After that, I was still a fan, but my attention was limited to individual songs, rather than albums.
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:iconarminmersmann:
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Death Magnetic is quite amazing, but I agree after “Justice” it became songs instead of albums that interested me as well, rock on my friend
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:iconaprilart:
Aprilart Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I completely understand what you are saying, Armin. But then, you know that already. :)
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:iconyuzu1009:
yuzu1009 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I taking it as your abstract period. A wondrous exploration, there you have it as did all great artists.
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:iconyuzu1009:
yuzu1009 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Whoops, 'I'm' taking it, that is.
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:iconshelfcloud:
Shelfcloud Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Just do where you feel up to it at most. Apparently that was abstracts lately and painting. Never doubted your devotion to realism. I can understand the concern. There are people who are just accustomed to a certain part of your art. I also think this is because of the periods of "rush" you're working in. Recognize that myself, though I did post nothing much more than photorealism & fantasy realism. I tend to WANT the abstract too from time to time. But I also sustain at one piece at the time if that makes sense, because I'm afraid to loose the will for the piece permanently. Since that isn't a good reason, i just lay it aside for a while and just blur out my mind, to get it out, and then get back to it.
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:iconeclipse561:
eclipse561 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
You know, I've been worried that when I get to the stage where I'm selling paintings professionally, I wouldn't be able to go back and forth between genres without being questioned. But I guess that's typical, and I'm glad to hear that it's something that can be done amongst professionals.
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:iconolaf68:
Olaf68 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011   Traditional Artist
Yeah, I can see why you want to to different things. Doing the same thing over and over again it's tiring on a person despite if it is some thing you care for a lot.
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:iconprialanis:
prialanis Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011  Professional
It's always good explore different styles, techniques, materials, is that keeps a living artist, knowledge is never enough.

You're a great artist Armin! :clap:
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:iconyounghappy:
younghappy Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I think it's really refreshing to see an artist who explores both ends of the spectrum: the immediacy of realism and the ambiguity of abtract. All the more power to you :D
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:iconkeight:
keight Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011
Well stated as usual Armin.
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:iconjdwasabi:
JDWasabi Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm actually more interested in how you could apply your talents in other areas and seeing how'd they develop when you return to your initial mediums so keep up the good work!! XD
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:iconsamarai:
Samarai Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011
You are, of course, right in your assessment and I totally agree that you should explore all the avenues available to you. Fulfill yourself to your heart's content, dude.

Just, you know, don't forget to finish the drawing of the trees in the snow drift and et cetera. ;)
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:iconarminmersmann:
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
oh sure ive worked on it all along but in the end im looking at 1500 hours that's huge on one project, that part of the reason i do these other ones. thx /\\\
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:iconsamarai:
Samarai Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011
I hear ya. But I'm pretty crazy-go-nuts for your tree drawings anyway and the sheer size of this one makes it just that much more amazing.
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