Lessons From a Memphis Art Gallery: Abstract Art 101

June 08, 2015

Abstract art is a contemporary form of art that uses different shapes, a variety of colors and an assortment of textures. It doesn’t represent anything realistic, but rather is a form of expression through experimentation. All of Sue’s pieces fit into this genre and will easy integrate into and brighten up almost any home, especially those that host a contemporary vibe.

Sue Layman Memphis Art Gallery

As a local artist, Sue looks to always stand out from the crowd. Rather than just using the typical ROYGBIV (standard colors of the rainbow), Sue also mixes her own colors to get the special effect that is needed to make her art unique. She has found that blending the average palette into a variety of new colors makes these colors special to her artwork. For example, her piece ‘Pinnacle of Success’ features a variety of vibrant color patterns that make the piece pop. Pinnacle of Success’ boldness wouldn’t be as pertinent without Sue’s montage of color choices.



Sue Layman Art Gallery Memphis

Sue also doesn’t stick to just one shape. Each of her pieces contains an assortment ranging from circles to squares and crosses to spirals. Some of Sue’s art is very intricate in design, allowing her to use a variety of shapes across the canvas. However, she also has more simple designs, using only a few different shapes throughout the painting. ‘Dreaming’ is a piece that highlights simple shapes throughout. However, along with the color and texture of the piece, it creates an abstract, contemporary piece that is still rather diverse.



Sue Layman Art Gallery Memphis

Three-dimensionality is a common technique used in the majority of abstract pieces. Sue uses layers of paint not only to create richer color effects but also to form patterns, which produce textures that seem to literally pop off of the canvas. ‘Insight’ is an excellent example of this technique. Even digitally, you can see how the design feels as though it is coming towards you. The complexity of the patterns creates visualizations on different planes adding a more dynamic aspect to the work.




Abstract art allows artists to put their emotions on the canvas without the constriction of creating realistic elements. The colors, textures and shapes that Sue uses in her work portray feelings, temperatures and a storyline. Abstract art allows the artist and the audience to think objectively; not everyone will see the same story through the same painting. Scroll through Sue’s portfolio on her website or stop into her downtown Memphis art gallery and allow her art to speak to you. What’s your favorite painting of Sue’s? Let us know below!