A Flight of Fancy

According to the Merriam Webster Idioms Dictionary, the term “flight of fancy” has been used since the 1600s. It means, of course, an unrealistic idea or fantastic notion, a pipe dream, or very impractical idea. The flight is one of the imagination.

I’ve always enjoyed soaring off on flights of fancy. Art, I’ve discovered, is a wonderful starting point, and after wrestling with the devil in a detailed acrylic painting, I was ready for something a little more free-spirited.

This abstract acrylic, however, involved a certain amount of planning. I knew what I wanted to do, and I had vague ideas about how I would do it. Whether or not I succeeded remains to be seen.

Feathers Flowers Flames and Flight
Flame, Flowers, Feathers, and Flight Acrylic Abstract by JLKraus 9 x 12 Canvas

Parts of it I like. Other parts I think could have been done differently. Overall, I’m not sure how I really feel about this painting. It was a pleasure to paint because I could let my imagination soar even while I sought to express specific ideas and concepts. In the end, though, I’m disappointed with the results.

I hope you’ll take a moment to look at this abstract work and share your thoughts. In that way I can know if any of my ideas and emotionsΒ came through as part of the painting.




  1. I see a bedroom. A table with a flower arrangement peeking out next to a bed facing an armoir and a dressing stool. Am I close? I love these abstract games! The bed I am seeing might be a the back of a chair. I’m gonna look again in a little bit and see what else I see.

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    1. I think a bed would work since a flight of fancy involves imagination and dreams, although I didn’t intentionally paint a bed in the scene. Or maybe it is a chair, although I didn’t intentionally include that either. Part of my thinking is that “things” can shift and become other things since art is illusion. I did deliberately paint a few flowers but hopefully they can also “shape-shift” and become something else, like feathers or flames. πŸ™‚ Abstract games are fun.

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      1. I’m not sure where you’re seeing the table, but yes, the flames and feathers are supposed to be much the same, sort of the idea that our mind can create different things, a bit like an abstract optical illusion.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The box with the flower arrangement on the lower right…I’m so bad with right and left but if looking at computer, it is my right hand I am touching it with.

        I get what you were doing. Okay.

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      3. You would think they would be easy wouldn’t you? Who knew petals could get so complicated. I’m gonna post my first flowers for you right now. Irises. Absolutely no detail. I think this is from like 2000. I can’t remember if I started painting in 2000 or 2001. I should have written the date on it.

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      4. Recently I wanted to do flowers, so I chose what I thought would be an easy one. Pinks. A little research showed so many varieties, so many different colors, so many details to think about, I said “Forget this!” I’ll just stay with my simple little flowers for now…the ones that don’t really look like anything but are easy to draw. πŸ™‚

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      5. Yup. It’s solved. It is tropical painting of the inside of a straw hut facing the ocean with an all weather bed chair facing the armoir and lanai opening (which as I said shows the ocean) and end table with a vase of flowers, but you can’t see the vase cuz the flowers are popping into the picture. Looks like a nice vacation.

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      6. I can see that picture, too, so even though that’s not exactly how it began, that’s definitely what it’s evolving into in my mind now. Very interesting to be an artist who doesn’t know what she’s really painted until it’s pointed out to her by someone else. πŸ™‚ Soaring off on a flight of fancy is always a nice “vacation” from reality, so it all fits the them. πŸ™‚

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      7. I think flight can come from the same arrangement too. I see a shadow from the lower flower that makes it look like something is flying. Now for fire….could be in the flowers, but could also be under the bed or chair….


      8. πŸ™‚ Yeah, that’s the idea…is it this or is it that, and well, yeah, it could be any or all of the above. That’s how I wanted it to be, a real guessing game. Is it a bird? No, it’s a flower. No, wait, maybe it’s…

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    1. Thanks. Glad you can see the birds, and I hope a little imagination comes through. I’m not really happy with it. I did want to see what other people might see in all the colors.

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    1. Thanks. I really wanted to create the “illusion of things”… and show that things are illusions. We can never really be sure what we’re seeing because so much of what we see comes from our personal perspective. I guess what I’m saying is that even “things” can be interpreted in many different ways.

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  2. I am not one to pick out what something “looks like” but what it makes me feel or think about…..so, I think if anything, I like that bottom shape on the left, a flowing but perhaps a searching with complacency in the mix. That green “stick” in the middle….almost middle is like a crossroads of a sort…..lol I love to try to get to the depth of a painting, that’s just me, at least with abstracts I do this. Your choices of color is very serene and balanced, very nice.

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    1. Thanks, Margaret. I’m really not happy with the painting, even though it was fun to just start with an idea and try to paint it into expression. It was all about letting my imagination wander wherever it wanted and seeing different “things” turning into other “things” — a bit like what happens in dreams. I appreciate the comments on my “Flight of Fancy”.

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      1. I am beginning to be convinced that being satisfied with our paintings is not the goal. It is hard not to be pulled into that way of thinking. I want to start viewing my paintings as something outside of the realm of satisfied or unsatisfied. An expression is an expression, not necessarily something that we can truly and purely analyze anyway. πŸ™‚ just some thoughts that I have been trying to access in my own journey. I like the fact that you let your imagination wander, it is you, your dreams…..let it flow and see what you come up with. I really saw that in your painting and I truly feel that it is so freeing for you. Go with it and embrace it πŸ™‚

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      2. You’re so right, Margaret. A painting is an expression of…something, and that “something” can’t be judged as “right” or “wrong” or “good” or “bad” or any other label. It sounds trite and trendy to say thing, but “it is what it is”, and maybe that’s the real goal in the art we create. πŸ™‚

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  3. so beautifully Freeeeeee – I feel like I see a woman with outstretched arms and flowing hair relaxing in the warm breeze enjoying her freedom to be herself – maybe a subliminal message about how you feel or want to feel or make people feel πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks for the comments, Jodi. That’s a lot of what I was feeling…a very uninhibited approach to life just as I was taking an uninhibited approach to the painting. It’s sort of a place where nothing is quite what it seems because it could be many things at once.

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  4. What my eyes see: I see a tropical paradise, which represents freedom. I look at the brushstrokes and I see joy and happiness and frustration at the same time.

    How my twisted, whimsical brain interprets the painting: a tropical paradise with grass, hammocks, Christmas trees, giant white chocolate Kisses, and bacon swimming in mustard. I also see a flamingo listening to the ground and an octopus saying, “I hear it, too!”.

    Conclusion: You’re fast becoming a really talented artist who is not afraid to try new things. It won’t be easy, but your love for the craft will always shine through. Also, my brain is clunky.

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    1. Why, yes…bacon swimming in mustard. That’s exactly what I was attempting to convey in this thrilling abstraction. LOL. Not really, but I’m glad your twisted brain found something to play with. Thanks so much for your encouragement. Over this next year I want to try a lot of new things and take a big, bold approach, so I’m sure there will be a lot of disasters along the way. But maybe there will be a few “hits” among the “misses”. When I look this crazy abstraction now, I wonder if Paul Gauguin was whispering in my ear, subconsciously influencing me to paint a tropical scene.

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      1. I knew Gauguin had a hand in it somehow! I knew it!

        But seriously, it always brings a smile to my face whenever I see a fellow artist really enjoying their craft. The world needs some happiness right now and we, as artists, can help in our own little way. Get better at your craft and spread the love!

        By the way, I LOOOVE bacon so much I see it in everything. Mmm… bacon. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you! It’s so interesting that most people are seeing a tropical setting. I see it now, too. My brain was apparently trying to channel Paul Gauguin in a very abstract way LOL

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