Abstract Watercolors ~~ Wanda Maria Ast

Watercolors on Canvas, Paper, and Cloth


These abstract watercolors were all completed by Wanda Maria Ast during her fifties and sixties. She experimented with different formulations of watercolors and painting mediums as well as a variety of painting surfaces - canvas - paper - cloth - after first beginning her art studies by working in chalk and drawing various biblical scenes, for example David and Goliath.

Watercolors in Greens, Yellows, and Blues

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Her experimentation with different surface materials was part of her lifelong fascination with, and attempt to achieve, a variety of textural effects. In this, she was not unlike any number of impressionist painters for whom texture was as important as color palette or composition. Wanda often commented on various Impressionist artists who had pointed her in a certain direction.


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Mrs. Ast emigrated with her husband, Edmund Kasimir Ast, and four children, Jacek, Marek, Justin, Krystyna, as soon as they could book passage from West Germany after World War II. The family of course were refugees from Poland, who fled the Soviet occupation of Poland, preferring to take their chances in the American zone of occupation. They arrived in America in 1951 and within a few years Wanda Maria began taking art lessons at the local community college in Marietta, Georgia. (Jacek Zhiemowit Stanislaw Ast Was my father.)

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This was the beginning of a lifetime of creativity - chalk drawings - watercolors - oils - acrylics - and finally in her seventies and beyond she created Batiks. Wanda Maria Kowalska Ast never stopped experimenting and innovating.

For additional Hubs on her batiks and oil paintings, please consult the hubs of phdast7.

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Your Comments are Greatly Appreciated 66 comments

zzron profile image

zzron 4 years ago from Houston, TX.

These were absolutely marvelous! I have always loved abstract art. I think it's the most fun and easiest of all art projects to do especially for beginner painters. Abstract art is a good form of art to teach small children which is basically what they learn at an early age. I enjoy watercolors, acrylic and oil painting.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

So glad you liked them! I think she was quite good, but then I am her granddaughter, and perhaps a little biased. :) I have always loved abstracts too, though my personal talent runs to words and research not to painting. Hope you have a great New Year!


restoremyheart profile image

restoremyheart 4 years ago

This is a fun way to do art:) Appreciate the pictures!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thanks. Glad you enjoyed them. Have a great New Year!.


adimax profile image

adimax 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Beautiful work. Some of these I do not remember seeing or it's been so long I've forgotten them. The third up from the bottom is the most interesting to me, but they are all gorgeous.

Thanks for putting them up. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thanks for your comment. The third one from the bottom is my favorite too. I should have explained. After the watercolor was finished and completely dry, the artist took a special paint pen - silvery ink - and added a series lines to her abstract. That and the intense color really make it pop. Glad you think they are beautiful and gorgeous.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

what a nice little share.. the paintings are simply amazing :)


penofone profile image

penofone 4 years ago

Sensual colors aren't your forte It seems to argue with the simplicity of your composition. Any more use of the brush and life of composition could deteriorate in my extended experience of all. Nobody knows where the ending of this type of extestencialcomprimise exits. Looking back towards the light of your study it could be that things are going to end up with lots of paint on the palette. Knowing the cause of this could help, also check what color is on the bottle before using the bottle. We can tell from the artistic static it creates and lets us know you are the artist who painted it. Warring factions let us use these japanese-chinese wavefront technology,(ha,Ha). Good grief, its pretty good if you can discuss everything with a partner, thanks, Anish ("Bruce")


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Bruce- Thanks for your comments, although I don't really understand them. These are not my watercolors; I have no ability to draw or paint whatsoever. These are the work of my Polish grandmother, Wanda Ast (see text above and other phsast7 Hubs for more about her and her artwork).

She completed these in her fifties and sixties, which would have been in the 1970's and 1980's. She died in 2002, but were she still with us, I imagine she would enjoy discussing watercolor and painting techniques with you. I would be interested to know what you think of the rest of her work. Thanks. Happy New Year.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Frank. I like them, too. Eventually I hope to post more of her work on HubPages.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Thanks for sharing. I really like her watercolors. A sort of peace seems to come from them.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Gypsy. For visiting and for the comment. Hope you have a great new year. :)


penofone profile image

penofone 4 years ago

I saw the other paintings and thought they were borderline gallery quality, I believe they would fetch a fair price ad words seem to work best. If we take the way out to the high road you can see what will endeavor for these paintings in the future or out of a way for it. Would like to see your family members develop the same interest for painting as Wanda it isn't the worst hobby either.

take care,

Anish M.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thanks. When she was alive she used to do [lace her paintings in art galleries and art shows and she sold quite a bit. Funny that you should mention the family. One of Wanda's sons became quite a successful commercial artist. The other two sons and many of her grandchildren are very good at drawing, but never really pursued painting.

Her only daughter was a fabulous pianist and most of her grandchildren (including my three sons - her great grandchildren)sing beautifully and play one or more musical instruments very well. There is clearly a family gift for the arts that re-emerges in slightly different form each generation.

And you are right, it can be an enjoyable and meaningful hobby for anyone. I think I sublimated whatever artistic ability I had into quilting and designing pillows and things like that. And of course, writing is artistic expression for me. Thanks for the comments and have a great year. :)


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Theresa,

The eighth picture is my favourite.

Voted up and beautiful.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Sue- So your favorite is the incredibly sunny yellow one. I like it too. Thanks for the up and beautiful. Theresa


capricornrising profile image

capricornrising 4 years ago from Wilmington, NC

So beautiful. I mentioned before that I love great original art, particularly when it's family that produces it! Your grandma = amazing.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thanks so much. She was amazing and she was a real character, pretty intense and eccentric. For more of the flavor of her personality (and her oil paintings) you might want to look at "A Polish-American Artist." Thanks again. :)


Nancy Owens profile image

Nancy Owens 4 years ago from USA

I don't know much about art, phdast7, but I do know that I enjoyed looking at the paintings. A nice break from my back to school routine.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Nancy- So glad you enjoyed them. :) The back to school routine is upon us isn't it. I completed one history course syllabus today, plan to do another tomorrow,one on Friday. Classes start again Monday. Any time you need a break, feel free to dip into one of the other Hubs about her art-work. :) Happy New Year!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Oh, I loved these! Thank you so much for bringing them to my attention--they are so beautiful and flow on the page--


stessily 4 years ago

phdast7, Wanda Ast's artworks flow like musical compositions. Her use of green and orange are especially striking.

Your selections are perfect for introducing Wanda to new viewers as well as for reminding fans of Wanda's talents.

Well done!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you stessily- What terrific and interesting observations. You have a very good artistic eye - you must be an artist yourself. I appreciate the encouragement. :)


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

What a beautiful set of watercolors! Wanda Ast has a great collection of art, and I am so glad you shared it here. Thanks! It would be great to see more of her work also if there is more.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you. I think I have done three (maybe four) Hubs on her artwork: oil paintings, batiks, watercolors, and I hope to do more in the near future.

If you type in phdast7 you should get my home page and I only have 20 Hubs so finding the "artistic" ones won't be hard. :) Thank you for the kind and encouraging comments. :)


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

Thank you for sharing these with us. This is a great collection.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you so much Millionaire. I hope to post some more of her work before too long.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I feel like I've had a conversation with your grandmother looking at her work. Great idea for a hub!


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

Hello Theresa,

Another fine hub. The water colours above are lovely and remind me of the tie died effects we used to achieve in the 60's and 70's on t-shirts. It always interesting to consider, that maybe she had an influence or was influenced by the era?

Timeline is about right?

Voted up


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you. That's a great compliment. :) In a few minutes I am publishing a Hub about my grandfather, Edmund was a very fine sculptor, although he worked at Lockheed to pay the bills.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello Michael- Thank you much. I think she did do these in the 60's and 70's...and she was rather a free spirit and bohemian, so that was part of it too. She was a kind of "older hippie." :)

In just a little while I am putting up a Hub about my grandfather (Wanda's husband) Edmund's sculpture. The photographs are all in black and white so I don't know if it will have the impact of the Hubs about Wanda. I hope so. :)

Theresa


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Love these wonderful paintings. They are an inspiration. Thanks for bringing them to our attention.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

So glad you like them. She also did some marvelous Batiks, wax resist and dye. She was also quite a good poet and I am working (slowly, slowly) on editing a volume of her poetry for eventual publication. It will include a number of prints ofher Olis, watercolors and batiks.

I created a couple of Hubs with her work to get a sense of what other people would think about her art. Its hard to be sure that I am being objective since she was my grandmother. So far the response to her work has been positive. :) Thanks for stopping to comment. :)


Xenonlit profile image

Xenonlit 4 years ago

Her work has such a delicate, batik quality. I envy abstract artists who can do such fresh, yet detailed work.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

It does, doesn't it. And she had a wonderful color sense. She passed some of her ability with words and language on to me, but not any of her talent at drawing or painting. But it has been such a pleasure to enjoy and share her work. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting.


iguidenetwork profile image

iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

Fantastic artwork...really very beautiful!!!


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

Wow, very beautiful. The colours are an unusual blend in many, but work so well!

Thanks for SHARING.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you very much iguide - My grandmother was quite an artisit. I have several Hubs with her work, batiks, oil painting, etc. And my

grandfather was a sculptor. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hey Brett - Thanks for the comments. She did have an amazing color sense. She was equally good with oils and batiks - when you have time check out the other hubs. Thanks for coming by.


Drena Carter 4 years ago

I have one of her paintings and I met her years ago.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

That is simply amazing! The world is an incredibly small place. Thank you for commenting and letting me know. :)\

I would love to know which painting/batik and when and where you met her. If you are willing to correspond, you can send me an email though my home page. Again, thank you. :)


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

As I was looking at these again, I thought it would be great to put them in chronological order to see her progression --you may have already done that and I just missed that---beautiful work--her and you!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Audrey. How nice of you to visit again. I have some originals of her work and a lot of photographs which I scanned into my computer. She is no longer with us and often didn't date things, so... what I do know is that she focused on oil and acrylic paintings in the seventies and the first half of the eighties, then transitioned into batik print making.

By the mid nineties (she was then in her mid eighties) she transitioned to watercolors because it was not nearly as physically demanding as batiks. So if you look at the Hubs in that order (oils, batiks, watercolors)you get a rough chronological sense i of her artistic development, and the limitations of her age. Thanks again for commenting.


shea duane profile image

shea duane 4 years ago from new jersey

Incredible! I love watercolor and these are so wonderfully beautiful. Thanks for creating this hub.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Shea for your kind words. I think they are quite beautiful myself and feel myself fortunate to have some of them on my walls.

BTW I noticed you commented on one of Mark Monroe's Hubs. I think he is a very gifted thinker and writer and I am so glad a few people are discovering his work. Take care.


Lisas-thoughts101 profile image

Lisas-thoughts101 4 years ago from Northeast Texas

phdast7,

I love these paintings. My aunt is an abstract artist and so I grew up appreciating this art form. The third from the top is especially lovely to me but there are several I would love to have hanging in my home. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

Lisa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Lisa - Isn't it wonderful to have an artist in the family? :) I am so fortunate because I do have two of these in my home and one hanging in my office. I also have quite a number of her oil paintings. I feel very rich and blessed. Thanks so much for commenting. :)


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

From the liveliest to the most subdued of these they are delightful. I despise abstract art that looks like a fight or a war is going on. These all tell a story, or any of many potential stories, perhaps.

I like the last because i am left wondering about the story--is it an arial view of a geographical location or a woman. The next to last is a favorite because I like anything that reminds me of the place where water and sand meet. The bridge is so full of stories--what sort of fish, where are the people going, is the town industrial or historical, what are all the stories the bridge can tell?

Then the ones that look like batik fabric are just wonderful, too! They made me wonder if you might turn your aunt's art designs into quilted pillows or throws. Thanks for sharing her work with us!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you RT. Bopcia often seemed able to tell a story, or suggest the outlines of one, in her abstracts. There is a very large oil painting in my living room - greens, browns, golds - and I think every one in my family, my siblings and my children, has a different sense and story about what it really represents.

I have turned a few of her batiks on cloth into several striking wall hangings. There is more I hope to do, but I keep pushing things back to m when I retire. Not sure that is a good idea, but it seems like there is always so much to do. :) Hope you are having a lovely week. :) Theresa


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 4 years ago

Wonderful! Isn't amazing what watercolor can do. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and more!


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 4 years ago from Georgia

Hello Theresa, These are beautiful! How lucky you are to have your grandmother's pieces. They are tremendous and I can see how the batik pieces would be especially lovely as wall hangings. I'll have to read more of your hubs about her work, especially since your grandparents made Marietta their home. Voted beautiful.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you for visiting ignugent. :) She did do some amazing and unusual work, especially for a woman in her sixties in the 1970"s. I appreciate yur votes and even more your comment. Take Care. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello Cyndi from Georgia. :) How nice to meet another fellow Georgian. I am very fortunate to have so many pieces of her art - oils, watercolors, batiks, etc. Thank you for your comments and your votes. :)


Born2care2001 profile image

Born2care2001 4 years ago from Asheville NC

Hi Professor!

This is a side of you and your family I'm just learning about! These watercolors are magnificent. I'm not normally an abstract fan (really, not much into art) but, sharing these earthy color paintings is inspirational.

I was going to inquire about your relationship with Wanda but I read some of the posts here and saw she is your grandmother. It just doesn't seem fair that one family has so much talent is so many different areas. I think what strikes me the most about seeing these paintings and knowing just a fraction about you is how you and your family used their talent. If you could teach that, we'd have a much better world!

Voted up across the board, except for funny and I almost did that because I think it's funny how such beautiful work is often hidden to the world!

Thank you for being you!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Good Afternoon Bruce. MY Polish grandparents were incredibly creative and artisitc, - painters, poets, sculptors. My father's generation - a concert pianist, a singer, a commercial artist, and a woodworker. My generation, four singers, two painists, two guitarists. one drummer, one basist (and there were only four of us -- I could sing - choral music in college, but everyone else could play an instrument or two or three. The fourth generation has some musicians, some singers.

Its like the physical, tangible art gifts in the first generation, morphed into musical gifts in subsequent generations. However, I have recently started writing poetry after a 35 year hiatus, so I imagine that gift is from God and my grandmother. :) Wanda was an incredible artist in several mediums, chalk, oils, acrylics, batiks/dyes and my grandfather was incredibly talented as well.

Thank you for your incredibly kind, thoughful and generous comments and compliments. I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Blessings! Theresa


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

I adore these wonderfully original watercolors, Theresa! In some of them, the intricate details just seem to involve me in their creation; in others, the sweep of the space carries me into never-never-land! What a gifted artist was your grandmother!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Good morning Nellieanna. She was very gifted and an eccentric and interesting person as well. Things were never dull when Bobcia was around. :) So glad you enjoy her watercolors as I do. BTW, is that a new photograph of you? Nice. :) Theresa


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Just revisited this hub. I love these paintings just for themselves. Did she have an exhibition?


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Gypsy Willow - Thanks for visiting again. Yes, she passed on on 2007, but in the 70's, 80's she had numerous shows and exhibitions. In the beginning at local arts and crafts shows, later on she was sponsored by several banks, chambers of commerce and colleges inthe metropolitan Atlanta area. Some of the pictures I use in the hubs are from shows she had - the originals sold and so what I have are the photographs. Fortunately my family still has some of her original work. My pieces are displayed in my office at Reinhardt University and in my home. Thanks again for visiting. :)


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Thanks for the update. Glad to know she had exhibitions. Such unique work! Do you paint?


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Gypsy - Sadly I don't paint and I take lousy photographs. :) I teach and write about European history on the university level. But I love art and have a good eye for color and design which I think I surely got from my grandparents....so HP allows me to combine my writing with whatever artistic ability I have in locating and adding pictures, maps, and photographs to my Hubs. Back to grading papers, now. :)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

My pic is fairly new. I'd snapped it casually sometime last year and just ran across it again. Thank you.

I just truly enjoy coming back and looking at your Bobcia's paintings!


Better Yourself profile image

Better Yourself 3 years ago from North Carolina

Beautiful artwork and hub!! Watercolor isn't something I've been able to master myself so I enjoy seeing others work!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello Better - I haven't mastered it either, but then I am singularly un-artistic when it comes to my hands - drawing, painting. But I had very artistic paternal grandparents and I enjoy writing about and sharing their work. If you should have time or the inclination I think their are three hubs on my grandmother's work and two on my grandfather who was a sculptor. Hope you are having a great day. :)


vandynegl profile image

vandynegl 2 years ago from Ohio Valley

I love to paint! However, I have never experimented with water colors before. They definitely create a different picture! Very beautiful! I've used acrylics and oils before, but I am tempted to do something different!

Thank you for sharing this article with great pictures!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi vandy - I can't paint at all; how fortunate that you can and you love it. I did have very creative grandparents so I love art and I celebrate it (and I write poetry) and really enjoy sharing it with others. Exploring one's own (and others) creativity is such a wonderful thing. Hopefully, you will soon be dabbling in watercolors and falling in love with them. Blessings! Theresa

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