“People, even those who don’t like abstract art, know art when they see it..”
Have you ever looked at a cool abstract painting and said to yourself ;
“I can make a painting like this myself “!
or I can do better than this!
and yes, even a 3-year old toddler can make that! ”
Oh yes, I know it’s not only me, I heard you and I can totally relate. Just like you, I’ve said it to myself a million times. But to tell you frankly, as a self-taught artist, when I started my journey in creating an abstract, I was also squeezed between this dilemma.It is not just all about splashing your favorite colors into your canvas. Not all people love Abstracts and many have raised their eyebrows, trying to decode what does it mean. In fact, there is a scientific study about this matter and based on the statistics, people, even those who cannot appreciate an abstract piece, knows a good art when they see it.
Before I thought it was that easy. As we all know that Abstract artwork can be a complicated artwork, sometimes they might look carefree, boundless, but also confined. But each piece shows a statement of the artist’s personality. Others see it as an organised chaos.
But how you squeeze an idea out of it?
When I started making an abstract painting, I said to myself that it’s gonna be an easy-peasy job. I remember visiting the Museum of Concrete Art and I saw this big painting in bold, plain pink and green paint, and I really thought, what is this?
Abstracts can be just splash of colors, few strokes and that’s it. I was wrong!I was disillusioned to the fact that I have made many bad paintings, muddy ones and I call a crap. It didn’t stir any feelings in me. It took a lot of time for me to finally create something that “pleases” my senses and feel a satisfaction with it. I’m still an amateur, a beginner and I still have a lot to learn.
I personally observe as well that artistically inclined persons tends to enjoy more abstract than people who only “see “it at a glance. I have tried to ask opinion of my mother or my friends about my work and their opinions are all varied. Someone even said “Why is the color like that? or What figure is that? It’s totally different when I have conversations with my fellow-artistically-inclined friends. Not that their opinion is biased, but their comment is really more than the normal “I like it, or It looks so nice “.
Wassily Kandinsky, a widely credited as the first abstract artist, called it the ‘science of the soul‘ and his art explored the relationship between colours and form. I personally believed in this because I consider my artwork very personal, but it needs to follow the trajectory of technical skill. For me, I think it’s just impossible to create something “moving” without putting your heart into it, no matter how talented you are!
But how can you really tell a good abstract from a good one?
What makes an abstract a good one?
Take for example this piece I have made last week. I called this set the “Rhythym of Crimson“, a 40 x 40 Original acrylic on canvas which is inspired by the scarlet skies, mauve reddish plum autumn colors. I used a lot of layers and colors of red, burnt sienna, black, white, yellows and burgundy. I painted with various strokes of brushes, but I achieved the texture using a pallet knife. When I was making this, I don’t have any concrete figure in my mind, I just let the mixture of colors and composition says what I wanted to impose. The metamorphosis of autumn, the natural course of changing colors and them decomposition of matter.
What is your opinion of this artwork?
I remember the time I walked through the Gallery of the Dutch Masters inside the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands. For me, that was one of the highlights of my artistic endeavors. To be able to see the works of the famous works of Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Vincent Van Gogh, and Johannes Vermeer leaves me in awe. Their painting moves me. Their works are ethereal and considered as legacy. But talking about Impressionism, you learn to appreciate an artwork because the subjects are clearly noted in the painting, the story can be clearly seen and even so much more insights comes to those who took time to study a certain artwork.
But with abstract painting, you have the fundamental elements of design like size, shape, color, texture etc. that compose together to create a statement. Well I am not going to talk about the theoretical fundamentals, I simply wanted to share my own experience how do I view an abstract artwork and what difference does it made to me when I decided to plunge into “creating “one.
If you might want to know, I consider an abstract artwork a “good”one if it stirs me, if it has the “moving factor”that catches my attention. If it holds my stare and made me hold my gaze further, longer than expected, and that my feelings are affected. Sometimes it made my mind travel into deeper context and start creating a story out of it. It’s like a puzzle I need to put together.
Have you ever experience this feeling when you walk into a Gallery or into a museum and you see a painting that is so striking and instead of just passing through it, you’ve stayed?
A good art can be a matter of good concept or excellent skills in execution, but I think a great art touches the mind, heart or soul of the viewer. No matter if you’re an art enthusiast, a collector, a housewife, a carpenter or just a random stranger. Art is art when you see it. That moment when you just can’t take your eyes off from it. But as a budding artist, It takes one to know one.
“Everyone wants to understand art. Why not try to understand the song of a bird? …people who try to explain pictures are usually barking up the wrong tree.” ( Vincent Van Gogh)
Now the opinion of the viewer is totally different from the Artist itself. Many times, I asked my husband what does He thought of a certain piece and his opinion is totally different from my views. There are just some things that I can perceive that He can’t .This made me understand more and more how I see Abstract.
I respect the fact that my works can’t be accepted by others, or other people might not see it as an artwork either. Abstract for me is never subjective. It’s something that you see that strikes your soul to the very depths, that opens your eyes and your mind to the beauty of it.
How about you, how do you appreciate an abstract painting? Do you like it?
Let’s get connected! Please don’t forget to visit my Instagram page for more updates of my Journey with Acrylic Painting. Oh do you fancy Acrylic pouring ? All my artwork are available for purchase and I can do some commisioned artwork or customed-made pieces.For inquiries, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thank you so much for reading , looking forward to read your comments and wishing you all a lovely week !