What is Abstract Art Anyway?
Abstract, as opposed to representational or realistic type art, is the most free-form variety of colors, textures, media, shapes, composition! It’s fun to view and even more fun to create! Like any other style of art, your preferences will influence which pieces you call “art” and which you wrinkle your nose at! I’ve wrinkled my nose and furrowed my brow at abstract art that doesn’t strike my fancy. You probably have, too. However, other pieces capture my imagination and draw me into the painting as I feast on the colors and try to guess what the artist was thinking or feeling when he or she created it.
There are oodles of examples of abstract art all around us. Look into the center of a flower. Notice the bands and sweeps of color in the sunset sky. Look into a microscope. Look into a telescope. Abstract art surrounds us whether as tiny as an amoeba or as majestic as the Northern Lights. Get up close and eliminate the bigger picture to find abstract art in a small space by using a one-inch square cut out of paper, a tiny window. Changing shapes of shadows are a great source of abstract inspiration, too.
The fun of painting abstractly is the spontaneity of reacting to the colors and happenings on your watercolor paper, or canvas, without the over-hanging dread of “what if this doesn’t come out looking like a…. (fill in the blank!)” It is totally relaxing because it is done without having to create something in an exacting way. It’s creating with the freedom of enjoying the colors, angles, shapes that appear on the paper or canvas. It can almost take on a life of its own.
Play with it. Have fun! Can you guess what either of these two photos is?
(Find answer, if you’re stumped.)