Abstract Painting – Journey Begins 2

©2012 - Cathy Read - The Journey begins- Mixed media - 40x50cm

What is an abstract Painting?

What do you think of when you hear the word abstract?

Does you conjour up images of Jackson Pollock,s drippy or Mark Rothko squares? Or do you imagine something closer to reality? Pablo Picaso’s cubism paintings perhaps?

There’s no one size fits all with abstracts.

©2012 - Cathy Read - The Journey begins- Mixed media - 40x50cm
©2012 – Cathy Read – The Journey begins- Mixed media – 40x50cm

You can have pictures that are just a little abstract.

Based on reality, they look like something but they are still abstracts. There has been an attempt to use an existing object, scene or person to begin a process which has resulted in the painting. To splodges of paint, lines or blocks of colour. This is where I’ve settled, architectural abstracts. It suits me.

One thing I’ve always found though.

The best abstract paintings abide by a set of rules.

It may be limiting the colour palette. Or dripping the paint or only using angular shapes. Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures applied the “Less is More” rule. There are many rules you can use. If you want abstracts to work, it’s not a case of just splashing colour on a canvas, throwing things together or carving as you fancy. So take your pick and make your choice.

Spending time deciding what is key to an painting and what can be left out makes a painting work.

Keeping to those rules consistently is how style develops.

So, next time you look at an abstract painting, why not ask yourself:

What rules is the artist using here?

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©2015 - Cathy Read - Bus Queue - Watercolour and Acrylic - 55x75 cm HR

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2 Replies to “Abstract Painting – Journey Begins 2”

    1. Wow, I’ll bet that was a fascinating experience. It’s often the case when you see a finished piece that you don’t realise the complexity of the process. Especially if the piece looks easy to the untrained eye. Thanks for commenting.

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