How I got started with 'Abstract Art'
In Latin the word abstract means "pulled away or detached," and the basic idea is of something detached from physical, concrete, or reality.
Abstraction in arts indicates a departure from reality in depiction of imagery. This departure from accurate representation can be slight, partial, or complete.
“As Europe struggled to recover from World War II, America moved into a position of political, economic and cultural strength. From 1943 until the mic-1950s, Abstract Expressionism emerged as the first specifically American art movement to have an international impact. In consequence, the art world’s focus shifted from Europe to New York. Originally called the ‘New York School’, the Abstract Expressionists first half exhibitions during the mid-1940’s. They were a small group of loosed associated artists who had similar outlooks but different approaches. They believed in spontaneity, freedom of expression and abandonment of themes American life that had characterised national art of recent decades. The impact of World War II helped to instigate the movement.” - Excerpted from The Short Story of Art by Susie Hodge
As a kid walking past abstract painting in hotels, hospitals and restaurants I always could never make sense of those paintings with weird shapes or colors put together almost as if a kid my age painted it without any clear conscious of what it is supposed to look like. A painting needs to make sense in order for it to be called a painting right?
Well fast forward to few years back when I started ‘Art’ not just as a hobby but professionally, I dabbled around trying out different mediums and styles (Portraits being my niche and still is).. Browsing different artists work and then also falling in immense love with so many of these works..Some art styles I could easily tell apart as impressionistic, expressionistic or realistic, but then I came across more abstract paintings which totally blew me away.
When I stumbled upon some pieces by ‘Joan Mitchell’ and ‘Helen Frankenthaler,’ they pulled me with this mysterious force of how simple shapes and colors can communicate..
La vie en rose by Joan Mitchell
Madame Butterfly by Helen Frankelthaler
Not to mention the enticing size and scale of these efforts.
(Though it’s worth noting here that I haven’t yet seen these painting in person, which someday I definitely will, but even through the digital window I felt the pull)
The colors, the composition, the way it all was layered, and some oozing with thoughts or ideas you could study and guess the longer you looked at that particular painting..That’s when ‘it’ started growing on me and I thought well let’s give it a try aswell. It was a no-pressure sort of thing, infact quite relaxing, painting out versions of loose florals which I call my very first foray into abstract art. The more I painted with spontaneity the more my paintings became looser and abstract…
There are various tips for making interesting paintings happen for other art styes. Specifications on complementary colors, composition, color values etc. But with abstract painting it’s almost like going into a trance state of digging what you really prefer or are implicitly inclined towards or even memories or visuals you might have unconsciously stored in a dark nook of your brain.Revealing themselves through the brush which acts like an enchanter…Layers on layers, adding and subtracting, some layers getting lost and hidden on the way and some standing out with the help of a few marks… And after countless nights of just that I arrived at the not-so-certain doors of abstraction! The flow and energy that goes into creating an abstract piece operates on a different level and makes my soul sing and dance! Our brains are a place we live in but I guess there is something transcendental with creating abstract art which cannot be explained verbally and only be felt..
Once I got the hang of how things worked, I started painting on larger canvases- After all, I could play around integrating even more of my energies and moods on a larger surface. (Some relevant trivia Did you know that abstract painting was also alternatively known as ‘action painting’ as a result of kinetic force that can be seen in many popular works… )
So this is how it all started for me. I could go on and elaborate more about this special journey of abstract art but let’s save it for later as I could maybe cover other subjects such as favorite art supplies or favorite classes to get you started with the fascinating field of abstract art…
Now what’s stopping you? Go grab your sketchbook/canvas and have some much deserved fun with this artform..
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