View Full Version : Abstract Art confusion

11-13-2001, 04:08 PM
Hello every one, I'm new to wetcanvas,

I would like to know the aim and how abstract art is made as I'm totally confused by it. I think it is strange but that is because I do not understand it.

Also, I have to do an abstract painting for the course I'm currently on, and I have gotten a clue how to get started, and the notes I was given are as clear as mud,

Thank you for your time

L2isa2 (totally confused)

11-13-2001, 04:34 PM
Hi! I'd recommend two "research" methods. First, grab a book about abstract art specifically. Thames & Hudson do one in their art series (the little black books) which will give you a history and background of how abstract art developed in relation or reaction to other styles. Second, go online or to a library and just look at lots and lots of abstract art. Decide what artists you like, what you like about it, how it speaks to you. You might like pattern, colour, texture, mood... Different abstract artists have different intentions and the styles are as varied. For instance there is abstract expressionism, minimalism, etc. Just explore. Finding what you like will help you decide what direction you migth want to try in abstraction.

As far as creating a piece there are again two methods that have been discussed here before. One method is to paint (or draw or create) without a subject in mind, following your instincts and emotions. The other method is an evolution from figurative work where you learn to dissolve the realistic parts of your painting slowly, maybe losing edges first, making shapes more indistinct, bringing out colour and losing others, etc. Honing the specific element you wish to express and losing the others. This is the method by which I paint and it took me several years to comfortably abstract my work. It is still only semi-abstract, but I'm getting there! One way of starting with this method quicker is to work from a photo and pin the photo up on the other side of the room, far far away. Then paint it. (I also take my glasses off if I'm having trouble with a piece.)

Hope that helps and I'm sure much more advice will follow! :)

11-13-2001, 04:51 PM
Hello Timelady,

Thank you very much I appreciate the information and it has given me several avenues to follow, maybe if I am brave enough I will show my first attempts at abstract after a lot of research.

Thanks once again for your time


11-13-2001, 06:22 PM

Okay after about 30 minutes of this stuff, I am glad I am not in your shoes... whoa don't miss art history class... But here ya go...

The first site is a general place for images of contemporary artists, this is you need some examples to look at..
This is another artist I found on a web ring of Abstract Art, though the navigation on this site is very cool, and the first painting I saw I liked, so I included it, doesn't hurt to be inspired, which is why you came to WC...
This is the web ring below, a bit jumbled, but seems chock full of other artists in this vein... worth a gander
Here's a break down of Abstracts top 10 periods, also worth a look, alot of reading, but hey time is the only thing on yer side right now...
This is an interesting site, it has a virtual tour of a gallery which is important, to see the work with it's surroundings, and not just flat reproductions... a bit of a wait to load, but fun to click...
Here's a nice short article on looking at abstract art, very basic and good food for thought...
This is probably the shortest of all the links here, a 1 page theory, and lots of links to follow, I'd start with this one...

Well I hope these help, and if not, aspirin always does...


11-14-2001, 01:14 PM
Hello Bobby,

Thank you very much for the info, I appreciate it, and thanks again for the time you have given to my request. Will browse till my clicking finger drops off :D


11-14-2001, 01:37 PM