Category Archives: Art

Abstract Art Paintings

Abstract Art Paintings

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In general terms, abstract art paintings break the monotony of realism and reject the fact that paintings should depict pragmatism. In the pre-World War II era, abstract art painters mostly depicted spiritualism or intellectualism, rejecting the 20th century motto of “art for art’s sake” and replacing realism with spirituality and rationality. Furthermore, with the advent of the technology age, abstract art has gained greater significance.

Painting as an art form has undergone several changes, especially during the 20th century, wherein a transition from figurative painting to abstract painting was the chief feature of the era. Renowned painter Pablo Picasso is generally believed to have ushered the shift from figurative to abstract painting. Picasso, along with George Braque, formulated a new pictorial representation known as cubism, wherein the artists depicted an object as seen from a different viewpoint.

Abstract art painting took a further leap in 1911 with the creation of synthetic cubism and analytical cubism. These forms of cubism fragmented the subject in the painting, for example, in analytical cubism, painters used crystalline geometry, while in synthetic cubism the subjects were reduced in size. Artists like Piet Mondrian, whose paintings ultimately led to the first non-figurative paintings or pure abstract art from 1914 onwards, pioneered such forms of cubist painting. In the twentieth century, Russian painter Wassily Kandisky pioneered non-figurative art.

Furthermore, in the 1940s, another form of abstract art called Abstract Expressionism emerged, in which the theory of expressionism was applied to abstract paintings. The art form had an enormous impact on contemporary American artists, with New York becoming the hub of Abstract Expressionism. Jackson Pollock in his action paintings used this technique of abstract expressionism wherein he dripped, dropped, smeared or threw paint onto the canvas to create an art object. Other well-known followers of Abstract Expressionism, also known as the New York School and Action Painting, are Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko.

Abstract art painting does not refer to any figurative reality; instead it depicts real forms in a simplified or reduced way, creating an allusion of the original subject.

The Abstract Expressionism Movement

The Abstract Expressionism Movement

The Abstract Expressionism Movement, also called the New York School was exclusively an American abstract art movement that mainstreamed in New York City in the period following the Second World War. This movement was significant in the sense that it was the earliest American movement to declare non-dependence on European styles and to get a sway all over the globe. It also enabled New York City to replace Paris as the art hub. Prior to its reference to American art, “abstract expressionism” was a term used in the Berlin periodical named ‘Der Sturm’, in 1919.

Arshile Gorky played an important role in inducing The Abstract Expressionism Movement. The abstract art works produced during the period of this movement are considered to be a combination of certain visual aspects of abstract European schools like Futurism, Synthetic Cubism and Bauhaus with the self-expression and emotional strength of German Expressionism. Though this abstract art was a mixture of a number of styles, its basic philosophy was to search and seek out answers for questions relating to human existence.

There are many similarities of style between abstract expressionism art and the work of Russian artists of the early 1900’s, the most prominent being Wassily Kandinsky. The abstract art from this period of the movement is often characterised by giving the impression of being produced in an act of artistic spontaneity. The work of pioneers of the movement such as Kandinsky, Kunz and later Rothko dealt with the expression of subjects including spirituality and the subconscious. However, meticulous planning and conscious thought was often involved in creating the many of the well known works of art which define this period of the expressionist movement.

In the 1930’s in North America, prior to the mainstream acceptance of abstract art, social realism art had been the prominent genre of art. Mexican social realists such as Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros together with the Great Depression strongly influenced the acceptance and widespread popularity of this relatively short lived movement. Preceding the Second World War in the United States there arose a time of political sensitivity. Due this change in the political climate social protest made through art would no longer be tolerated. In American society an artistic vacuum had opened and the abstract expressionism movement arose into the mainstream, showcasing at major galleries in New York such as The Art of This Century Gallery. The abstract expressionist movement spread rapidly thorough the elite art community of the United States through its major artistic communities such including the San Francisco Bay area and California.

During the period of The Abstract Expressionism Movement, several artists started experimenting with shapes and colour. They broke away from what was considered to be artistic, conventional painting and painted complete canvases in blue, orange or other colours. Dripping, splattering and big brush strokes were characteristic features of Abstract Expressionist Art. The artists of this period preferred larger canvases positioned on the floor over canvases that were easel bound and moderate. The focus of abstract art within the expressionism movement was not the portrayal of objects but the portrayal of emotions.

In the broad sense, Abstract Expressionism was of two streams – Colour Field Painting and Action Painting. Colour field painting came up in the beginning of the 1960’s and involved using shape and colour to create religious serene paintings that were devoid of representative subject substance. The composition of colour field works were huge coloured areas with no forms or signs. Helen Frankenthaler, Mark Rothko and Ellsworth Kelly were some painters associated with this type of painting. Action Painting was a painting stream that arose prior to Colour Field Painting (between the 1940s and 1950s) and practiced by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline. The driving force for the works of these painters was often considered to be the painters’ soul and life energy.

How to Sell Abstract Art for a Living

How to Sell Abstract Art for a Living

Can I Sell My Artwork?

Is art more than a hobby or a part-time profession for you? Do you wonder if you could turn your love of art into a full-time art career? Is it even possible? It is! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than half of all artists are self-employed, and earning income from selling their artwork.

Making art for a living can be extremely rewarding but may not be for every artist. In addition to knowing how to create beautiful artwork, you need to know how to assess your work, how much to charge, who to sell it to – and how to market yourself. Selling art for income is like any other business – you need to have some general knowledge of marketing and business administration to become successful. You might be the next Monet but if you don’t know how to get your artwork in front of potential buyers, you won’t succeed as a professional artist.

For an artist, there is nothing more rewarding than making your art and sharing those creations with the world – except maybe, also earning a living from doing what you love!

What Kind of Artist Are You?

Do you create traditional pieces of art? Are you an abstract artist, or want to get into selling abstract art?

Abstract art is color and form and lines and shapes used in a non-representational manner. Modern painting and sculpture that depart from the idea of art as an imitation of nature are considered abstract. The painting or sculpture might have started out looking like something easily identifiable; but due to distortions and alterations, it is not anymore.

Contrary to those who exclaim “My five-year-old could do that!”, abstract art is not easy to create. In fact, Kandinsky claimed that, “Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult.”

The subject of abstract paintings are the colors, lines, and shapes; not something generally recognizable. According to World Encyclopedia, “There are two main types of non-objective art: expressionist, which is fundamentally emotional, spontaneous and personal; and geometrical, which works from the premise that geometry is the only discipline precise and universal enough to express our intellectual and emotional longings.”

Wassily Kandinsky, often credited with the invention of the abstract art movement, said “Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes… Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an explosion into unknown areas.”

If you see yourself (and your art) in these descriptions, and abstract art is already a hobby or a passion, you may want to try making art for a living.

Abstract Art and Its Future

Abstract Art and Its Future

Precision is not reality, said Henri Mattisse the great artist. Thus the search for exactness begins and authenticity struggles.

In art, everything is precise. That explains the genuineness of art in a broad scale. But art need not carry accuracy. The reason- there is no clear-cut rules. The rules in art depends on an artist’s imagination, how he carries his dreams forward, what shape he gives to them, and how he reproduces the idea on to canvas with a brush dipped in paint.

Abstract art is a form of art. As the name explains, the paintings come under it are abstract in nature. It is not related to anything, non representational, even though it is a clear representation of an imaginative mind. Abstract art can be divided basically in to two types.

  • Figurative abstraction
  • Emotional abstraction

As the name suggests, figurative representation is the symbolic representation of situations or ideas in a way the artist conceptualizes. They are simplifying reality by avoiding unnecessary details. The essence is left for use. Emotional abstraction is the representation of emotion, spirituality or voice.

The movement

The movement of abstract painting emerged in the mid forties in New York. It gradually gained importance in American art. When artists like James McNiell began believing in the harmonious arrangement of colors in representing visual sensation rather than the depiction of objects, abstraction started gaining prominence.

Later artists took up the movement in such a way that abstract painting gained much importance. The artists believed that the job of the artists was to deepen the mystery rather than revealing it. In abstraction only conception made a difference. The basic idea behind the idea remains the same. Stephen Wright once commented on abstract painting that he had been doing a lot of abstract painting without paint, brush and canvas, but just by thinking about it.

Abstract expressionism

This is the movement in which the artists rapidly applied paint on canvas without great care for detail, and thus showing emotions and feelings spread on the canvas. The works of abstract painters showed a sense of hastiness and an intervention of life situations like a risk or a chance in applying paint on canvas.

Some abstract artists even took a mystical approach to subject matter, but by defining their objectives and intentions clearly on canvas. It was generally believed that the painters of abstract expressionism relied on the spontaneity of creativity and the representation of that flow on canvas in a scale broad and large. The expressive method of painting was considered important.

Abstract expressionism did not focus on one topic; rather it focused on many themes or styles. It concentrated on many ideas. The artists of abstract expressionism valued individuality and spontaneous inventiveness.

The painters who came to be called as abstract expressionists shared an outlook

Characterized by the spirit of revolt. The movement of abstract expressionism

can be divided in to two-

  • Action painting
  • Color Field painting

Action painting

Action painting is related to surrealism, which is the movement in visual art and literature that became popular in Europe between World Wars I and II. It emphasized on positive expression. Artists like Pollock Jackson with essence form surrealism, implied a technique different from the usual styles of painting that employed the method of dripping paint on to the canvas. Instead of brush, sticks and knives were used to manipulate the picture. This type of painting began to be called as action painting.

Color field painting

This abstract art movement started only in the 1960’s. A type of abstract expressionism, color field paintings employed the use of solid color covering the whole canvas in such a way that the lyrical or atmospheric effects of color were seen in a vast canvas. The aesthetics of the color field artists were truly intellectual aesthetic. They dealt with two-dimensional spaces and their color tone was different and not modulated.

Abstract expressionism presented within its large framework, a stylistic diversity that was not easily identifiable. Many artists explored various forms of painting in abstract expressionistic painting. Here more attention was paid to brushstrokes, texture and surface qualities.

Thus abstract art gained much importance. Wassily Kandinsky came to be known as the father of abstract painting. Other artists who followed the path of Kandinsky were kasimir Malevich, Raoul Dufy, Paul Klee, Juan Gris, and Piet Mondrian. Thus abstract painting spread far and wide with an intellectual tone to the form of art in a style varied, specific and incomprehensible.

The future of abstract painting

With a fabulous history of abstract paintings done on landscape, floral art, people, and just emotions in various ways possible, abstract art grew on a canvas broad, but ambiguous. Artists like Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrain came with newer conceptions and ideas representing the new form of art in an aesthetically well built canvas.

There would definitely be a shift in style from the usually employed techniques like action painting and color field painting. Newer forms will take shape with styles which may take time to establish in the field of painting.

With the invention of more tools in painting, and with newer methods employed, abstract painting will undergo a lot of changes in the coming future. Probably, forms take a different shape, ideas may be modernized, and fresh thoughts would be employed. But the basic idea behind the notion, which is abstraction, will never change.

To the great painter there is only one manner of painting – that which he employs in his art. He appreciates his own art and also criticizes. Because nobody, but he can understand the enormity of his work, so do his pitfalls.

Abstract art has definitely a future, bright, colorful even though vague. As Edgar says, “A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, and some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people.”

History of Abstract Art

History of Abstract Art

Abstract art is a form of art in which an object or a form is developed in either a simplified way or an exaggerated manner. Abstract art is one of the major forms of art design which attracts a wide variety of people and art lovers. This form of art developed long back with a significant history comprising of various popular artists. Abstract landscape art, 3D abstract art, and fantasy abstract art are the most popular varieties of abstract art.

The three major forms of abstract art are cubism, neoplasticism, and abstract expressionism. Several artists are credited with the foundations of abstract art. Among those artists, the most famous cubists were Pablo Picasso and Georges. Piet Mondrian’s works are one of the best examples of neoplasticism. Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock are excellent examples of abstract expressionism.

The history of abstract art involves more than 20,000 artists along with their interesting art backgrounds. Images and in-depth information of these artists are available in their biographies. History states that the abstract form of art design developed in the early 1900s. Neo-plasticism (1920-1940), abstract expressionism (1940-1955), conceptual art, contemporary realism, photorealism, and hyper realism (1960-1975), and neo-expressionism (1970-1990) are some of the major developmental stages in the history of abstract art.

Post-Modernism is a stage which began around 1975, and still considered very famous in abstract art form. Ancient history reveals the truth that abstract art had been used in decorations for textiles and pottery, even in the early twentieth century abstract patterns. In the twentieth century, abstract art type was widely accepted. The first original abstract art form was developed by Wassily Kandinsky in 1910. In 1912, he wrote a theory based on abstract art called On the Spiritual in Art. This theory stated that portrayed art should be based on spiritual realm, and not just the things we see ordinarily as the visual world.

Abstract Arts & Abstract Paintings

Abstract Arts & Abstract Paintings

FOREWORD

I remember a while back, when I was faced with a very pressing situation requiring my instant attention. I was being interviewed live, on a major television station at prime time, along with showing a series of my slides in connection to the opening of an art exhibit. As soon as they wired me up, and situated me on stage, and only a couple minutes before going live, the very charming gentleman, who was to interview me, whispered to me the following: “I have no idea what to ask you, what do you suggest?” I said, no problem, if you ask me only 3 simple questions, I will handle the rest. He was relieved, and quickly jotted down the questions. The green light came on, we went on live, and wrapped up a flawlessly smooth and successful interview. Off camera, the crew came on the stage with big smiles, and acknowledged both of us; but they praised the interviewer, for surprising them as an art connoisseur!

DEFINING AESTHETICS

Aesthetics as a set of principles and branch of philosophy deals with questions concerning beauty and artistic experiences. As far as our general understanding of it is concerned it is a highly nebulous field, subjected to tremendous degree of misinterpretation, particularly in the field of abstract art. In any field of humanities where less accurately is known about that field and its principles have not been precisely formulated, the more authoritarian the field becomes. In the field of arts, with no exact fundamentals accurately developed, the techniques and approaches are wide open for the artists to imagine, explore and create their art.

The artist is also subjected to the “laws” of commerce, where various schools of divergent opinions begin to “teach” the artist “how” to be an artist and paint a certain way, citing the field’s critics galore as she listens with an open jaw in lieu of reason. The “authorities,” in the field of visual arts, most of whom have never painted any paintings themselves but are very “fluid” and “cultured” by having memorized a few standard opinions and artistic works and projects of humanitarian nature, analyze the paintings for the artist every step of the way, each time the artist presents a piece of her art for a critique, mainly to discover what’s wrong with her art and how she should fix it according to these “professors’s” brand of “expertise.”

I admit to a tad of generalization here for making a point; but does any of this ring a true bell for you? Can you think of an artist you know who is or has been on this ship? I lived and survived through it all, trusting and believing that there had to be a logical and more nurturing way to free imaginative impulses so that the artist could paint as freely as he wanted. Something within me, was telling me, that something was inherently not quite right with the constructive criticisms that were to “teach” us how to view our own world of art, through the eyes of the “critics,” excuse me, the professors. I had viewed this “school of thought” as an authoritarian method of teaching that smothered the thoughts, emotions, or efforts of the artist, but could not quite articulate the problem I was sensing at the time. I discovered later, that this mechanism of controlling thought through teaching, was only one of the elements in our society, which inherently brings about the suppression of the arts that stifles the creative impulses of the artists at the expense of the whole culture.

Artists are often “accused” of having their heads up in the clouds, and living within an unreal world of imagination. This brings about the necessity of taking a good and thorough look at just how reality bites. Plowing through several fields of study in search of a tool to measure the aesthetics and the creation processes can leave us empty handed, until we splurge into the field of philosophy to examine our thoughts and reasoning.

THE ART OF THINKING AND REASONING

Thinking and reasoning is a social activity for most people. They require the engagement of external forces as the individual is as much a part of society as the society is a part of the individual. From the moment of birth, the social labyrinth of customs, beliefs, languages, values, religions, politics, and other traditional ideas are all well positioned to mold the child into the image of those who the child is surrounded with, and it is thoroughly based upon faith and belief. So masterfully the operation is instilled into the society as social heredity that even science has often mistaken it as being genetic.

English philosopher and author Francis Bacon (1561-1626), and another English philosopher and mathematician Issac Newton (1642-1727), and others have developed ways of thinking and reasoning that requires a fact in order to be proven must be measured, sensed or experienced. And when we thrust this into the realm of mind and spirit we find our willingness reduced in accepting facts based upon faith or belief.

For this reason, in appreciating life, and creating anything within it such as art, looking for answers and solutions exterior to our own sentient qualities, intellects or experiences is to lose concept of our own truth, values and individuality. And the artist, very often, bears the brunt of this philosophy of “independent thinking” and frequently subjected to criticism by those who have a firm grip on the traditions of status quo.

But the artist moves on, knowing where the roots of criticism lie, and reasons that people who resort to “criticism” operate in the absence of true understanding, and since no knowledge can exist in the absence of understanding, there we arrive at the presence of “ignorance.” Thus, knowing the basis and the mechanism behind criticism, often serves as a tremendous source of empowerment and consolation for the artist to continue with his art on the grounds of certainty and knowledge of her art and transcend through the highest echelons of culture called: aesthetics!

Bacon had come to the conclusion that no field of study by itself is sufficient in the absence of another form of discipline exterior to it to align and coordinate it in the direction of its goal. We can elaborate further that it is not possible to walk a path aright in the absence of defining its destination. Therefore, to stay clear off the grounds of myths, mysticism and superficial approaches, we can take a look and see how the arts can be best served by defining its goal under the broad umbrella of philosophy that embraces all the arts, sciences and humanities.

Just as it is impossible to have a full view of a countryside by sitting on one of its boulders under a tree, every field of endeavor, to be fully understood, must be viewed and analyzed from a ground much higher than where it germinates. Thus, in the field of visual art’s, we cannot look at an abstract painting’s isolated data out of context without a consideration of its existence within the scope of a life that contains the art. Bacon say, that would be to use a candle to light a room that is illuminated with daylight.

ART IS COMMUNICATION

We all enjoy and desire a pleasant conversation with our associates, friends and family. But when we look, and inspect our environment, we notice that the great majority of our population, have difficulty with communication. A two way communication takes place, when we can freely initiate our thoughts or ideas to one another, acknowledge each other and continue this interaction, back and forth, by continuing with the sharing of our thoughts and ideas, very much similar to a friendly game of tennis; where the return of the ball, is dependent upon the quality of the serve.

There are times when we notice a break in communication, when either one of the parties, in its turn, fails to acknowledge and originate a thought or an impulse back, to continue with the conversation, or to bring about an optimum conclusion.

The people having these difficulties with origination, are generally accustomed to prepackaged amusements, such as a weather disaster, or an incident or story relayed by a coworker. They get very low on originating communication on their own, inspired by their own imagination; and they become somewhat vexed, when faced with an “imaginative conversationalist.” This is either through their upbringing and cultural environment, or their education.

Origination is very important to bring about a communication. To this degree, these people communicate mainly regarding subjects that are handed to them by external sources. They see a news story, they talk about it; they get a call about a family affair, they talk about it. They wait for an exterior circumstance to bring about an interaction, otherwise they do not engage by “creating” a communication. They either have a compulsively irresistible urge toward doing something, or inhibited and behave awkward and unnatural in communicating. If they manage to engage, they often turn sharply, towards derailment of the dialogue, and bring about a good degree of resentment, ill will and unwanted conclusions.

The people who do not originate, or do not engage imaginatively, are inherently dependent upon others to give them primal reasons to engage in a conversation; this is due to being endowed with very little imagination. As a result, we can conclude, that a pleasant and engaging conversation, requires the participation of two imaginative minds, with similar endowment of creative impulses, to mutually create the art of communication.

The field of visual arts, follows the same principles, as art is a form of visual communication. The artist originates his communication as s visual message, through the presentation of his art, to his audience. The quality, and the presence of this initiative that he forwards in his art, forms the visual message, that he delivers to his audience; the quality of which, determine the response of his audience, to whether engage or not. Hence, arts much similar to personal dialogues and conversations, follow the same basic principles of communication, in its success or failure

An artist with low imagination, who does not originate verbally, does not communicate visually either. He originates no visual messages in his art, or when he does, it is so scarcely done, that it stirs up no interaction with his audience. This absence of expression, is mainly due to the artist heavy reliance upon the origination of the audience – as an external force – to brings about a communication, in the direction of his art, which is “silent.” Thus, no emotional interaction takes place between the audience and the painting.

An artist, high on imagination, is more likely to enjoy the virtuosity necessary in the technical execution of his art. Thus, he is competent, to effortlessly and vigorously, create his visual messages on his canvas; bringing about an interaction between the audience and his painting.

The visual message does not have to be the same for every viewer. The message, serves only as a visual or artistic “code,” to be subjectively decoded, by each viewer; much similar to a popular piece of music, that echoes widely by communicating to the listeners – same melodic tone creating a different mood in different listeners.

Thus, the communication quality of an artistic expression, is the artist’s intention as a carrier wave, by which her message is delivered to his audience. The technical expertise, by which the art is executed, is also very important, and at times, successful all by itself; although, the quality of the visual communication, always remains senior to the technical execution of the art. The carrier wave, which communicates the artist’s intention, to his viewers, is a phenomenon occurring between the artist and the viewer and resides within the realms of spirit.

IMAGINATION VS. COMMUNICATION

Imagination is the faculty or action of forming ideas in the mind and the ability to be creative and resourceful. The ability to originate communication, is in direct proportion with good imagination. The reverse is never true that imagination has to be imperiled first to result in failure of imagination to express thoughts and ideas. Imagination becomes thwarted and dulled in artists who become dependent upon others to reach out to them, to the point that they do not reach at all. These artists can then, greatly benefit, by rehabilitating the ability to originate, and initiate expressions of thoughts and emotions, and thus restoring their imaginative impulses in favor of creating communicative art.

Imagination is the driving force behind the artist’s dexterity by which he executes his art and the deftness by which he communicates his impulses as visual messages. The more refined the artist’s creative impulses, the clearer are his visual messages in sharing his thoughts, feelings, perceptions and other creative faculties with his audience. Imagination is the prior cause, which precedes the expression of art as its effect; a cause that unarguably and intrinsically, initiate itself in the future, as a postulate first, followed by an effect, which becomes expressed as a painting. Its conception is superior to its execution. Thus, the artist, through his imagination, continue to live in the future.

In the case of abstract expressionism, the art is the conduit for the dialogue, between the imagination and the audience, via the expression as a painting. The more the artist becomes intimately acquainted with the inherent truth, and virtues by which he was created himself, the more freer become his imaginative impulses, and the more spirited he can express his art.

Abstract expressionism, is a genuine fruit of the imagination. Imagination is the only form of wealth, that gives us art as its dividend. Imagination is where the art is conceived and germinated. Imagination does not work with reason, it does not attempt to classify the physical universe as real or imaginary, it does not assess or evaluate things into categories; it only conceives ideas and expresses them – nothing more.

The magic of art, does not exist in its execution, or presentation of feelings and mental imagery independently exterior to the mind. Execution, or presentation of the art, is the technical expertise; the externalization by which the art is expressed. The magic of art, particularly modern art, resides within the intellectual awareness of the mind, in conceiving and forming of ideas. The essence of creation, resides in its conception. When the artist, completes the formation of a conceptual idea, and it then arrives in the external world in the form of an abstract or modern painting, the artist has given birth to expression, and the creation process is complete.

Similarly, when we originate a verbal communication, the words we utter, are expressions of ideas we have already conceived and formed in our mind, what is being expressed in our speech. It is external to the boundaries of our imaginative and intellectual calculations, and subjected to the limitations of the physical or material means, by which they can be expressed; as it is not difficult to recall the times, when our thoughts or feelings, were far more beautiful, than what we have been able to express in our speech. The action of painting, the writing of words, the striking of the piano keyboard, are only the interpretations of the imagination in the field of thought and spirit. They do not exist in the realm of aesthetic creation, which is a spiritual pursuit.

An imaginative idea, is far greater in scope, than what the artist portrays on canvas. The expression, whether in the form of abstract painting, singing a song, writing a poem, or composing a piece of music, it is always limited to the boundaries and limitations by which they can be executed within the material world. Thereby, it is an alteration of truth conceived in the imagination. The extend of this alteration, as to how much the expression realizes, and fulfills the conception of the original idea released from the imagination, is not measurable, or fully known at this time.

A work of art is understood and appreciated by direct observation. Between the artist who creates the art, and the viewer who contemplates it, lies the magic: Expressive imagination. It is our own creative impulses, perceptions and recognition of the aesthetic expressions within the art, that allows us to experience what is being resonating to us from the artist; and thus, becoming engaged in a two way communication with the artist through his art; the art is an spiritual connection to the artist. Aesthetics, when fully perceived, elevates us into the serene realm of timelessness.

KNOWING IS SENIOR TO UNDERSTANDING

Knowing and understanding are two of the basic fundamentals in creating art. Knowing is a part of imagination within the mind, in which aesthetic impulses are conceived and transformed into artistic expressions; a process which is best understood by defining both: knowing and understanding; and why knowing is above understanding.

Knowing is an intrinsic quality of the mind, in variable measures. Knowing is a state of awareness and a perception in pursuit of a goal. It requires no reliance on exterior forces. Knowing is always accompanied with certainty, ability, and confidence. Knowing is a state of awareness; it is a given state of knowledge. Those with great abilities in a given field, have confidence and are fully aware of knowing that they know, independent of any external factors.

Knowing is different than understanding, which comes about with learning. Knowing is the enlightenment felt in perceiving truth. Knowing is self-contained. It is a singular activity which exists by itself and within itself. Knowing is knowing that one knows. Knowing is the faculty to perceive and the capacity for truth – it is a self-determined knowledge.

Knowing is self-assurance, it is self-belief. Something that is known without effort. The mastery in a given skill is knowing. The imaginative impulses of an artist that spontaneously conceives an abstract art is knowing. Knowing is the self-confidence by which a task is pursued. It is a certainty in thought, and knowingly perceiving that certain conclusions can be drawn. Knowing is the work of the imagination in conceiving an abstract painting, or making instantaneous conclusions, as to the completion of an art composition. Knowing is awareness of the truth within, and the certainty that it can permeate through any, real or imagined barrier.

Understanding on the other hand, is below knowing, because it is dependent upon the engagement of external elements, in the material universe, to fulfill its aim. It is the result of education, as a group activity involving the external world. Studying about prehistoric art, or modern art for instance, creates an understanding about these two styles of art. It does not rely upon our perceptions, or awareness of what is innately ours.

An activity in pursuit of understanding is a potential knowledge, as it is acquired, such as the study of a modern painting. It does not fulfill its aim by itself. Understanding is to come to know something in a certain direction; such as learning to play the piano, or a foreign language. It becomes skills in doing things aptly, which leads to knowing.

An ability to cook and enjoy good food with ones friends is understanding of how o cook and entertain. The ability to paint a piece of modern art is an understanding of the art itself. The ability to raise beautiful flowers and share them with our neighbor is understanding of gardening and creating goodwill. The ability and competence in having a successful conversation with someone is understanding of good communication skills. Understanding is the universal solvent. Understanding brings about peace and harmony. It can wash things away.

In the field of arts, exterior sources of reference, used as mimicry or imitation, compromises the integrity of imagination, ideas, thoughts and concepts; and so becomes impure the art, when it is created through understanding, and reliance upon external forces. Knowledge, purely expressed from within, through the mind and the spirit, is how the artist gives birth to new abstract forms. Abstract art is an example of origination of communication to the viewers as a pure presentation of self-expression.

VIRTUOSITY IN MODERN ART

Pure creation of fine art, such as abstract paintings, is an emotional activity that surmounts any rational thoughts or reasons, as it fulfills itself through an spiritual journey into time, motion and space, with light, color and form. It is an state of awareness, that summons the most innate essence of the artist’s imaginative and analytical forces. The higher the awareness and the clarity by which he perceives, the higher will be the versatility, and willingness by which he performs along the various facets of life.

Johannes Itten (1888-1967), was one of the principal teachers of modern art at The Bauhaus School in Germany, whose teaching philosophy, has produced several great artists of the 20th century. Itten’s principles bring to light, a greater and more in-depth understanding and appreciation of the values in acquiring additional skills in the field, outside of the arts. He believed, studies and mastery in areas such as philosophy, gardening, landscaping, sewing, woodworking, etc., were necessary in developing personal interaction and direct experiences with nature. In Itten’s view, understanding life, it’s structure, forms and textures, plays a significant hand in developing one’s creative impulses. He believed, broadly acquired dexterity, was essential in the competent execution of art through memory and inspiration. Itten’s concise and illuminating words on the subject are expressed more eloquently in the following quote.

“If new ideas are to assume artistic form, physical, sensual, spiritual, and intellectual forces and abilities must all be equally available and act in concert.” – Johannes Itten

Hans Hofmann (1880-1966), a German artist, who lived in Paris in his youth, and was a patron of the French avant-garde movement. His friends, impressively included Matisse, Miro, Picasso and Bracques. He evolved through the revolutionary period of the Western art in early 1900, and later, when he immigrated to America, he became well regarded as the father of abstract expressionism. Hofmann taught the very effective approach of encouraging his students to explore within their own experiences, to develop artistic signatures unique to themselves; and consulting nature only as a reference.

Through his technique of push and pull, Hofmann proved that the illusion of depth, space and motion, can be created abstractly, through the use of color and form, in the absence of representational imagery. His teaching was very influential in the progress and the development of abstract expressionism, specially in terms of his philosophical wisdom, that nature is the greatest art and artist and it is there not to be imitated but to inspire.

THE MOMENT OF JUDGMENT

The artist conceives his aesthetic ideas in his imagination, and transforms them into paintings. His paintings carry a visual message, and communicate it to his audience. These paintings are his artistic performance by which he tells about himself. His art, ought to be created purely for his audience, in the absence of any considerations given to any possible critiques given by the critics. People’s emotional responses are the sole decision makers, as to whether the art is successful or not, based on the quality by which a the art communicates to them.

To disabuse you totally of any mysteries, involving the recognition of a successful work of art, here lies a simple acid test by way of an Asian tale: an ancient Chinese poet whose poems were laudably read throughout the land, had a simple test to insure the acceptance of his audience. Each time he wrote a poem, he surveyed its popularity in his town. He took it to an old flower lady he knew in the town’s square and read it to her. If she liked it, he published it; and if she did not, he discarded it and wrote a new one. His very thoughtful and wise conclusion in doing this survey, was the following: that if his poems were understood and appreciated by a peasant lady in the town square, they will also be popular with his readers. So, here lies the simplicity by which a widely successful and pure work of art should communicate its essence.

The point here in terms of visual arts, is that a successful work of art, whether representational art or abstract art, has to impinge emotionally, upon people who view it, and bring about a sentient response that causes them to engage and understand the painting. When they understand it, they talk about it, participate in it, and put a part of themselves in it, to complete it for themselves as their own work of art.

The Chinese “flower lady” is the acid test for every good piece of art, which nullifies all the esoteric classified fallacies, put together by the “experts” who pontificate that a certain type of convoluted “knowledge” or “expertise” is a prerequisite for the public to understand and appreciate art, specially abstract art. Nothing is further from the truth. The simple truth is this: every individual viewer’s instinctive, and instantaneous pulse of joy that he feels and senses strolling through his heart, as a reaction to the pleasure, brought about by viewing the art, is the ultimate judge; alerting the viewer, that he is in the presence of a successful work of art – and no more.

ARTS: A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY

“Art is greater than science because the latter proceeds by laborious accumulation and cautious reasoning, while the former reaches its goal at once by intuition and presentation; science can get along with talent, but art requires genius.” – German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Purity of life force, or spirit does not belong to any part of the physical or material universe. It has no mass, no form, no location in space, no energy, and no motion. It resides in the realm of spirit; and that is not religiously, but spiritually speaking.

The more intellectually, and spiritually endowed is the artist, the more powerful will be his demonstration and expression of his ideas. Clarity of his concepts are directly related to the level of his awareness and his willingness to face life. The more purity, vitality and awareness the aesthetic mind of the artist attains, the more intelligently forceful and sentient will be his artistic expressions. Abstract art, in its purest form is expressed through the soul.

The interaction of the artist with his canvas, when he paints, is an awe-inspiring time of feeling totally free, from the concerns of the material universe; as he enters the sublime world of spiritual awareness. A state where, according to Schopenhauer, the sun can be viewed the same, either from a prison or a palace. It is this level of sublimity that saturates life with an enchanting beaut; assigning aesthetic quality to our sufferings, enabling us to view our pains from a much higher elevation.

Art inject serenity and calm into our space. It humanizes our relationships. It soothes our mind and soul. Art transcends us from the agonies of the transitory, and the material world, by placing infinity into our view. The best arts appeal both, to our intellects and our emotions. The magnificent field of art elevates the culture, and gives Man a splendor of peace and joy to rise to.

As the aesthetic mind, become purged and purified of its impurities and misconceptions, it begins to approach more towards the infinite level of awareness and knowledge in its purest form; an ascend, which leads the aesthetic mind closer to eternity; an awareness level instinctively knowable by those who have achieved a higher level of awareness; a level, where the aesthetic mind can effortlessly journey through distant times and places, to bring back imaginatively divine souvenirs in the form of art.

How to Create and Appreciate Abstract Art

How to Create and Appreciate Abstract Art

Before creating abstract art it is important to understand its meaning and use. We can broadly say that all art is either leaning towards being realistic or towards being the changed interpretation of reality as rendered by an artist.

By changed interpretation of reality, it can range from just a small change where the colour of the sky is changed from the actual light blue to say a green or can be a completely different interpretation of reality such as a cubist painting by Picasso, where he completely rearranges and drastically changes a woman’s face. Both can be called abstract, though the first one is clearly very much realism and very little abstractionism, whereas the second one is very little realism and very much abstractionism.

Therefore we can safely say that art that is abstract, can be said to be the changed interpretation of reality as rendered by an artist (or any individual who creates a piece of art). This should give you a general idea of what this kind of art is, but more importantly it is the why of it that is the key to it all.

Why distort reality, why not reproduce it exactly as it is and make it look as close to the real thing as possible. Well for starters, we have cameras to do exactly that, and as for the critical reason for making art that is abstract, it is because when a great work of art is made in the abstract style, it becomes much much more than the reality it represents.

When we see a sky that has been painted purple and trees that have been painted yellow, our minds suddenly ‘pop’. It’s a world that we had never seen in reality, it’s a world that opens up our minds to the infinite possibilities. Yes, to tell you the truth, I do strongly feel that the ultimate aim of abstract art is to bring out the Almighty in every thing. When an artist makes a shape that he feels is the right abstraction of an object as simple as a flower, then that piece of art becomes much greater than a flower. It becomes the idea of the flower rendered in the completely different perspective of that particular artist. As a viewer when we see that piece of art. It might not move us at all or it might move us to such a degree that we become entranced by the genius of it.

Taking up the discussion from the point where we state that such art opens up new worlds, we can even say that even science fiction is a form of abstract art. Art that is abstract is a very powerful thing when it strikes a chord with you.

Realism on the other hand can strike a chord with you but it will be on the level of realism, the conscious cogitative mind. Art that is abstract ‘pings’ your subconscious and in some cases even the superconscious minds. Not that there aren’t exceptions. The Mona Lisa is realism, but there is something in it much beyond what is immediately visible. It is the ‘X’ factor that makes it a fantastic piece of art. Good abstract art always has this certain ‘X’ factor.

When you see some art that is abstract, it may not do anything to you, you may just see a shape and colours that are different but nothing more, however that very same piece of art may bring out deep feelings in another person. When a piece of art has the power to bring out deep feelings in a large number of people, it is a great piece of art. This appreciation and understanding of art is possible for everyone, it does not need any special training, it only needs an open mind. It needs imagination, something that everyone has.

Once you have opened your mind to this abstract concept, then creating such art is easy.

Here is an 8 step guide to creating abstract art:

1. Think of what you want to make. Let’s take a flower vase.

2. Now, think of why you want to make it. Let’s say you decide that you want to bring out the feeling of loneliness that an empty flower vase evokes.

3. This can be done by making a small vase in huge area, giving it an emptiness and therefore loneliness (which is almost a straightforward practical unimaginative way), or it can be done by making it in the abstract style.

4. Let us make an abstract rendition of the empty flower vase. In your mind imagine the flower vase, its shape, does the shape remind you of a woman. What would the pose of a woman who is pining away be.

5. Now without really trying to create a real flower vase, make bold lines on a piece of paper which reminds of a vase and a woman who is pining away.

6. Keep making the bold lines till you feel that your desire to make the lines has been satisfied.

7. What you have with you is your first piece of abstract art. May not be the best or even good, but it is your rendering of a reality called a flower vase into an idea which is not just a copy of the flower vase. It is art and it is abstract. It might not even evoke in you a feeling that it is a flower vase, but that is immaterial. You have opened your mind to the concept of abstraction.

8. Now whether you make more art, or you look at a piece of art that is abstract, you will have a slightly enhanced ability to discover and appreciate the ‘X’ factor in art.

Some Ideas About Investing in Abstract Art

Some Ideas About Investing in Abstract Art

That, Which We Learned Already, In The Foregoing Part
In the foregoing part, of this article, we learned to judge the artist’s career, and not to judge the art, itself. We learned some ways, for us to discover worthy investments, in abstract art. Now I am going to discuss, for your benefit, some specific artists, so that you can see the method in action.

Here Is One Way, To Pre-Qualify An Artist, For Your Investment
Here is an example, Brittany Sanders. At the age of 25 (as of September, 2009) she is not yet listed in Wikipedia. That means that she is not yet “big league”.

Why Should We Be Excited About Brittany?
Yet Brittany’s stuff has been exhibited by the Met, and is on display in the MOMA abstract art gallery, Yale University, the Getty Museum, and in the New York Public Library.

We would have to guess, that, if she, and the abstract art market, do not fall into harm, then, in that case, she will be big league ere long, so it is a “hurryup” matter, to get her stuff, while it is still cheap, if you are an investor. Probably her stuff is a good investment, and will rise in value. Brittany works in abstract water color paintings, abstract art prints, abstract art books, and, abstract art gouache paintings.

An Other Type Of Artist’s Career
Let’s compare Brittany to another abstract artist, Tim Tyree. Unlike Brittany, Tim does not make abstract wall art, but rather he specializes in abstract art sculpture.

The only mention, that I could find, of him, in the first 20 Google results, was to say that his abstract artwork sculptures would be shown, through August, 2009, at a coffee and gift shop, in a small town, south of Toledo, Ohio, and that his work is made from everyday items. I found no images of his abstract art for sale, nor any other lore about him, than that one event. However much you may like his abstract art work, I would say that it would be a dubious investment, unless he were to push his name a bit harder, than he has done, until today.

In Which Instance, Might You Profit From Tim’s Art?
The exception, to that thought, to the idea of not investing in Tim Tyree’s art, would be, if you yourself are a promoter, and you would care to promote his artworks yourself.

Now, I have been trying to find, for you, different types of examples, all different, from each other, so that you can get a notion, of the different types, of careers, that you may want to watch.

Why I Think, That The Next Example Is A “Possible”
The next one is a possible “late bloomer”. For 62 years, he has not gained a great deal of repute, unless I have missed finding some lore about him. Yet, his work was recently shown an abstract art sale, along with prints by Kandinsky.

In case you don’t already know it, Kandinsky is considered to be one of the “greats” of abstract expressionism art, and other abstract arts. The artist’s name is Patrick Jones. He is definitely not in Wikipedia. Patrick’s art was displayed in the Hayward Gallery in London, in the 1980’s. He specializes in abstract painting art, and in abstract art prints. The Hayward Gallery is listed in Wikipedia, which means it is probably an institution of some consequence. However, that event is spoken of, as though it was a peak in his career, and not a part of a continual rising.

Instances Of “Late Bloomers” In Business
There are certain careers, wherein the full “oomph” is given, only in the later years of life. One example is the famous primitive painter, Grandma Moses, and another is “Colonel” Sanders, the founder of the successful Kentucky Fried Chicken chain of fast-food restaurants. Both of them began their careers when they were in there 70’s. Patrick’s career might be of a kind with Grandma Moses and “Colonel” Sanders. Or it might not.

How To Anticipate, If Patrick’s Worth Will Grow
What I would recommend, is that you watch for news of him, possibly create a Google news alert, and see whether he begins to show a pattern of increasing impact upon the communications media, with recognition from potent institutions. If you see such a pattern emerging, then I would recommend that you buy his art, before he becomes mentioned in Wikipedia. You can get, by him abstract wall art, including abstract canvas art, or an abstract art print.

How To Avoid “Overcrowded” Searching Results
Since his name is quite a common one, I suggest that you combine some of your searches with the name of the town, wherein his studio is situate, to wit Lympstone. I would put the name “Patrick Jones” in quotation marks, and the word “Lympstone” outside the quotation marks. You could also search his name, along with any one, of the words “abstract”, “art”, or “artist”.

That, Which You Will Find, In Part 3, Upcoming
In Part 3, I shall go deeper, into the subject, with you. I shall tell, to you, of a “hot property” upcoming, in the world of abstract art, someone, in whose art work, you may wish to invest your money.

Abstract Art What Is It Where Does It Come From

Abstract Art What Is It Where Does It Come From

By using shapes, colors and textures abstract art creates a mood all to it own. By creating a mood all to it’s own abstract art usually does not try to depict any specific image in the end result.

Abstract art plays on the emotions of the artist completely. Since emotions can be very lucid ideas, abstract art is known to be unrecognizable to something based in normal reality. However in a well done abstract piece the viewer can “feel” a presences in the painting. Abstract art is very spontaneous in nature.

When I paint abstract art I do my best to start with at least three different colors. These colors can be complimentary or opposite on the color wheel. This depends on what I want to have the viewer feel and experience. Do I want bright colors that are so opposite that they vibrate when you see them? Such as green and purple, yellow and blue. Or do I want colors that harmonize when you look at them causing your eyes to move in a soothing pattern across the canvas? There is no wrong or right way to paint abstract art because there is no wrong or right way to feel while painting it.

– Emotions

Emotions are the key ingredient for abstract art. What is the artist feeling? Is he feeling angry, sad, in love, out of love, inspired, aggressive? Mood can be greatly effected on the habituates a artists takes and doesn’t take. Artists have had a long reputation for using outside stimuli in the form or alcohol, weed, pills etc. I do not agree with this and I do not disagree with it. I am also not saying every artist uses. But I will say that a lot of great art has been inspired and created under the influence and sober. So what does this mean? Emotions are key in creating art, sad or happy, drunk or sober whatever state the artist is in is going to influence the outcome of the piece.

– When to stop, Less is more

When I paint abstract art, I feel as though I want to put subject matter on it, a flower, bird, person, building, etc. I see a beautiful background and I want to put something that defines an image. Most of my art I combine what I am feeling with what I see or am inspired by. However I feel the real challenge in producing a great abstract piece is knowing when to stop, when to say “enough”. Abstract art can be as simple as a black and white painting and have a few powerful brush strokes. It can be minimal in construction and design. The artist is saying more with less words, less strokes can say more by utilizing the empty space that now just exists. When using less is more in abstract art it starts to become something else, modern wall art.

– Less Is More, but some times More is better

When I am painting abstract art I try to challenge myself in using less. Meaning how can I make a powerful piece of art by utilizing the empty space that is on the canvas? Say more by saying nothing, paint more by using the paint to accentuate the emptiness giving it form. But the opposite exists as well. How many layers can I use? I ask myself. In my opinion layers of paint mean layers of emotion. So when I want to convey more, I ask “how many layers can I have?” “How many layers can I build?” “How much more color and texture can there be?” I build layers much like a sculptor would take away to expose the hidden form but with layers I add to define dimensions, texture, shape. This conveys emotion.

– Abstract Art where does it come from?

All my pieces of art combine a aspect of the undefinable, the unknown the abstract. I combine my pop art, surrealism, modern art and abstract art together to form my individual style. Abstract art is fun. It allows me to explore the subterranean levers of my psyche. As I dump colors, work with brush strokes, thick gobs of overlaying paint, my mind travels. It travels to a place that can be only explained through the finished product. This allows me to release hidden layers of myself that I can not reach without engaging in the artistic action of painting. Abstract art is the reflection of the inner mind.

– My Goals as a artist

I love painting abstract. But what I love to do more is: combine elements of my surrealism art, buddha art, modern wall art, pop art, stencil art. I engage all these style together to define where my mind and creative out look is.

My first name is Banding (pronounced Bonding) my last name is Hendrix. I live and breathe for the art movement. It is my true calling. I’m originally from San Francisco, but residing now in Scottsdale, AZ. Coming from a multi-racial background I was taught to embrace and love all cultures. I am influenced by those cultures, as well as the unlimited possibilities of beauty and life…

My style is Progressive, I pull ideas from surrealism, abstract, pop art, & urban art.

Experiencing and questioning the essential metaphysical nature of the mind and transcendental thought.

Using the medium of paint to explore and experience the spiritual and supernatural.

I call my art “progressive” because I am always seeking improvement and growth while I aim to crystallize internal perfection through art.

True art is an outward manifestation of an inner reality that has the potential for beauty and total perfection.

I believe we are all perfect entities internally; manifested as spiritual beings. It is our own lack of understanding and perception that keeps us from reaching our full potential as human beings.

Abstract Art Painting Studios

Abstract Art Painting Studios

ar1Have you ever tried to remember the first time when you found yourself looking at an abstract art or an abstract painting? Do you remember the thoughts or feelings you had about what you were looking at?

This article is a reflection of some of my own personal and subjective viewpoints and realities as an artist about abstract art with certain references to facts that are in agreement with what I believe myself as to the nature, birth, growth and the evolution of the abstract art outside the boundaries of the esoteric terms of the art academia.

To have a basic and fundamental look at the subject, we should first understand what the word abstract means before we could tackle the understanding of “abstract art” itself; and we learn that abstract in this sense and as a verb means to extract or remove and surprisingly as an adjective means not easy to understand; abstruse. And as a transitive verb it means to take away, remove. It’s origin is from Latin abstrahere ‘draw away’ or ‘draw from.’

Thus, we can conclude that abstract, is generally viewed as a form of art that does not depict anything that resembled the objective or material world; instead it represented new creations that very subjectively were expressions of the inner substance and the spirit of the artist and often through a profound spontaneity that brings out the inner world of the artist.

So, abstract art, being the product of this very natural, uninhibited and unpremeditated impulse in the absence of any external stimulus, is intrinsic and belongs to the very basic nature and the make up of the artist, as the true influence behind his creations.

As I evolved through my own representational art and became more acquainted with the history of art, I learned that abstract art had its roots in the very early dawn of human history when man began to draw on the walls of his cave. These early abstract arts, abstract drawings and abstract paintings – sometimes embellished with organic dyes – often attempted to capture the essential nature and the quality of the objects rather than the actual appearance of them.

As the art historians and art critics formulated their opinions and ideas into prints, more esoteric terms spun off the subject under “non-objective art,” “non-representational art,” and “non-figurative art.” In the field of aesthetics, since none of the principles of creating art have been precisely formulated, this particular branch of humanities has its critics galore with many schools of divergent opinions and thoughts, where esoteric lectures and opinions are listened to with open jaws in lieu of reason, personal expressions suffers under the cloud of confusion.

Centuries long before the birth of abstract expressionism in America, highly figurative arts had existed in the East, namely in the Islamic culture, where calligraphy also as a non-figurative art is taught as a subject starting sometimes as early as in primary schools, as great emphasis is placed upon the pupils’ acquiring and developing skills in calligraphy, as the art of handwriting.

In the Western culture, abstract designs are found in many forms. But abstract arts are uniquely distinguished in composition form in relation to decorative art and fine art, where in abstract art, the results of creation, are spontaneous snapshots of the artist’s thoughts, emotions, and the introspection by which he creates his work of abstract art.

Abstract Expressionism, as we know it today, was born in America in the mid 20th century following a massive exodus of the European avant- garde artists to New York City, making the city the center of the art world; a title that used to be held by Paris. The contemporary American artists were immensely influenced by the influx of this new talent that brought forth the very welcoming freedom of personal expression through the vehicle of spontaneity in the absence of the boundaries and limitations of conventional forms.

The arrival of abstract expressionism in New York was the dawn of a new peaceful artistic revolution by which the artist began to rebel overtly against the status quo. He began a new era where he could freely create towards the future and change the existing scene for a better tomorrow.

Some of the pioneers in abstract expressionism, such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, became synonymous with New York School and action painting as they played a significant role in what became deservedly known as avant-garde; a new realm of freedom for the artist to create and construct with an impulse that surmounted any rational and objective realm of reason.

On the more textural side, Jackson Pollock began to re-arrange his easel and painted as he pleased, expressing himself by pouring the paint from within unto the canvas, as he felt. Pollock, as one of the most mavericks of the era, used also his body as an instrument to paint with, as he moved rapidly around his large canvases on the floor, spattering interlacing patterns of paint, like an emotional roller coaster, drawing the viewer into its rhythmic flow of motion, apparently into an infinity of space.

In great contrast to Pollock, Barnett Newman’s color-field paintings, are open fields of vast empty spaces for the viewer to step into them and imagine what they wish to place in them.

Now, for the sake of simplicity, we could categorize art into only representational art and abstract art. Representational art being what we instantly recognize in association to familiar objects, vs. abstract art that requires our thought to perceive the composition of the art and the comparison of our observation with the conclusions we have made in the past, in order to arrive in the immediate instance, where we are. Thus, in our observation of abstract art, the presence or the absence of any emotional responses, brought about as the result of understanding the abstract art, raises the question of, what is truly an abstract art and when does it become successful.

Let’s imagine that we are looking at a representational art, a scenery where it depicts a mossy wooded area cloaked in a low fog with a cascading shallow stream running through it. We can all agree with what we are looking at, appreciate the quality of its beauty, and some of us become awestricken by its magic, and even feel the mist in the air and smell the moss. We like to look at it as a pleasant experience. We sense that it is peaceful, because it has the tendency to make us feel good. It helps us – even if it is for a brief moment – forget our troubles, and transforms our disturbances into a new level of calm, to the point that we could be there, in our imagination. We walk away from the painting and look at other paintings that does not produce the same thoughts and feelings, and we turn and look at it again and again, wanting to have more of the same pleasant experience. Pleasure is what we are experiencing.

This is the emotional reaction we feel towards this very representational art that we fully understand. It communicated to us a certain message within the boundaries of its technical expertise, by which it was created. The technical expertise wasn’t the initial visual attraction, however. It was the message that it communicated to us visually, that attracted us. The virtuosity by which it was created becomes secondary to the significance of the message and the quality of its delivery. Although the message doesn’t have to have the same meaning for every viewer, it is the combination of both, the message and the technical expertise that brings about an understanding that causes the viewer to respond emotionally.

From sketching and carving with sharp stones on the walls of his cave, to the magnificence of today’s technology, man has journeyed through an incredible evolution in the arts among many other dynamics of life. From those who have accepted the boundaries of their culture and environmental factors, have remained true and faithful to what they were permitted and expected to create in the form of various representational and figurative arts. But the more precocious, who had an awareness of higher form of existence and true potential, wanted to move beyond the obvious with no tolerance for suppression and entrapment. They became the visionaries who escaped and sought freedom of expression elsewhere, where the attainment of that freedom was possible.

A great number of European artists and teachers such as Joseph Albers and Hans Hofmann moved to America in mid 20th century and made New York the new Art Center of the world by leaving Paris behind. They brought with them that very freedom of spontaneity to create paintings that became what we know today as abstract expressionism. As unique as our finger prints, each expression, became a new aesthetic signature to reckon with.

However, the basic roots of the transition from representational art to abstract art and expressionistic paintings had begun to grow in the later part of the 19th century in the form of impressionist and neo-impressionists when art had begun to change its face, while still retaining a good degree of resemblance to what it meant to be; and by the time post-impressionism had arrived on the scene, the field of art had already gone through a noticeable change and well on its way towards a major transformation.

Prior to the arrival of this new transformation, and certainly before post-impressionism, the artist was primarily engaged in the natural depiction of the landscape, rather than attempting to tap into the depth of his own emotions by way of his canvas, and connect to the psyche of his audience.

Nothing is more powerful and significant than the birth and the power of a new idea. Nothing can or is capable of stopping an idea. Once an idea is conceived, it cannot be stopped, suppressed or harnessed; because an idea has no mass or form to occupy a physical space and become subjected to the opposing forces, and become vulnerable. A new idea, once conceived, takes on a life of its own, by being nurtured in the powerful lofts of imagination and carried forward in the arms of those who embrace it.

Hans Huffman who became recognized as the father of the abstract expressionism has this to say:
“An idea can only be materialized with the help of a medium of expression, the inherent qualities of which must be surely sensed and understood in order to become the carrier of an idea.” The idea of self-determinism, to permit oneself the ownership of freedom of expression is a luxury that is not for sale, but to attain; a faculty innately available to a few, but attainable by the masses. For some it arrives quickly, and the rest come to embrace it through hardship.

The evolution of art from representational to abstract expressionism required a tremendous level of liberalism and acceptance by those whose help and economic support were instrumental in the survival level of the abstract expressionist painters.

In an essay, very revealing of his philosophy of art, Johannes Itten says: “If new ideas are to assume any artistic forms, the physical, sensual, intellectual and spiritual forces must all be equally available and act in concert.” Truly speaking, Itten says what it takes to create a good artistic expression in terms of the wherewithal necessary to transmit an idea, which is something imagined, felt or pictured in the mind, into the canvas as a successful work of art, which can be sensed and understood by the viewer.

This above criteria outlined by Itten in the early 20th century was a big philosophical bite that required lots of chewing and digestion before earning acceptance and support; so the abstract artists had to endure a very endearing plight in earning and preserving their livelihood.

Before the arrival of the European pioneers and their fortitude, in bringing their very precious gift of abstract paintings, representational artists had no clue as to what freedom of artistic expression really meant to open the door into a new realm of practicing art, which opened a new door and an extension of their inner self.

Faced with the sever opposition of the traditionalists who rejected change, the abstract artists began to express their soul, on their new canvases, with their own newly created rules. In the world of art, where art is traded as a luxury and not a necessity and dependent upon the discretionary money of a few, the arrival of the abstract art in general and in particular abstract expressionism threatened the axles on which the art market was pivoted.

Change became inevitable, and traditionalists broke rank with futurists at the expense of the modern art; but the abstract expressionists became busily involved in experimenting and exploring the various physical entities and invented new tools by which they could apply paint to their canvases.

Suddenly the conventional means by which the artist had painted changed into an ever-changing process of exploration, creation, experimentation, and more creations; each time giving birth to a new technique. The canvases, paints and the studio tools extended far beyond the boundaries of the artist’s studio and into the realm of collage and found objects.

Jackson Pollock was the quintessential action painter, who struggled badly with acceptance, began to use his body as a painting instrument around his vast canvases laid out on the floor and danced with his splashes, drippings and spattering of paint; he developed and mastered the technique of action painting and enjoyed some of the sprouts of a great new fame and fortune before he fell victim to the demons of his culture at the ripe age of 42. He left a great legacy behind, which continued to inspire many abstract artists through the variety of great canvases which he left behind.

This is what Pollock have said in part about his paintings: “It’s all a big game of construction, some with a brush, some with a shovel, some choose a pen. The method of painting is the natural growth out of need. I want to express my feelings rather than illustrate them. It doesn’t matter how the paint is put on, as long as something is said. On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more a part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting. The modern artist is working with space and time and expressing his feelings rather than illustrating. When I’m painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It’s only after a get acquainted period that I see what I’ve been about. The painting has a life of its own. Every good painter paints what he is.”

Another great artist and contemporary painter from the abstract expressionists group is Robert Rauschenberg. Rauschenberg created collages with found objects on the streets of New York City and defied every conceivable traditionalist’s rule as he progressed through his career, which became quite deservedly rewarding, earning him the recognition, notoriety and financial success in the past few decades. He later moved to, Florida to get away from New York City, where he continue to create his art on the quiet and affluent shores of Captiva Island.

One of the most inspiring techniques of Rauschenberg worth remembering, is his concept of leaving enough to chance for the sake of discovery, where the artist enjoys the serendipity of unexpected happenstance.

The two most prominent style of abstract expressionism, were the action painters engaging use of textures, spattering and drippings of paint throughout, gesturing the mood of the artist, and the color-field painters who expressed their work through the unified fields of color and shapes, while many other painters made use of both styles in their work.