Monthly Archives: June 2016

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.