For the past few months, I've been researching and experimenting with abstract painting. Compared to my usual "tight and controlled" style of artwork, I wanted to loosen up and see what abstract had to offer, or what I had to offer abstract. I have to admit, I love it! Like most people, I've always liked abstract art... it just took me awhile to understand it. A lot of people look at abstract paintings and think either, "wow, that's really cool", or "I could do that, it's just a bunch of paint splattered around". Let me tell you, it's not as easy as it may appear. If you feel the latter, just try it. You'll change your mind quickly.
As an artist, you still get that same stress when staring at the blank canvas, wondering what to paint, where to start, or trying to envision the final perfect product before you've even put a brush stroke down. That all still happens with abstract. What I found refreshing and rewarding, was NOT knowing what I wanted the final product to look like, and just letting myself 'explore the canvas'. It's liberating! All of the same principles of painting apply with abstract. You need to really understand composition, color, balance, line and shape; otherwise you won't know how to proceed through to a final piece of art. You'll be lost. Also, the fear that all artists feel about determining when a painting is finished, and whether or not they're willing to 'show the world', is almost more amplified with abstract. If you're painting something representational, you can see at the end if it is or isn't representational, and go from there. With abstract art, there's a definite level of confidence that you need in order to put yourself out there.
Most people will interpret your paintings vastly different than you, and that's great. Think of a group of people all standing together, looking at the sky, and explaining what they see in the clouds. They're all looking at the same clouds, they all like what they're seeing, but they're all seeing something different. To me, that's the beauty of abstract art.
"Cityscape" is the first abstract piece that I've actually wanted to "share with the world". It is by no means my first abstract painting... it's probably closer to my 15th in the past few weeks. But, I love this painting. It was an adventure in mental discipline, experimentation and also trust in myself that the decisions I were making (which could completely make or break the painting) were sound. I love how everyone sees something different in it. I love how big and powerful it is in person. And, I love that I took a lot of chances and trusted myself.
I hope you like this painting as well. Cityscape will mark my first really step into abstract painting. I've also created a new gallery on my website for abstract art... even though there's only one piece in there at the moment. :)