Dabbling with Abstraction

Oh the good old Abstract Painting.  What is it?  What makes it art?  What makes it good?

I have zero answers to any of this and yet here I am, putting together a few pieces that seem to have no goals and no direction.  Pieces that were created with both intuition and a million small calculations in the moment.  Unplanned and unsure.

For me, it seems, the difference is having a goal.  With figurative art I have a notion of how I want the final piece to look.  I approach it with intense scrutiny and reserve a portion of whimsy (just enough to keep it organic and surprising even to me).  With these pieces the ratios are different.  Mountains of whimsy and just enough scrutiny to choose colors that I want to see next to or on top of each other.  

What I don’t know is how other abstract artists work?  I’ve read that some sketch their paintings first and I have no clue how I’d do such a thing and still retain all the whimsy.  I’ve read that there is no true method for abstractionism, that it is (of all the schools) defiant of definition and resistant to rules.  Being a tiny bit defiant myself I love this … being someone who values order rather than chaos I am left floundering.

I would like to find someone to tell me how it’s done … and I love it that no one can (not that no one will try – it seems people love to tell me how to do things, much to their dismay).

So I play at this.  I wonder at it.  And I am multitudes richer for having found a sense of freedom and confidence to give it a try and share the results.  

Tell me, my people, your thoughts on abstract art?  Does your mind work and churn to make sense of it?  To find the ‘patterns in the woodgrain’?  Do you absorb and enjoy it as a whole and let it rest as whatever it is?  Does it evoke emotion?  Is it a visual pleasure to let your eyes move from area to area, or a frustration that there’s no solid landing point?

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