What is Abstract Painting?
I get this question all the time at show openings and exhibitions. Or folks will say, "I just don't get abstract painting." My typical response is that abstract painting is just like any other type of painting, it just has the subject matter removed. The subject matter is what gives traditional painting it's structure and compositional organization. Without the structure from subject matter to organize the composition, abstract painting relies heavily on design fundamentals to organize, structure and give hierarchy to the painting. Abstract painting is just like any other kind of painting: you have to have good shapes, good values, good design and a center of interest.
I always emphasize five design fundamentals: Shape, Value, Color, Edges and Center of Interest. If you can master these five things, you can produce any kind of painting you want. Abstract painting, just like any other type of painting relies on these design fundamentals. You can choose, as a painter, not to use any design fundamentals. Just realize that your work will never be as strong and powerful as it could be. I know plenty of painters that don't design anything. They think that they can do anything, call it art, and it will be great. While there are no hard and fast rules in art, those who create the best paintings that are cohesive and coherent and good, utilize design fundamentals to make their paintings better - and you can see it in their work.
Even though I paint in a spontaneous manner with no pre-planning, I utilize the design fundamentals to organize my abstract compositions. These design fundamentals provide the structure that my paintings require to be the best they can be.
If you would like to learn more about how design fundamentals can make you a better painter, then please join me for one of my Bigger, Faster, Fresher, Looser Abstract Painting Workshops. Click Here to see a list of workshops where you can com paint with me or join one of my online courses.