about my art and views on art

SAW Arts Festival 2013
SAW Arts Festival 2013

understand abstract art


You do not have to understand art; just feel it! 

This is for all those of you out there that feel intimidated by abstract art, in the hope that it will open the door to experiencing abstract art without fear.  I hope that those artists among you who also have intimidated viewers will point them to this article in the hope of spreading the word that art is about communication of experiences and feelings

Abstract art

You either like it or you don’t, it talks to you or it doesn’t; however you do not have to understand abstract art to like it; take time to ask yourself about it, what is it you like and don’t about it? Be aware of your feelings can you find a connection does it converse with you? Can you find a way in?

Be aware that art is trying to communicate with you in a different language.  Allow yourself time, give it a chance; you will be surprised how your conceptions will change and how much art can offer you and enhance your awareness.

You do not have to understand abstract art; just feel it!

You do however have to be open, allow it to communicate with your senses your feelings. You will find the more you do this the more in touch you will be with art and your inner being.  You have to be open to finding what works for you what reaches into your soul; you’ll find that most art will not do that only a tiny fraction of the art you look at will. However, you will gain much by looking and seeking out art that moves you.

understanding abstract art ‘another place another time’

Finding a way in

If like many you only see representational art as worthy of your attention you are denying yourself great pleasure; in not seeking this experience with abstract art.  Yes, you may feel when standing in front of a well-executed representational landscape that you could lose yourself in it, (a good photograph can and does do this) that is not what I am talking about.  Being able to connect with a work of art, one that does not depict a specific subject can be a profound experience as you the viewer bring your life experiences; of all those thousands of tiny moments and impressions to a work of art. 

understanding abstract art

sun setting over lake – JMW Turner. It is easy to lose oneself in a Turner. He opened the door to abstraction

John Hayland said this about his medium: “Paintings are there to be experienced, they are events.  They are also to be meditated on and be enjoyed by the senses, to be felt through the eye… Paintings are not to be reasoned with, they are not to be understood.  They are to be recognised.” RWA Art Magazine 03 2010

Sometimes just once in a while, you will find a way in; not just to the piece but into your depth your soul your psyche. That’s when the fusion of your life experiences and the artists merge and make art beautiful.

You do not have to understand abstract art; just feel it!

If like so many, abstract art scares you as you think you cannot appreciate it because you do not understand abstract art.  Bear in mind that an abstract painting is a part of the artist that created it, but it is also a part of you the viewer, what you bring to it is just as important.

I find people who wander up to my studio without realising they are walking into the ‘unknown’ territory of abstract art; feel intimidated they have been led to believe they have to understand it.  This misconception has made abstract art unapproachable to many and has done art and the abstract artist a disservice.  By intellectualising abstract art, they have estranged the viewing public

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Miro’s message, he wanted to rediscover the source of human feelings, in his paintings he used signs and symbols in his attempt to rediscover this.  He spent years refining them down

Yes, some abstract art is conceptual with a particular message; however, it should not be entirely about the message; it is art after all.  If you have to understand it to appreciate it; if it is not reaching out and is inward looking then in my opinion for what it’s worth it has failed.  A work of art should stand on its own; once it is out in the world the viewer’s experience of it is now what counts.

A Challenge

You the viewer now own it, if you do your part you will either like it or not, feel it or not.  However you do not have to like or understand abstract art, there are people that we do not like and or understand that is not the whole.  The more you look the more open you will become and the better your experience of art will be. You may, of course, find abstract art is still not for you; at least you won’t be intimidated by it anymore.

bird song ‘bird song’ – ashar

Once you know what it is that resonates with you, you will find it a very fulfilling and enjoyable experience.  However never stop challenging your perception of art and what you get and bring to it, you will continually grow and evolve if you do.

I am aware that this challenges the academic view held and taught in many universities today; however the debate is open and will go on ad infinitum… you can add to it in the comments below

related postsart that moves me’ and getting the feeling for abstract art’ 

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