What makes a good abstract painting?


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  #1     09-11-2009, 04:28 AM

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What makes a good abstract painting?

Hi, I have been wondering what makes a good abstract painting. People talk about lines, colors, and balance but how do you know which directions to go during the process of creating a painting? No one has really explained to me yet. I know which paintings I like, but I am not talking about that. I want to know how to create good abstract paintings that other people agree they are good. Maybe you had this discussion already. If you can show me the link, I'll check that first. Thanks.

Orange

  #2     09-11-2009, 07:58 AM

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Re: What makes a good abstract painting?

by abstract do you mean modern or contemporary? what makes good modern painting is something that is visually relational to the works of 1910-1970, as they pretty much excavated the whole potential of abstraction. Contemporary is anything (everything is now an abstract even if it looks "real" its the criteria we use to look at paintings) that is relational to its form or provides models for possible working universals, rather than the emphasis on an iconography or idiosyncratic methods of the artist. to borrow from Bourriaud ("relational aesthetics" a very popular consensus of contemporary art today) the modern condition was to make a possible world now we are trying to find ways of making possible universes. read stuff by Hal foster (recodings/return of the real), Jean Baudrillard (ecstasy of communication/simulations , Nicolas Bourriaud (relational aesthetics), Thomas Lawson (last exit: Painting) they are the only ones that have really contributed anything interesting in the last 20 years. Susan Sontag's against interpretation is pretty good too, but thats quite old now.

and Arthur Danto or Clement Greenberg if you want to read about what not to do with art.

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www.jackjonesart.co.uk   #3     09-11-2009, 11:13 AM

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Re: What makes a good abstract painting?

This is a huge question to try to answer. You'll get answers from the very high-level "whatever looks good", all the way down to specifics about composition, and along another plane of thought to whether the result moves people emotionally. (and philosophical/academic discussions of the definitions of terms too) I would suggest that the answer to your underlying question lies primarily in the area of what makes a strong composition. There are so many different approaches to take regarding composition that there is no one answer. Some successful abstract paintings make use of many "principles" of composition. Others only a few. So, check out Jon's thread on giving a critique. It has a starting point on many of the compositional principles.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=533479

Hope this helps!

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  #4     09-11-2009, 12:51 PM

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Re: What makes a good abstract painting?

Good abstract painting begins with design. Good design is just essential to a "good" abstract. Anyone can splash paint around and call it an abstract painting, but if it's good it has the basic elements and principles of design. Color dominance with variety, shape dominance with some conflict, Unity,

harmony, rhythm...all those parts.

  #5     09-12-2009, 03:15 AM

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Re: What makes a good abstract painting?

I never worry about wether other people agree my paintings are good.... part of me thinks they are probably crap and eveyone s humouring me anyway. That's ok too. I think "what makes an abstract good" is different from "how to paint a good abstract". I think what makes an image "good" is how the viewer reacts to it. Good stuff takes me on a journey or exploration.... it gives me things to contemplate or experience. "How to paint a good abstract?" That is all of the above (, or some of the above... depending on what gives at the time. I believe having a purpose to drive the design is also useful.... most of the time. Hmm - perhaps I have no idea after all.

  #6     09-12-2009, 08:48 AM

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Re: What makes a good abstract painting?

Abstract painting. It is nothing but playing with elements and principles of Design & Composition. In my opinion Abstract art is the last stage of artst's experimentation on art. In realistic art he is interpreting visual world.This is not imitation.It is interpretation. Interpretation is different from Imitation.Interpretation is expressing his feelings and responses for the visual world. Doing Abstract painting is also same. Here the artist plays with abstract shapes instead of visual world's recognisable shapes. In Abstract art also he will express his feelings and responses of the visual world in an abstract manner. That is why to be an Abstract Artist one must learn painting skills along with Design & Composition.Along with these he must have character. This character will be built with his life experieances. Knowledge in Painting Skills, understanding of Design & Composition plus character are required to be an Abstract Artist.Only this kind of person will be able to create Abstract Art.

- Dayakar

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My blog: http://maguntadayakar.blogspot.in/   #7     09-12-2009, 09:15 AM

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Re: What makes a good

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abstract painting?

wow, some great answers here! dayakar you did a good job all around. I agree with the character and life experiences. E and Bevahlee got it right too composition and design. I have been self educated for the most part but the best education you can get is to expose yourself to art in all media, forms, and periods. When I do an abstract work most of the time it is intuitive but drawing on experience and learned design principles somewhere in the back of my brain. A bohemian gypsy friend one told me... "The soul of an artist is like a mirror, reflecting what he sees and feels, good or bad regardless."

Art for me internal I don't worry much on how it is perceived but do appreciate comments and sugestions.

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  #8     09-12-2009, 01:53 PM

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Re: What makes a good abstract painting?

There is an aspect that hasn't been covered yet that I think is important. For representational art too, but for abstract abstract art it is paramount: confident exploration. (some people might call it faith that things will work out or balanced risk-taking) When you push your boundaries and try new things, there is always a chance that the next step will ruin your current composition. But each time you do, the result has the opportunity to surprise you, hopefully in a good way. I'm NOT a gambler with money, but I like to treat my art like poker - a series of contemplated risks and a good chance for a jackpot now and then.

Perhaps this all changes when you get really good....

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Last edited by Eraethil : 09-12-2009 at01:53 PM . Reason: grammar fix

  #9     09-13-2009, 06:23 PM

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Re: What makes a good abstract painting?

I am grateful for you all to take time answering my question. It is touching to read your comments because I can feel your sincere approach to creating art. In the practical sense, I appreciate Eraethil for pointing out Jon's thread on giving critique. My question was rather vague but I think that was what I was looking for. You might think that's basic but I don't know if anyone gave me that clear descriptions on what to look for in paintings during various painting classes I took long time ago. It is a great checklist while I paint both realistic and abstract. I don't know how to provoke emotions with my paintings mentioned by billday nor reflecting my character on paintings mentioned by dayakar. I will be definitely thinking about those comments while I paint. If anyone can add more to the emotional and spiritual aspect of art, please do, but I certainly feel that I can step out to the right direction with the knowledge I got from your helpful comments. So thank you everyone.

Orange

09-13-2009, 07:10 PM

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Re: What makes a good abstract painting?

I don't think it is possible not to inject emotion into abstract painting. Each work reflects the individual who produced it and it certainly provokes an emotional response in the viewer. Willem de Kooning said that each painting he did represented his whole life's work and I believe that is true of any artist. I also think it would be impossible not to reflect your character in a piece. In my opinion, it has to say something to you and at that point, it's important to walk away. Just my two cents worth.

09-13-2009, 09:21 PM

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Re: What makes a good abstract painting?

Goodness knows I haven't done many abstract pieces, but am inclined to do more now. Fear has previously held me back, but not so now as the excitement I have experienced from seeing a painting take on a life of its own and "direct" me is very different and invigorating. I've begun each piece with the knowledge I use for all my paintings - all the basic rules. But, I find that creating an abstract work of art is much, much more cerebral for me. I like that. It's mentally very challenging. I too believe that it's impossible to put a piece of yourself in your work. Each contact with the surface is a "word" or a "note" expressed from within.

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C & C Welcome 09-15-2009, 09:30 PM

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Re: What makes a good abstract painting?

Hi. the comments here are great, so I don't feel I can add very much, even though most of my pieces are now "abstract". The ones that work the best for me always feel balanced composition-wise, no matter how simple or complex the design. __________________
creativity is imagination in motion 09-15-2009, 11:44 PM

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Re: What makes a good abstract painting?

I meant to say "it's impossible 'not' to put a piece of yourself in your work"...always should proof read huh?

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C & C Welcome 09-16-2009, 12:49 AM

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Re: What makes a good abstract painting?

Yes, Some very good comments. I will humbly add my contribution. Learn how to paint. Get the experience you need through experimentation. Invent your own technique and style. Achieve self-confidence; get rid of your fear of failure. Love your work with a passion as you would a spouse.

Spiritually; make creating art your life.

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09-16-2009, 01:22 AM

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Re: What makes a good abstract painting?

what makes the brain juices flow


Category: Abstract

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