Creativity in everyday life – Abstract Art

Creativity in everyday life — 3 Things that you didn’t know about abstract art

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Creating abstract work is more difficult than you think. Abstract work is emotional, intellectual and conceptual. These are elements that touch our basic, primal emotions. Here are some basic points about abstract work to think about:

1. Abstract art can be about emotions. With abstract art, you are trying to create an impact. You want people to notice your work and react to it. This means touching their feelings. In contemporary work, the goal is not always to make a pleasing painting; it is about creating a reaction. This reaction can be positive or negative. If someone reacts and says ‘That makes me feel frustrated’ or ‘That makes me feel happy’ or ‘That makes me feel like…’, you have achieved your goal. You want people to react and comment. You want them to feel the emotion that you put into that painting.

You can create that painting by expressing your inner feelings or you can totally plan that feeling. When you make certain kinds of marks on a canvas like bold black calligraphic strokes, that provokes a kind of feeling that is different from marks made with soft pastel colours. Think about what you want to express. Do you want a relaxing feeling or an edgy one?

2. Abstract art can be about color and how colours react when near each other. There are artists that have spent their lives working on this theme. If you look at the work of Jack Bush and …., you will see that their work is about color. When one sits next to another color, a certain vibration is created. Try it. Put yellow next to purple then put yellow next to orange. You get a whole different feeling with each of these.

The impressionists were the first to experiment with color. Monet, placed dabs of color next to each other on his painting and expected the eye to do the blending. If you look at his water and garden series, you will see how he did this. Rather than put down a green, he would put down a yellow and a blue next to each other. The eye would read it as a green. Since his works a large and meant to be seen from far, this works really well.

3. Abstract art can be about the materials. Some artists like texture. Some artists like the way paint drips, blends and semi-covers other paint. The whole experience is about what the materials will do. Elements of composition are important too but what happens when thick paint goes over thin or vice versa is what is really interesting to some artists.

One artist to look at is Willem de Kooning. He was a Dutch abstract expressionist artist. He was born in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. He moved to the United States in 1926, and became an American citizen in 1962. He loved the paint and the way he could layer different colours, cause it to drip and layer some more.

I hope this helps you .

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Till next time …

Creativity in everyday life — 5 tips for an artist to succeed

Success tips for any artist

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Success with art depends on you and your ability to let people know that you are there and willing to sell your artwork. Otherwise, they will think that your art making is only a hobby. In the beginning of your career, it may have been a hobby but now you are ready to transition into a proffessional. Here are some tips that may help.

1. Focus on a special subject. Choose something that you can do for a long time. I love mixed media landscapes and have yet to run out of ideas. If you love portraits, concentrate mostly on portraits. Do what you love.

One artist that did this really well is John Hamilton “Jack” Bush (20 March 1909–24 January 1977). He worked on his abstracts for years. His style varied little. He just loved the painting process and he was dedicated to Abstract Expressionism.

2. Work with similar colours over and over again. Learn what those colors in a variety of combinations will do together. Once you have mastered those colours, then move on to different ones.

One artist that did this really well is Mark Rothko, born Markus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz. He was an American painter of Russian Jewish descent. He worked the ideas of colour vibration and what happens when one colour is next to another colour. Simplicity was his mantra.

3. Start with only one color plus black and white. Once you have done everything there is to do with those three, add one more or change to a different color plus black and white. Master your craft in small increments and you will always do well.

One artist that did this really well is Tony Onley. Toni Onley OC was noted for his landscapes and abstract works. Born in Douglas on the Isle of Man, he moved to Canada in 1948, and lived in Brantford, Ontario. Among his works are many watercolours depicting the northern Canadian landscape. He simplified his colour palette and kept painting the most beautiful landscapes.

4. Go for the ‘big’ idea. Work on one basic idea and make it work really well. Make your work a jaw dropping moment. One artist that did this really well is Helen Frankenthaler. She was an American abstract expressionist painter. She was a major contributor to the history of postwar American painting.

Having exhibited her work for over six decades, she spanned several generations of abstract painters while continuing to produce vital and ever-changing new work.

5. Once you have an idea, don’t overly perfect it. Just do it. You need to enjoy the process not plan every miniscule detail before starting. There nothing wrong with planning. I encourage that but you need to allow the possibility that ‘happy accidents’ might happen for the better.

One artist that did this really well is Oscar-Claude Monet. He was a French painter, a founder of French Impressionist painting and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement’s philosophy of expressing one’s perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein air landscape painting. Monet’s ambition of documenting the French countryside led him to adopt a method of painting the same scene many times in order to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons.

From 1883, Monet lived in Giverny, where he purchased a house and property and began a vast landscaping project which included lily ponds that would become the subjects of his best-known works. In 1899, he began painting the water lilies, first in vertical views with a Japanese bridge as a central feature and later in the series of large-scale paintings that was to occupy him continuously for the next 20 years of his life.

I hope this helps you .

Doris’ website:

I have creativity courses and art courses online at:

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest check out her website and

5 tips for success as an artist