In my opinion, attitude has a significant influence on the outcome of a project. The stories we tell ourselves, how we view our circumstances, and the moral values for our daily life can sway us in the direction of success or failure.
As I find attitude to be a strong power, I intend to capture a mood or mindset in my artwork and convey this state of mental energy to the viewer.
Since mood and mindset are abstract experiences, my work is abstract in nature. In paintings depicting realistic scenes, you see what you get – and you get what you see. A flower, a landscape, a still life, a portrait. In abstract work the message is much more difficult to decipher. Color, lines, and shapes often hide the artist’s statement, if there is any at all.
It takes time, lots of questions, and honest engagement to achieve a connection with a piece.
Next time you see abstract art, spend time with it even if you are not a fan of abstract art. How do you respond on a visceral level? Is the piece calming or is it unsettling? Do you feel drawn into it or appalled? Does it make you curious?
Where does your eye go first? Is there a particular line or shape that demands immediate attention? Do you like a color or color combination in the piece? Is there more to discover once you look closely? Repetition, symmetry, change of scale?
Often we want to relate an abstract image with an experience from our past, like the hues of a mountain range we saw on our last hike, the bright colors of a carefree vacation, or black and gray reflecting our dark mood during an argument.
The title of the artwork might point you in a certain direction for an interpretation. Maybe, it invites you to make up your own story.
An artist statement or biography could provide you with background information and clues for the art piece.
Of course, the best scenario is to talk to the artist directly. Don’t be shy, don’t be intimidated. And definitely, don’t feel “stupid” because you are just beginning to learn about abstract art. Ask questions. Not sure what to ask? Start with the inspiration for the piece, its background story, if there is a message, what the artist hopes to achieve with this particular piece or their art in general.
Learning to connect with abstract art is a process. Sometimes it clicks, and sometimes it doesn’t. There is no right or wrong reaction.
Personally, I love abstract art, and yet, at times I see pieces I just cannot relate to. No doubt, I’m still learning, too. However, my goal is to approach each abstract piece with an open mind and a willingness to interact.
What about my own art?
Understanding our own attitude by looking inwards doesn’t happen at first glance. It takes time to analyze the nuances and form a message. Exploring my soul for my values and actions is a work in progress, and so is portraying mood or mindset in fabric and thread. Both require a dialog between my head and my heart.
One thing is sure: It takes time, lots of questions, and honest engagement to achieve a connection.
How do you engage with abstract art? Do you have any questions for me? Remember, there are no stupid questions! Send me an email