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Creativity with Abstracts
by Caroline Ulbrich
Abstract art can be a great way to decorate your home or office. There is something more unique and even emotional that can be found in abstract art that you don’t always get from a landscape or still life image.
When choosing abstract art for your home there are a few things to consider. Most important is that the piece means something to you. It should evoke emotion in you or should intrigue you. Also, think about the color scheme. You want it to flow with your décor but you also don't want it to blend in too much. A good contrasting abstract can lighten up a dark room or add a punch of color to a more dull, beige surrounding.
What is great about abstracts is that there is one out there to fit any setting, whether it is contemporary or traditional, casual or formal. An abstract is simply art that has no recognizable subject. It is merely a play on color, shape, texture, light, etc. A good abstract can be not only decorative, but intellectual as well. It may make you think about a piece, what it means to you - what it meant to the artist. If titled, you may get a clue into the original meaning behind the piece, but abstracts are always open to interpretation. It can be a great conversation starter to discuss with guests who view your piece.
I've written before about the psychology of art and how it can affect one's health and mental well-being. Abstract art is a great way of creating an atmosphere to represent emotions you want felt in a certain space. A soothing and neutral piece may have a nice calming effect for the bedroom, or a bright and vibrant piece may be stimulating for the work environment.
Some abstract art has gotten a bad rap as being a form of modern art that anyone could create. A solid white canvas may be a form of abstract art, but it doesn't take much creativity to come up with. The most famous abstract artist is arguable Jackson Pollock, whose large "drip paintings" are widely respected and admired. Pollock's work may look random and sloppy at first, but there is definitely a method to the madness. His work always has balance, and he had a very definite intent in mind when creating each piece.
Pollock would work on the floor and walk around and all over the large canvas. He might use a brush or a stick to splatter and stroke paint. Sometimes he would pour straight out of the can. His pieces are so much more than just splatter, there is meaning and direction behind each piece. This short film shows Jackson Pollock at work and is narrated by the artist.
Abstract art doesn't have to always be a painting. Photography can be abstract, and many people are beginning to experiment with digital abstract art such as fractals. It can be a fun project to try creating your own abstract art.
If you are inspired by Pollock's work, try splattering different paints to make a creative piece. Don't be afraid to get dirty, and keep at it. You probably won't get a great piece on your first one, but try smaller pieces and work your way up to your own large masterpiece.
For the photographer, there is abstract art all around you. Look at details and textures, small portions of objects you might skip over normally. See what interesting colors and shapes are created in nature and in man-made structures. Take a very small section of a photograph you have already done and enlarge it to the extreme. You may end up with just enormous pixels, creating an art piece of blocks or a blur of shapes and colors that are harmonious.The image on the right is a close-up photograph of a simple pole on a playground. The wear and tear has created an interesting pattern, and the simple colors would be a nice accent to a room.
Presentation of the art also matters. You can use a frame to fit the piece into your decor, or let it be free of framing, and merge seamlessly into the wall. A gallery wrap can emphasize the actual artwork instead of adding a heavy frame.
No matter what kind of space you have or if you prefer painting or photography, it may be a good idea to explore decorating your space with abstract art.