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Life and Art

Why You Shouldn’t Try to Understand Abstract Art --Your 2 Minute Primer on Abstract Art

Bev Alldridge

20"x 20" Abstract 34 Oil CAD$650  Bev Alldridge 

20"x 20" Abstract 34 Oil CAD$650  Bev Alldridge 


Much can be written about abstract art.

But not here. At least, not today.

I will say this:

You won’t like all abstract art. No-one does.

You won’t respond to it all. No-one does.

When you least expect it, you may feel a connection to something. Many does.

(Okay, I know it is many 'do' but I liked the rhythm that was working there)


But nobody is visually naive any longer. We are cluttered with images, and only abstract art can bring us to the threshold of the divine.”
— Dominique de Menil
Just Breathe 24"x24" Oil CAD$800.00  Bev Alldridge

Just Breathe 24"x24" Oil CAD$800.00  Bev Alldridge

With that in mind....

One:  Let yourself off the hook. Don’t even try to understand abstract art.

Two:  Allow yourself to react and respond, pay attention to how you’re feeling as you would when to listening to a piece of music for the first time.

Three:  Spend time letting your eyes roam over the canvas, noting colours, shapes, forms, lines, patterns, textures…and let yourself respond emotionally rather than intellectually to what you see.

Four:  Check in with yourself. Did you find yourself responding in any way? Good, bad or indifferent?

Five:  Do not feel obliged to comment on the painting. It is your experience, and yours alone.

Six:  Maybe note who created the piece and any available information about the artist, the painting and the time it was created. This will shift your experience to the intellectual level.  The information will add to your experience, but  will not define it.

Grateful 48" x 36" oil CAD$1,800 Bev Alldridge

Grateful 48" x 36" oil CAD$1,800 Bev Alldridge

a good abstraction attacks your feelings before your understanding.
— Robert Genn

Time check:  2 minutes!

If you're curious you can see more of my abstract work

I have a new release planned for 6 more paintings within the next few weeks. If you'd like to be part of the VIP preview viewers to benefit from a 20% pre-sale price, sign up here and I'll make sure to send you the hidden link for your early access.

Until the next time. I hope when you see abstract artwork, ideally in person, you'll remember not to try and mentally figure it out. Instead, think of it as music, and listen and feel the tune it is playing. 

Do you have a pal that might enjoy this?  I'd love for you to share the link. Cheers!