Abstract painting is harder than it looks

I like abstract paintings but had never tried creating one until I took a weekend workshop recently. The instructor suggested picking a photograph and abstracting shapes and colors to produce a painting. 

Here's the photo that I chose (from an old how-to book on photography). I was drawn to the shapes reflected in the glass.

photo of reflections in window

After 4+ hours, I ended up with this still-unfinished painting. It still needs a lot of work. But it's not too bad for a first effort (ok, it's my second effort, but you're not going to see the first one!) 
my first abstract painting

Turns out that abstract painting is harder than I expected -- much harder than painting in a more realistic way. You really need to know how to work with color, line, and shape. 

A few days ago, I discovered this abstract work by Charles Green Shaw, a New York artist who worked in the middle of the last century. In color and shape, "Abstract Form I" looks a bit like mine. But it is much more confident and alive (and more valuable -- it sold for $40,000 recently). 
Painting by Charles Green Shaw
I have so much to learn!


  1. I love that you chose a reflection for inspiration. Really great work! :-)


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