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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How to Tell Good Abstract Art from Bad

"Queen of Diamonds" 20 x 20 acrylic on canvas

I found an interesting article at Keeton’s Office & Art Supply, Jan. 19, 2015 written by Nicole Tinkham that answered all of my doubts and questions:


1. Consistency
This refers to the consistency within a painting as well as the consistency of an artist’s portfolio. If a portfolio is all over the place with a few stunning pieces mixed with low quality work, the artist is either still developing or doesn’t quite know what they’re doing. Same goes for within a single painting. The flow must be consistent from one side of the painting to the other with planned and precise strokes.

2. Color
Colors that don’t mesh well together are a dead giveaway that the artist isn’t a professional unless of course it’s done deliberately in which case it has to be obvious.

3. Texture
Most of the time, good abstract art is compiled of layers. There’s typically and under-painting and these layers often create texture.

4. Meaning
All great art has some sort of meaning behind it. Some type of emotion, whether positive or negative gets thrown onto the canvas. There’s thought and planning put into it. You’ll know when an abstract piece is done at random. It lacks personality.

5. Complexity
As an artist completes more and more pieces, they grow and learn new techniques, which is evident in their work. In contrast to what you may think about abstract art, the techniques used in this style (by a professional) cannot be easily replicated.

6. Comfort
Uncomfortable paint strokes will tell you right away that the artist is an amateur. Experienced artists are confident and produce every mark with intention. Paint splatters may look random but they’re put there for a reason.

There are so many different feelings toward abstract art. There are many people that simply don’t understand it, others who think they can replicate it, and of course the abstract artists themselves who put much more time and thought into it than many non-artists realize.

Tell us, what do YOU think? Does this research and the qualities of good abstract art change your mind about it?
"Moonshines" mixed media on canvas
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