MAYBE PREACHING TO THE CHOIR
MATISSE, a master of representational to abstract
When I see a beautiful sunset or a colorful bird I really am moved and love that experience. When I see a dolphin or a zebra in a zoo I find it cool and interesting. In short, I do like the natural world very much. Being in the experience and capturing it on film are one of my passions. Why is it then when I see these things in paintings I yawn? Because art should bring more than beauty to us. A lot more.
For people like Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, O’ Keefe, Monet and many others I admire, the journey from beauty was about the process of growth. If that took some dark turns, they went down those roads. But it was a journey of the intellect. Without that we have mere illustration. Read Norman Rockwell’s book: Norman Rockwell, Illustrator. He clearly knows the difference and explains it well.
Artists embrace frustration because they know that is a doorway t break through to more progress. It is not usually a doorway to sales, at least not at first.
The reason some people hate abstract (and indeed, why is it hate?) is that they do not understand abstraction is all around us and it is as old as cave art…..and most abstraction comes out of representational imagery. It would be shocking to some to see how well abstract artists drew and painted before they moved onward. I would quickly add that this is not a requirement however. It is incredible to me that any artist would trade their imagination for what they expect others would want.