Representational or abstract, which is of more value in art?

Have you ever wondered how some artist’s get away with what they do? Finding a place in the art world demands soul searching… lots of it!

I need to know who I am and what I believe before  I can speak through my art! Simple, right? Well, yes!

So why do I find it so hard? My identity can sometimes be as fleeting as the wind. Influences abound! Contemporary, impressionism, pop art  I could go on.

Just when I think I know what I believe in, something emerges which challenges my preconceptions! An image excites, angers, enrages, seduces, or bores! I see naive art selling apace when detailed artworks gather dust.

I’ve always been able to create realistic images. Not perhaps the photorealism of some artists, but identifiable representations nonetheless! I assumed my work will lead in that direction.

But the trouble is,  that’s not the style of art that I enjoy looking at! I enjoy creating portraits but I don’t seek them out. I could truthfully insert “landscape” into the previous sentence. You see my problem?

That’s not to say that I don’t or can’t enjoy them. But there are so many representational artists doing a fine job! Not to mention the thousands who aren’t.

So, is that where my unique contribution lies? Would I want to even compete?

Simple Answer? I don’t. I’ve no desire to reinvent the wheel?

So what DO I want to do? Something unique, experimental… the question is what? I find so much of interest, my challenge is to focus on what I can do well and ignore the stuff I’m “OK” at!

I have considered Conceptual art? Done well it can be uplifting. Not sure it’s me, though!

I’ve mentioned before I’m a self taught artist. I struggled with the A level environment but I’ve come to realise that all artist’s are self taught to a point. Sure you can learn techniques, theories or art history. But sooner or, in my case, later you have to make you’re own choices, develop your own ideas and define who you are. Expand the boundaries for yourself. Whether trendsetter, mould-breaker or workhorse. All artist’s have their place, the important thing is defining which role suits you.

Me? I’ve chosen abstract art. I have my style and I like it. It’s exciting and there’s room for expansion. And I need to focus and develop that! That’s who I am and what I do…

Defining moment

But I’ve no intention of remaining in a rut. This week I’ve dabbled with fused glassmaking and the style of Mike Bernard. But more of that in another post. I can see some semi-abstract work in the future… and a mass of exciting stuff I’ve never even heard/thought of yet!

Whatever the emotion evoked by the image, I must either reject or incorporate it into my beliefs!

What about you? Have you found your artistic identity yet? Are you a painter, draughtsman or Artist?

About CathyReadArt

Artist creating abstract art using mixed media. I believe there should be beauty in art, but sometimes it takes an artist to show others what is truly beautiful.
This entry was posted in Abstract, Abstract - Void series, Abstracts, Acrylic, Acrylics, Artistic development, ink, Mediums, Musings, watercolour and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Representational or abstract, which is of more value in art?

  1. Hi, I enjoyed reading this blog entry because my husband is also a self taught artist and I agree with your paragraph about the concept of ‘self taught’.

    We have an Art Gallery on the Isles of Scilly so a lot of his work is aimed at visitors to the islands who want to take back a card or print (or even original) depicting something that triggers pleasant memories of their stay. Thus, he’s mainly a representational artist and his watercolours feature seascapes, landscapes and flora since the islands are renowed for all of these.

    Sadly, we get people in the Gallery who assume he’s had formal art training and who are then taken aback when he says he finished formal art training by doing ‘O’ Level at age 15! Somehow, in their eyes, that seems to diminish his ‘stature’ as an artist which belittles the excellent quality of his work.

    He hasn’t tried abstract yet but he’s been using acrylic inks recently and enjoying them and he has mentioned once or twice that he’d like to try sculpture using local granite. I gently pointed out that transporting a framed picture on a helicopter/plane/boat is one thing but trying to pack and transport a heavy granite sculpture is going to be MUCH more of a challenge! We shall see ….

  2. Scott McLeod says:

    Representational is talent based, abstract is often creative expression.

    I think abstract art is the more raw and less mastery skill involved, but more focsued on creative expression.

    Art should convey what words can not-Realism and representational art is doing nothing more than a few words can do.

  3. Saffron James says:

    God! That’s a pompous reply if I ever red one!

    You reely dissed that other guys work with that last bit. REalism and representation art is doing nothing more than a few words can do

    So all the well known artist who have done representational stuff are second rate? Turner? Monet? Titian? Leonardo da Vinci?

    Talk about narrow minded and arrogant!

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