• Olivia Alexander

Creating Abstract Art pt 1


I’m working into an abstract piece for an exhibition next month and exploring the concept of ‘passages’.


Abstract art is a visual language.

It’s unconventional, often spontaneous and cannot be taught in the conventional way.


But, there are certain things that can be learnt on the road to make creating abstract art less difficult.


Good abstract work is undergirded by a strong composition

Composition is what I call that the skeleton and it brings equilibrium to the piece.

And the ‘elements of design’ carry that through.

These are all tools in the artists tool box.


Although the painting may not represent anything to the viewer, the artist has started with some sort of subject. Whether that is a landscape, a still life, a person or even a word or emotion, it has come from somewhere and can be influenced by many external elements.


As artists we are taught to see the world as a mixture of flat shapes rather than realistic objects.


When I’m painting in abstraction, each shape or brushstroke I add to the painting changes it’s dynamic.

The balance is altered and even the mood can be changed by whatever colour I use.


Each shape must work together to support the entire artwork, even the smallest shape or mark has a part to play.


Above: RESTORATION


The importance of Passages

Now, ‘passages’ are important. They’re the corridors, if you like, between the shapes and they lead the eye of the viewer through the story.

Giving the eye places to rest is important.


Things like balance, contrast, movement, active , passive are all part of designing a good abstract.

These can be learnt but they also develop with practice, lots of practice.


It took me several years to learn the art of abstraction. At first, it did my head in and I thought “I’ll never get this!”

But four years of training in design and composition with a fabulous teacher eventually paid off.

Having said that, I’m still learning 🙂


Above: BIRDSONG


HAVE A QUESTION?

Is there questions you like to ask about abstract art and I’ll endeavour to answer them in part 2?

Liv. X

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As seen on
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7th Showcase Winner,
Mixed Media, 2016
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International Competition
2nd Place Winner Aug 2010

Studio Atelier|  Gold Coast, QLD  Australia|

Mob: +61(0)411 197 254 |Em: olivia@oliviaalexanderart.com