Is This Abstract?


I find the whole idea of what is and what isn’t abstract totally confusing Frank. I find it even more confusing to implement it in art form. I’ve understood it to mean, in its easiest form….to be unrecognisable of its reality but have the elements of the subject…..not necessarily in the right place!lol I’m probably way off the mark. I like your multi coloured face, without the eyes it would make a good mask, could it qualify as semi abstract?

It's an interesting painting Frank. To throw a spanner in the works, all art is, to some extent, abstract!

I'm so happy it isn't just me. I don't understand "abstract " either. Ellen Mooney posts some lovely paintings that she classes as abstract . I know I like them, but I don't know why. In my mind your painting is a colourful face....good question.

No Frank, I wouldn’t class this as abstract at all. Fiona P has a good explanation…and then there’s the other consideration… to” abstract” something, to take a part of something and develop it in its own right, could be part of an image or a feeling etc . What I do know is that it’s very difficult to explain. There are certainly lots of people who post on here who mistakenly call their work abstract.

I always thought of abstracting as meaning to take something (eg detail) out/remove something. Then you could use what you’ve removed as art, or indeed what you left behind. So - is this abstract? Possibly! It’s non realistic and it’s fun, so yes it’s probably abstract, at least if you want it to be. 🤭

We had an interesting talk recently at our art club on abstract and semi-abstract art. Abstract was classed as an art form with no recognisable subject, but consisting of colours, shapes and lines, and semi-abstract as having only some recognisable elements of a subject. This looks more like a decorative face mask, so probably not either. Looks like you had fun doing it, though!

I'm another who finds some of the various 'types' of art perplexing...with abstract at the top of the list. As you say, it's probably more zentangle, but I've seen some paintings similar to this described as 'cubist.' Surely not, I thought, which is why I find these art labels confusing. It doesn't really matter, paintings like this are fun to do (I've tried it myself), and that's the main thing.

No idea if it's abstract or cubist or.... honestly, Frank. But sure you had fun doing it, hadn't you?

Abstract art - ‘performs the definition of shapes and colours not recognised as reality in image or thought’….. like Marjorie said it’s difficult to describe, and in my case at the moment difficult to do, I’m stuck right now with one on the go… Anyway, Frank, abstract or not I love your shapes and colours in this, and looks like you had fun.

Thanks everyone for all your most definitive answers, which are almost a debate!

Hang on Studio Wall

Our art club challenge this month is "Abstract" and this is about as far as I can go with an abstract, but not sure if this could be classed as abstract, maybe more zentangle. Liquitex Paint Markers on Dealer Rowney Manga Pad 7x9in.

About the Artist
Frank Bingley

I've had very little tuition over the years except for a two year course during the late 1990s in watercolour. Since retirement in 2012, I now have time to pursue my love of painting. In recent years I have ventured into linoprinting, acrylics , oils and gouache. Gouache is fast becoming my…

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