What is abstract art?

And what does it mean to us?

Abstract art is defined as art that does not attempt to represent external reality, but depends entirely on the emotional significance of color, form, texture and spatial relationships rather than representational objects.

Also known as nonobjective or nonrepresentational art the theory, as I understand it, is to convey emotions without relying on the representation of things found in our world, but relying instead on the intuitions of the spirit or soul if you will.

Painter Wassily Kandinsky is credited through his painting and writings in the early 1900s as being the founder of twentieth century nonobjective art and is directly referred to as an inspiration for both Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock who insisted that their works were concerned with the essence behind the appearance of the subject.

I absolutely love that phrase “The essence behind the appearance of the subject”.

After studying art history and painting techniques as part of my Bachelor’s degree in Art Education, my photography has grown to be more centered on composition rather than lighting and I base a considerable amount of my photographic work solely on form, texture and spatial relationships found in nature.

Here are a few examples of my own work:

Abstract photograph of oak creek in Sedona by Thomas Watkins.

I created "Flow" with the intent of expanding the bounderies of what I can do with a camera, what I endend up with is a piece that can effect emotions and better a person's mood through soft pastel colors and undefined diagonal lines that convey a feeling of movement as the viewers eye sway back and forth in a soothing motion.

Geometric abstract photograph by Thomas Watkins

On the flip side, I created "Geometry in Blue and Yellow" as a direct reference to the abstract painters Mark Rothko and Frank Stella. Through bold colors and ridged straight lines this stucco wall was once simply an uninteresting beige facade of the backside of an unimpressive warehouse.

You can view more of my abstract art prints in my Abstract Photography Gallery 

Abstract art or abstract photography in my case, is a means for me to look beyond what I see, a peek into the fabric of reality and emotion that sparks my own intuition, inspiration, and curiosity.

What does abstract art mean to you?