There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterwards you can remove all traces of reality. There’s no danger then, anyway, because the idea of the object will have left an indelible mark. – Pablo Picasso
I ran across this quote today. I haven’t seen it in a while. Even though Picasso says there is no abstract art and I consider myself a painter who creates abstract art – I believe this quote is really more about the fact that abstract art must begin with something for it to have substance.
I love this quote. It describes how I work as an abstract painter. I always work from something – a model, a photo, something outside my studio window – so I can capture it’s essence much like a Haiku captures a moment in time with words.
I must start with something and then remove traces of reality rather than start with no subject at all. I’ve tried that before and my paintings end up being an exercise in decoration. When I work from something as I paint, the impression of what I began with always lives within the painting. I consider this critical to the success of a piece.