I've always been a bit confused by abstract art. I knew the premise, I knew the theory, but I don't think it really clicked for me until I started doing it myself. Last semester I had a really interesting module on abstract art and how it came to be. Something I got from that module that has kind of stuck with me was to think of a picture like a piece of music. Abstract art is just like music without words.
From the moment I started properly painting, my focus has always been to make the piece as realistic as possible. I think the gateway for me was when I took a picture of rain on my friends car window.
This image really opened my eyes. It didn't look like a photograph and I had the urge to paint it. Suddenly I couldn't get enough. Eventually I developed a process where I start with an image I have taken, or a scene in front of me. I paint that image until it starts to feel wrong and then I abandon the original picture completely. I think that the result is the perfect mixture of intuition and taking things from the world around me. Its led me to become experimental with colours and has me thinking about how elements of a piece work together in a way I wasn't before. Everything fell into place.