The Road Less Traveled: Why I Didn't Choose Abstract Art

The Road Less Traveled: Why I Didn't Choose Abstract Art

Posted by Jess Perna on Feb 3rd 2023

The world of art is a diverse and boundless realm where creativity knows no limits. Within this expansive space, artists have the freedom to explore a multitude of styles, from realism to impressionism, cubism to abstract expressionism. However, as an artist, I have consciously chosen not to pursue abstract art, and in this blog post, I'll share the reasons behind my decision. I was asked today why I didn't do abstract art.  I replied, "I like a challenge and doing something where I could make a mistake!"

A Deep Connection to Realism:

One of the primary reasons I didn't choose abstract art is my profound connection to realism. Realism, with its focus on depicting the world as it appears to the naked eye, has always resonated with me. I find immense satisfaction in capturing the fine details, textures, and intricacies of the subjects I paint or draw. The challenge of rendering the tangible world in a way that is lifelike and emotionally engaging is a pursuit I find deeply rewarding.

Narrative and Storytelling:

Abstract art often veers away from explicit storytelling, leaving interpretation largely to the viewer. While this ambiguity can be intriguing and thought-provoking, I have a passion for narrative art. I enjoy using my artwork to tell stories, convey emotions, and engage the viewer on a personal and relatable level. Realism allows me to depict scenes and characters that can evoke a sense of connection and empathy.

Technical Mastery:

Realism demands a high level of technical skill. To create realistic art, an artist must continually refine their techniques and practice diligently. This pursuit of technical mastery is a journey I cherish. I find joy in honing my abilities, striving for perfection in rendering subjects, and continually challenging myself to improve.

Appreciation for Art History:

My admiration for art history has also played a role in my choice. Realism has a rich history, dating back centuries to the Renaissance and beyond. I appreciate the tradition and heritage that come with this style. By creating realist works, I feel connected to the long line of artists who have embraced this approach to art throughout history.

Personal Fulfillment:

Ultimately, my decision not to pursue abstract art is a matter of personal fulfillment. I believe in the importance of staying true to one's artistic voice and passion. For me, that path lies in the world of realism. Creating art in this style allows me to express myself fully, explore the subjects that resonate with me, and connect with viewers who appreciate the same.

Art is a deeply personal journey, and the choice of style is a reflection of the artist's unique perspective and preferences. While abstract art is a meaningful form of expression for many artists, it is not the path that resonates with everyone. I have found my creative fulfillment in realism, where I can explore the tangible world, tell stories, and connect with viewers in a way that brings me immense joy and satisfaction. In the end, the choice of art style is a reflection of one's artistic identity and the path that leads to the most authentic and meaningful creative expression.

The example I show here is a study of a great master that I painted when I was 17 years old.  The original was painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1823) and hangs in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.