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The Art of Abstract Painting [Paperback]

Rolina Van Vliet
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: 12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

12 Jun 2009
This detailed guide to abstract painting teaches you how to compose dramatic, beautiful, thought provoking and evocative abstract paintings. It provides information about the background, aims and procedures of the abstract method, focusing on creativity and self-expression, the goal being the development of the reader's own talents. There are no step-by-step instructions; instead the reader will learn where to find inspiration, how to develop ideas, how to create spontaneous, lively effects and how to apply a range of techniques on different surfaces, whether it be transparent watercolour or thickly applied acrylics.

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The Art of Abstract Painting + Painting Abstracts: Ideas, Projects and Techniques + Abstracts: 50 Inspirational Projects
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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Search Press Ltd; 1 edition (12 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844484270
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844484270
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 22.1 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


I am a big fan of Rolina van Vliet's work and her books. This book is very similar to the one published by Search Press in 2008, but I do feel it is worth buying both. The book concentrates on creativity and self-expression and features many beautiful works of art by Rolina. It explains abstract painting methods in detail and will enable you to produce your own paintings. Short study exercises and professional tips provide a short-cut to Rolina van Vliet has produced an excellent book on how to analyse the abstract method and ways to produce lively and effective abstract art. Many people feel that abstract art is simply unstructured and free flowing but Rolina shows that in fact there are some very in depth thought processes in its creation. Rolina begins by welcoming the reader to a world of free expression and says that by following this route ones artistic expressions will be given the scope they need to create spontaneous lively works that emanate from within oneself. This book has developed to show the artist how to familiarise themselves with abstract painting an easy to understand way and that will subsequently point the way to the great adventure of creating one's own expressive, original and creative works. Rolina describes this book as being an answer to some of the students questions such as what is abstract ?A" where do I begin ?A" The text in her book gives information about the background, goal and procedure of the abstract method, and how to use these to develop the focus of your own talents in these areas. These are accompanied by illustrations that clarify the content of the methods described. The text next to the illustrations gives extra information such as technique, composition and construction of the works. These help put into context the application of methods to the individual artworks. There are useful study exercises and tips for the student to work from to help focus on the bringing out the creativity from within. In most art books there are step by step demonstrations but in abstract art the focus is on bringing out the artwork form within the individual. Rolina's study tips help one begin the journey towards achieving this goal. The study tips are arranged as assignments but deliberately not in the form of step by step examples. Rolina says this type of procedure is a direct opposition of the abstract method, and that focus is own one's own efforts and talent and that the student must avoid copying to any extent at all. The illustrations accompanying the assignments are there purely to give impetus to one's own artistic aspirations. Rolina shows the student via this book how to practise artistic and expressive skills, something essential to the art of abstract painting. The emphasis is on bringing out expression from within oneself. When one paints reality the external information is there as a guide, whereas abstract comes completely from within oneself and we need to learn methods to make the appropriate choices of shape, colour, texture and composition. As there is a lack of external guidance we need to learn how to make these choices in order to form a pleasing artwork. The study tips are directed at helping us to achieve this, and to learn to direct our creative thinking into an artwork with focus, direction and restraint. This book is full of beautiful illustrations and excellent tips to enable us to compose thought provoking and evocative abstract paintings. It shows how we can use a variety of media in our journey and how to give rein, direction and control to our free thinking. It's a fascinating book for everybody, whether they are just starting in abstract, artists wishing to obtain more freedom in their works or simply people interested in learning more about abstract art.

About the Author

Rolina van Vliet has studied at the Academy of Physical Education in Groningen, the teacher training department of Amsterdam College, and the fine arts department at the Free Academy in The Hague. She now teaches at various centres for artistic training, and has developed a new method of painting based on abstract painting. Her work varies from abstract expressionism to lyrical abstract painting, with the emphasis on spontaneity and dynamics, and with a clear preference for total abstraction. She regularly exhibits her work, has written articles for art magazines and runs workshops and courses on abstract art.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must buy" for the aspiring abstract painter. 20 Oct 2009
By Mrs. H. V. Minor VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a companion book to "Painting Abstracts" by the same author. Painting Abstracts: Ideas, Projects and Techniques It is every bit as practical as her first book, but I would say that the exercises are a bit less structured than those in "Painting Abstracts" and each section is introduced with invaluable, in-depth theory and the teaching points are gone into in much greater detail. After reading these books both painter and non-painting art lover will have a greatly enhanced appreciation of what goes into the construction of an abstract painting.

I can't recommend both these books enough. I have been looking, for a long time, for instruction that sheds light on abstract painting as I am so drawn to it myself. Now I have found it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book - avoids too much technicality 9 July 2009
You can find books on art that talk pigments, mediums, drying times, the relative value of one technique over another.

Rolina suggests an alternative - go paint!

If it doesn't work - you learn something - and in any case maybe you *wanted* it to look like that.

Great book, as is Rolina's other book on Abstract painting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting into the idea of Abstracts 14 April 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent book for the artist wishing to change their style of painting to abstract. Well illustrated and plenty of
descriptions for getting into the idea of abstract work. These are expressed as starting ponts and basic ideas to develop into the artists own imaginative work. Plenty of first rate material to get you going.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars if you are new 24 July 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
if you have never done any abstract painting or any painting at all and the idea stimulates your enthusiasm, then this is the good starting point. it specially encourages the student not to copy which I find intriguing because it boosts the student's confidence. Behzad
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Art of Abstract Painting 8 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book if you would like to start painting abstract. Beautifully illustrated and easy to read. Will open your horizons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 18 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a Christmas present for my mum and she absolutely loved it. She's doing an art degree and will find this book very useful!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe for me the wrong purchase 13 Jun 2011
As I am trying to approach my painting from a different perspective, I thought this book would help me and although I found it interesting,it wasn't really any help, mainly because I need practical help and this didn't do that for me. Interesting Though.
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