It was Laura’s previous book, Learn to Paint Abstracts, that started the current trend for books that go beyond representation and also proved that the concept of abstract painting, as well as some of the practicalities, can be taught.
In this much longer book, she has the chance to expand and to look at how far you might want to travel from reality (How Abstract Do You Want To Go?), the use of composition within abstraction, sources of inspiration and also ways of putting paint on paper or canvas.
Abstraction is much more than just painting random shapes (even if, sometimes, it’s hard to tell that!) and all the usual rules of composition, colour and perspective apply – indeed, they are often more important than in representational painting because the viewer’s normal sources of reference (a recognisable subject) are missing. It’s in this area that this book is particularly strong because Laura combines both the philosophical aspects of abstraction and the practical matter of using materials that applies to any painting. This is very much a book for the practising artist and deals with the concerns that will affect you, rather than dealing with just the concepts of abstraction which are as much the realm of the viewer. In short, it’s a book about how to paint abstracts rather than one about how to understand them.