Painting Abstract Art Isn’t Just About Squiggles

Arcenio Martin Campos‘ work always surprises me because he doesn’t allow the objects or figures he is painting to dictate how he paints. Instead, Campos paints to articulate form, masses and his own ideas or concepts. It is like he is painting abstract art, but the results are incredibly real.

His paintings stirs the mind, because no matter what it is you are looking at, the artist brings an abstract sensibility to the objects that makes them more interesting than they would otherwise be.

Arcenio Martin Campos’ work is a combination of realism and abstraction.

What Do You Want to Say

It’s clear with Campos that concept is where the paintings begin. He may be standing in front of a model, portraying their position or movements, but he’s trying to say something. The concept isn’t about the objects or figures — or at least it doesn’t have to be.

It’s more about the idea you want to communicate or the visual interpretation you make of the objects in front of you. That’s why every artist is part of the abstract art movement, whether you paint representational forms, hyper-real ones or abstract ones.

Artwork by Martin Campos | painting abstract art

Artwork by Arcenio Martin Campos

Crucial Questions

Thinking this way is crucial because in that concept are all the answers to the questions an artist is going to be faced with during the process of painting. With Campos as inspiration, I ask myself these questions every time I start to paint:

What objects tell the story I want to tell?

How do I incorporate the way I paint into my message? 

Where do I want quiet passages and where do I want the visual intense ones?

Give Yourself a Focus

It appears as if Campos pushes himself to answer (or at least ask or struggle with) his own questions from the start of a painting, essentially knowing the end result and doing everything he can along the way to get there. In a way, working like this gives you focus.

You can remind yourself of your concept when you feel bogged down or uncertain about the next step. It’s an artist’s way of resetting or getting back to square one. And with painting abstract art, a still life can teach you a lot about how to get what you want as an artist if you aren’t ready to take on figurative abstraction.

Artwork by Martin Campos

Artwork by Arcenio Martin Campos

If you have an abstract art mindset, you can explore color, negative and positive space, texture, and lights and darks. If you take it to the next level and approach objects and then figures as Campos does, you are setting yourself on the path of a real artist. It has nothing to do with the objects you choose to paint, but the skill and focus to paint them the way you want to.

If you have the desire to explore abstract art further, take a look at all the inspiring guidance in Creating Abstract Art: Explorations from Life video download. You’ll find top-quality instruction that will inspire you toward the “abstract” approach. I know I feel the urge! Enjoy!