In my class last week, one of my students asked an interesting question: in an abstract painting, how important is it for there to be no recognizable images. My first thought was the expression “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. For me personally, I don’t want any specific references in my work. I find they make me uncomfortable, tie me down, don’t let the painting speak for itself.
In this students work, however, her best paintings imply images of things without being specific. Without drawing the object or drawing attention to a “thing”. Her imagery is very suggestive. For her, it works well. For me, it wouldn’t. It’s that personal.