Photo Art Friday – ‘Abstract’ challenge

Being rather literal-minded myself, abstract art often seems beyond my comprehension. Still, there would be no challenge if it didn’t make you think in new ways! Maybe I’ll never figure it out anyway, but at least I got to have a bit of fun on the way. As Bonnie said:

“We each have the experience we have and must start there. [… Progress] only happens if you are willing to begin … willing to be a beginner … willing to share your steps as a beginner … and willing to be proud of the courage it takes to begin!

Have fun!!!”

So I did 🙂

I started out with a shot of oak branches, because the patterns they make against the sky always fascinates me.



I added an unknown number of layers of the pdpa Dropped Petals texture, wanting to contrast the squares of the texture with the flowing lines of the tree branches. Then I added the pdpa Painterly texture, saved a separate selection for each of the squares in Dropped Petals, and used the selections to divide Painterly into as many separate layers. Then I went nuts on the blending modes…
Finally, I added a totally unrelated square to the upper left and inverted that because I wanted a different splash of colour as well…

Then I felt that I wanted to do something a little less… exuberant as well… One of the shots from my latest ‘dog session’ was chosen.



Here, too, I wanted to play with the squares (abstraction may be beyond me, but I do like geometrical shapes 😉 …). In this case I added Dropped Petals and the pdpa Brown Rice Paper texture – much to mute the colours a bit and get a bit of a vignette – and then picked two of the ‘Petals’ squares to dislodge a bit… A little shading, and in the end a merging with a ‘charcoal and chalk’ filtered version as well, and I was kind of pleased with it…

Thanks Bonnie for providing us with so much fun!

I’m now hoping to get to learn a lot about abstract art at


38 responses to “Photo Art Friday – ‘Abstract’ challenge

  1. You got it just right. Like you, tho, I struggled a bit with the concept (comfort zone thing), but thought I could overcome my fears and jumped into abstract. Learning along the way……

    • Haha, pretty much what I thought about my own efforts when I saw your contribution – I sensed a kindred feeling, there 🙂 I also noted that we had the concept of lots of colour in common (as well as trees, really!) which was interesting… it’ll be fun to see more of the works on display! Thanks for your kind words 🙂

  2. I also find abstract hard to understand, but it was fun. You did an awesome job, love the puppy piece.

  3. These both turned out very well. I love the trees (they are abstract in themselves) and I love all the color in that piece. I also love the piece with your dog, so cool.

  4. the geometrics captured me too but not as creatively – especially like the fallen pieces in your lovely dog- you are much more abstract Anna than you realise and a bit of a deconstructionist too 😉

    • Hahaha – perhaps that’s my problem – that I don’t realise how abstract I really am…! 😉

      Thank you Laura! It really is kind of liberating to let yoyrself be pushed beyond boundaries you dare seldom cross on your own…

  5. I love the editing on the branches, it has turned it into a really interesting textured image… the dog is cute, makes me want to slot the piece back into place!


  6. Anna, I just love this. And I love everything about it. It is really extraordinary. I think my thoughts about abstract + collage + photography are changing and mostly by reading through each post and the comments + replies where available. There is so much more to BE gleaned from the “conversations” about our processes and discoveries.

    I love the trees and of course the dog and how cleverly you “failed” with abstraction!! That’s the thing about abstract is it isn’t real so all’s pretty much fair game!!

    • Thank you Currie! I so agree that the conversations brought on by the pdpa challenge and exchanges – on one’s own work as well as when browsing through those of others – are as rewarding as doing the work in itself! Kind of theory-practice interaction…

    • Thanks Linda! I really appreciate that, as I tend to feel a lot more insecure about the branches than about the dog… having your beginner’s spirit fed is wonderful! 🙂

  7. Hi, another great Friday. You did a terrific camera shot of the tree limbs. It alone is abstract, but adding your textures changed it immensely. I love how you moved the squares around. Didn’t occur to me to try that. smiles: sharon

    • It *is* a great Friday, isn’t it? 🙂 Thanks Sharon, I do love those limbs; I never quite seem to get them quite the way I want them, though… but this week’s challenge certainly opened a new vista of opportunity for future exploration!
      Hehe – I’ll admit I actually thought the square displacement was a bit of a ‘cheap’ way of ‘abstracting’ the image… but then, it was not entirely without thought! Albeit perhaps a slightly silly one… (see reply to first comment…) 😉

    • Tack Mormor 🙂 Det är oftast omöjligt för mig att komma ihåg alla steg, men jag försöker dela med mig av det mest centrala – det är alltid spännande att få idéer och uppslag från andra!

  8. These are both fantastic! I think maybe you’re much better with abstract than you think. 🙂

    I love that you played with the squares in each image, and especially love the clever dislodging that you did in the second one. Thank you for sharing! (and thank you for your very kind comment on my blog – I really appreciate it)

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