We had a critique a while ago on a nonobjective self portrait, which sort of allowed me to come to grips with abstraction. It was mentioned by the teacher, that when the brain is placed with something it cannot recognize, it will still interpret it as something. This is something I'd always done when placed with an abstract work of art, but never thought it was what I was supposed to do. I think somewhere along somebody planted the idea in my mind that it wasn't ok to perceive objects in a nonobjective artwork. This is a statement I wholly reject now. If the brain automatically tries to perceive something that's abstract, why fight it?
I guess I thought that this was just too simple, and could never face the facts that it's what abstract was all about. But now I can see abstract art as being something a little more familiar. Somehow saying this makes art seem dry: but I've noticed that its always been about perception, and the decoding of visual information. From the time we were born, we've always been decoding visual information and pairing it with thoughts just like language is paired with thoughts. Now I think art is about transporting my thoughts to the viewer's mind, which if done successfully can be a very tricky process.
I also realize now, that just as some language can be more articulate than other language, so can art. I face the fact, that any thought in my mind can be translated perfectly into visual information that I compose, and that this should be my goal, to become successful at doing just that. I know that this is an extremely high goal, but at least its visible