My first love was words and writing one learns that the most fundamental editing a writer does is to go over the words one by one and eliminate unnecessary words or phrases while clarifying the idea one is trying to express. Editing words is at the barest of levels simplifying.
I apply the same principle when I edit an image although this being a more recent activity I may yet have much to learn about simplifying lines and color in an image. There is, of course, black and white for the ultimate simplicity in color and converting to a pencil drawing for simplicity of line but line seems to me even more complex than color.
Reading Rolina van Vliet’s Abstracts: Techniques and Textures was helpful. She started out with her take on what “abstract art” was by delving into the common meaning of the word “abstract.” From this she derived her two main “assumptions” about Abstract Art: a) there is no connection with reality and b) there is an inventive connection with reality.
This was illuminating. Abstract Art is not reality but neither is it completely divorced from reality. To my mind, it is reality from which are abstracted what the artist does not consider essential to the image and and the use of reality as a launching-off point for adding the artist’s own vocabulary for expressing his or her inner vision (or feeling) in the image.