Representational art is something that portrays an image. In a lot of cases, that image is true to real and the artist has paid a meticulous attention to detail. This is also refered to as Realism. Successful abstract art is designed to bypass literal perception and instead provoke a powerful and sometimes unconsious emotion. For someone with no training to say, “I could do THAT!”, they are most likely fooling themselves. If you study the older works of many abstract artists, you will find that they are highly skilled. When my own journey began, I devoured books on developing skills/technical accuracy, anatomy, and techniques. Later I went on to train at the Ontario College of Art.
In general, there are two types of abstract paintings. “Pure” Abstract where the painting reflects shapes, colors, lines and overall composition but there is no recognizable object. As a buyer, you must rely on how this painting makes you feel and what you personally see in the painting. When I have a gallery show, I like to ask prospective buyers what they “see”. With “pure” abstract art everyone’s opinion is valid. I will then tell them what inspired me to paint the piece and how I “see” it.