|10 "Vineyard Glimpse" 8x8 oil on board, ©Laura Gable|
One time I took a workshop by Donna Watson. She had us isolate sections of a photograph and then convert that into a painting. These little snippets of the photo gave no information about what the subject matter was and quickly became an abstracted image. It's a great jumping off point towards abstraction. The subject matter goes away -- and it truly does become non-representational. What remains is the movement and flow through the painting, and the colors applied in a supportive way that tells the story or message you are eager to reveal.
Mine isn't quite that abstracted, as I think it's still obvious that this was a view from the vineyards. But don't you think that would be a fun tool to explore to move your own paintings a bit towards abstraction.