My mother's abstract, bold and beautiful paintings started with simpler exercises. While she may be known for her particular style now, I remember fondly one of her very first paintings she approached in her early painting career. It's a bowl of pears. I knew she hated painting pears, but to this day it remains one of my favorites for its purity and play on tequnique vs. personal style. Here's a piece by Olle Baertling, a Swiss artist known for abstract works, but this early gem stands out as my favorite still.