First of all, let me calm your fears, I am not suggesting that abstracts should be mechanically created. But I have found that many of my amateur artist colleagues have a mental block when it comes to abstract art.
When I have been painting an abstract, I always get the same questions; why are you putting that colour there? whats that supposed to be? what does it mean? All the sort of questions that are associated with the statement, a child/chimp/elephant could do better than that! Some of them do say they like abstracts or wished they could do them but there still remains that mental block. By the way, it has been proved that humans can tell the difference between abstracts by professional artists and those by the previously mentioned groups.
Being used to realism and the realistic depiction of subjects, they seem to find difficulty in tackling abstract paintings. Following research for the workshop I devised a simplistic methodology which enables the artist to overcome this mental block and with a little use can provide practice in creating non-representaional art works.
One simple example I painted for the lens was based on a solid colour background, Two large rectangles, three triangles. lines and deformed rectangular grid shapes. It looks something like this:-
Now whilst you are probably never going to get a masterpiece from this method, it does enable a certain measure of ability to create paintingsin this gendre. Read the full article in my Squidoo lens, How to paint abstract art.
a few "how to paint" abstract books from Amazon