Each painting hides a story significant to the painter but obscured to an outside viewer. For a stranger, looking at a painting, all what matters is his personal perception, assessment, determined by his background, experiences and emotional sensitivities.
It is easy to like a realistic painting because everything is offered at first glance, easy to judge. The subject, colors, technique are easily appealing, explaining why realistic paintings are so popular and only occasional emotional. At the other end is one century old, still young, abstract paintings which entered slowly art world, and rapidly gained appreciation, mainly from artists around the world. It proved to be extraordinarily complex, soliciting intellect and imagination alongside a deep emotional perception.
It takes time to fully understand an abstract painting. It can initially grab the viewer, but it usually is slow to reveal its meanings. The full perception of an abstract painting takes time, but is time well spent, enriching the viewer. Decorative paintings enchant the eyes but do not trigger emotions. Geometric abstract painting, close to design, abounds in intellectual decision, enchants in detail and virtuosity, but if lacking emotion, it will remain dry. When a painting triggers emotion, then its message is complete, round, rich, and human.