9 Colorful Abstract Artists to Follow on Instagram

By Ingrid Fetell Lee
Work by artist Caroline Denervaud, shared on instagram.
Artist Caroline Denervaud with pieces of her work, via Instagram.

Recently, I had the opportunity to tour a house in my neighborhood that had belonged to the painter Connie Fox (a well-known figure in the abstract expressionist movement) and her husband, sculptor Bill King. Nestled into a wooded lot, the house was cozy. The studio, on the other hand, was spacious. Skylights and vast, angled windows filled the two-story space with light.

The worn, paint-spattered floors, the pinboards papered with ephemera, the cabinet painted with shapes colorful shapes… The space reminded me of my studio at Pratt, and I was flooded with nostalgia. Suddenly, it crystallized a craving I’d had for a long time, but hadn’t been able to express: I need more art in my life.

the value of art

Visual art can be such a powerful conduit to joy. Art brings color, vibrancy, and balance to our surroundings. It’s a visceral pleasure, sure, but the benefits go beyond just enjoyment. Studies show that art can relieve stress and improve overall well-being. And while most studies have looked at in person art viewing, a recent study shows that even just looking at art for 1-2 minutes online can decrease anxiety, boost mood, and even make us feel less lonely.

Personally, I find that looking at art, whether in person or online, helps me access a broader range of emotions, elevates my thinking, and inspires my creativity.

Realizing I needed more art in my life, I began a daily drawing practice and signed up for an online watercolor painting class. I also set a small budget and committed to buying three new pieces before the end of the year. And I decided to get more intentional about seeking out artists I like, finding and following them on Instagram.

Why follow artists on instagram

There are a few reasons why I love following artists on Instagram.

  • It’s an easy way to keep track of artists you love.
  • You can find out new releases, if you’re interested in purchasing their art. For artists whose work sells out within a few days or hours of a release, following them can make the difference between scoring a new print or missing out.
  • You can see behind-the-scenes shots of their process, which gives a different understanding of an appreciation for their work. If you’re a creative, this can be especially helpful as it can be a way of learning about new tools and techniques.
  • Some artists share their own inspirations and collaborators, offering a way to discover new artists you may like.
  • Commenting on an artist’s work can open up a dialogue with the artist, allowing you to build a relationship with them and with other members of their community.
  • Following artists is a way of taking control of your digital space, balancing out the memes and ads with content that is artful and inspiring
  • It also is a way of supporting an artist, increasing their visibility and helping them gain traction in a crowded online space. Even if you don’t want to or can’t afford to purchase their art, following supports for their work, and the arts in general. (This is especially true since the advent of AI, which is threatening the livelihoods of so many artists.)

Following artists has made my experience of art feel so much more personal. I’ve even DM’d with some of my favorite artists to ask if they have work for sale when nothing is posted. On occasion, they’ve offered to make a piece specifically for me. This only makes the piece feel more special once I have it in my home.

9 Colorful Abstract Artists to Follow on Instagram

Not sure who to follow? It can be tricky to figure out how to find artists you love. With that in mind, we’re starting a new series of posts highlighting different kinds of artists to follow on the ‘gram. In this post, you’ll find a collection of my favorite abstract artists who use vibrant color in their work.

orange and pink abstract shapes, viewed against a stone wall.

Heather Jeanne Chontos

I recently discovered Heather Jeanne Chontos’s work, I think after seeing one of her pieces in an interior I admired. I love the boldness, texture, and movement of her work. It all just feels so very alive.

Her instagram is a wonderful mix of finished pieces and process. I especially love the shots of her studio with work in progress.

Follow here

Artist Stanley Whitney | Colorful Abstract Artists to Follow on Instagram

Stanley Whitney

I had an immediate resonance with Stanley Whitney’s work the first time I saw it. I love the tension between structure and freedom, between his gridded compositions and freewheeling childlike marks.

Whitney’s instagram feed gives peeks at his sketchbooks along with lots of travel, books, music, and glimpses of the artist’s daily life.

Follow here

A painting by Claudia Valsells | Colorful Abstract Artists to Follow on Instagram

Claudia Valsells

I dream of having one of Barcelona-based Claudia Valsells’s large-scale pieces in my home. In the meantime, I content myself with her instagram feed, a soothing space of soft-edged color fields nestled in together, with plenty of white space to let the eye breathe.

Follow here

artist Caroline Denervaud sitting in a chair wearing black covering her face in front of a wall-sized painting of abstract shapes in terracotta orange, deep blue, lilac, and green.

Caroline Denervaud

Caroline Denervaud studied classical and contemporary dance as well as fashion design, and it shows in the curves of her work. They have a kind of balletic quality, a bodily movement. In fact some of her pieces involve a physical process of lying on the canvas and making fluid marks that trace the movements of her arms and legs. (This is a great example of the kind of process video you used to need a documentary to see; now all you need is an instagram account!)

Follow here

A painting by Sarah Ferguson | Colorful Abstract Artists to Follow on Instagram

Sarah C. Ferguson

Sarah Ferguson, an artist based in Austin, Texas, channels the airiness of the Light and Space movement into two dimensions. Her work uses geometric shapes, soft colors, and gradients to explore the balance between structure and freedom.

Follow here

An artwork by Kindah Khalidy showing abstract shapes of a range of shapes and colors, with dots and other textures overlaid.

Kindah KHalidy

Kindah Khalidy’s work is pure fun. It looks like a bunch of shapes got together on a canvas to have a party. Her instagram is especially fun because it shows Khalidy take on the embellishment of cakes, clothes, and other media.

Follow here

A painting by Amber Vittoria | Colorful Abstract Artists to Follow on Instagram

Amber vittoria

Amber Vittoria’s work uses gradient ribbons to explore nuances of emotion. Her work has an intense sense of movement and energy. Recently she’s been working on a series where she augments old postcards with colorful splotches of paint. (I bought one of these for my collection and am so excited about it!) One of the great things about her instagram is her process videos, which show how she creates her striking, fluid colors.

Follow here

Art by William LaChance

William LaChance

William LaChance pulls from a wide variety of inspirations, from graphic design to art history to nature. I find it interesting how I’ll catch a flash of something that feels familiar, but it’s always chopped up, turned around, and reassembled. The result is abundant and layered. You can keep coming back to it and discover something new each time.

Follow here

A painting by Lily Stockman in light blue and pink depicting an abstracted foxglove bloom.

Lily Stockman

A cofounder of Block Shop Textiles, California-based Lily Stockman is also a painter. She creates abstract pieces with elegant symmetries and vibrant, almost glowing colors. I find there’s a very feminine quality to the forms she chooses. And she often juxtaposes these with intense color contrasts that draw you deep into her world.

Follow here

How to find artists to follow

If you don’t spend a lot of time on Instagram, or don’t follow a lot of creatives yet, it can seem hard to find artists to follow. But before you just click over to the “Explore” page and let the algorithm decide for you, here are my favorite ways to find artists to follow:

  • Pin to Pinterest: Let’s say there’s an artwork you love, and you want to find other artists who have a similar style. Pin the artwork to Pinterest. Then look at your pin and scroll down. Pinterest will give you similar images and often will help you find artists working with similar subjects and media. To get started, feel free to repin anything from my Joyful Art and Illustration board.
  • Follow interior designers: Interior designs spec a lot of art in their projects, and will often tag them in their posts. I find a lot of my favorite artists this way. The benefit of discovering artists through designers is that you get to see new and interesting ways of displaying art too. This can help you envision how the art might look in your space. It also might help you discover types of art you didn’t realize you’d like.
  • Visit an art fair: Visiting an art fair is a great way to see a lot of art at once. Find a few artists you like, follow them, and then see where that leads you!

Who are your favorite colorful abstract artists to follow? Share their handles in the comments so we can grow our list!

October 5th, 2023


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    Discussion (8 Comments)

  1. Heidi Fiedler on October 6, 2023

    Do you know Katherine Duclos? I love her color palette and unusual materials. https://www.instagram.com/katherine_duclos_rose

  2. Brian on October 6, 2023

    I love Sydney Zester! @sydneybeachzester.co

  3. Anne M Bray on October 6, 2023


  4. Erica on October 7, 2023

    I love EttaVee (@ettavee).  Her paintings are so bright, and I think also embody the abundance aesthetic really well.

    Also, my absolute favorite artist is local to my hometown (Austin TX).  Her name is Arielle Austin (@arielle_austin).  Her paintings have so much movement and expression.  They make me feel happy, but also so much calm and peace.

  5. Katie Straus on October 7, 2023

    I love this post! Heather Chontos work is so so good ♡

  6. Wilma on October 11, 2023

    Thank you for your posts – and your book of course! I think here’s something you’ll love too, the Vlisco textile company in my hometown. If ever you’re in The Netherlands it’s a must visit (and for sure you’ll buy some of the extremely colourful textiles 🙂 This is their website: https://www.vlisco.com/ but really you should also see their building, it’s just as bright as their products.

    Love from The Netherlands, xxx Wilma

  7. Anne M Bray on November 2, 2023

    Ooooh. Vlisco. Love!

  8. Christina on December 19, 2023

    Jeffie Brewer


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