"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality." ~Pablo Picasso
There is a great amount of truth in this quote. Any kind of art has to start with something. Whether it is an idea, a feeling or anything else, it doesn't matter. There is a start to everything. It is what you do with the idea that matters. Just about anything in reality can be changed. It can be formed into something that may not even resemble the actual "something" it started out as.
It takes something pretty special to inspire me to paint, but when it happens I can feel it. It's at that moment that my brain starts turning and I can envision the finished product even before I touch a brush to the canvas. This is proof that abstract art really does start with something, and for me that "something" has to be inspirational.