Abstract Expressionism is very different from Realistic painting. In a way, it's much more difficult to achieve, because you are painting what you see, or feel in your mind's eye, rather than what you "see" with your eyes.
As a realist painter, you see differently from the general viewer. Once I painted a crusty piece of French bread in a picnic basket. I saw the piece of bread in a very different way than I had ever experienced it, with all the wonderful crusty surfaces and crumbs. The mundane is elevated to a different level.