Another Painting Class: Painting #3

In January/February 2021 I took an online painting class at Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, PA. The class was called BLENDING ABSTRACTION AND REPRESENTATION, and over six sessions our class explored the continuum between these two endpoints of a line.

The class was structured so that we worked on our individual artworks in our home studios while participating in discussions and viewing demonstrations by the teacher. I did quite a bit of work and I’ll be showing them to you over a few posts.

Thanks to my instructor, Lesa Chittenden Lim, and my classmates, for a good experience.

Here’s a painting I did. It’s called “Black Vultures”, and it is 20″ x 16″, done in acrylics on canvas.

I had seen a group of black vultures gathered around roadkill, and it made an impression on me because of the birds’ air of confidence mixed with a bit of a sinister aspect.

We often see these birds gathered in groups; I remember a large flock of them sitting on the wire backstop of a softball field near me.

There is a quality of stillness and bulk to them that is intimidating. I find these birds fascinating.

9 thoughts on “Another Painting Class: Painting #3

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I struggled with so much darkness in the birds’ colors, but – they are heavy and dark birds, a little sinister and also a little ridiculous in how they kind of waddle. It is a personality that has always interested me so that is why I wanted to depict them! The bright colors did seem to make it work, thank you for noticing.

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    I like the way the blackness of the vultures grounds the painting and draws the eye down to that bottom half thanks to the contrast between them and the bright red and blue of the background and the paleness of the “floor”.

    Not long after I emigrated here, I came across a vulture chowing down on roadkill – and definitely not fussed about moving out of the way of my car – and that was when I realized that I was going to experience so many different things in daily life. Where I once saw crows, I now saw vultures.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I struggled some with the colors in this one but if finally worked out when I gave the vultures the pale ground that you mention. I kept thinking I needed gray because in real life when I saw them they were all crowded roadside. There are different types of vultures but black ones are what you see around here the most, I have learned. I like them. They have a lot of personality and they are not shy. Even if they are sinister, a bit, and their diet is maybe gruesomeish. They know who they are. I like that.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. There is something about these birds I really like. We see them all around us and many people dislike them, but to me they are an example of knowing who you are and being just that, they are very sure of themselves! I also like their shape and color.

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