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 vewing 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 “Complementary Granny Style”, and it is 20″ x 16″, done in acrylics on canvas.
Our class was given the assignment of doing a work using two complementary colors (green/red, blue/orange/, or yellow/purple) plus black and white.
I struggled with this assignment. I use color by eye and the idea of following a rule or a plan is foreign to the way I think about painting. It would never occur to me to classify colors or to arrange them in a system; to me, colors just ARE.
I tried a few things and got very tangled up. Finally Idecided to divide the canvas into three sections and designate a color pair for each section. That way, I could be a little more free in how I went about the process of painting.
I used the photo below for a reference to keep me on track. I feel the exercise was useful in what it taught me I do not want to do – paint while thinking of theories or frameworks – and what I do like – the interactions of color, and the trust I have in my eye that I will find the way to use the colors and make the painting shine.
I don’t like this painting much, and maybe some day I will return to it and paint out the parts I don’t like and substitute something else.
Or maybe not. I’ll just go on and make another new painting instead.