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 “Reading in the Living Room”, and it is 20″ x 16″, done in acrylics on canvas. It’s a picture me doing something I like very much – sitting on my sofa and reading a good book.
This painting was done for the assignment for the last class of the series. The idea was to take the spectrum of abstractionism that we have been considering in class – from very realistic to totally non-representational – and to make a painting or artwork showing where we are on this line at the moment.
And …to consider some questions. Is our work where we want to be on this spectrum? What changes have been made in our art practice? Where do we want to go?
For me, this painting is the spot on the continuum where I am most comfortable. There are clear “reality-based” elements in this painting. But I have not made a “realistic” painting.
The class has made me think very hard about what it is I want to be doing with my artwork.
- Make no art piece that is hasty, shallow in conception, or boring. Or just pretty. Or because someone thought it would be a nice idea to paint (fill in the blank).
- Make art that is personal to me – expresses a feeling, memory, incident, theme, etc., that means something to me. Know what that meaning is at all stages of the painting (understanding that it could change, too, as I go along).
- Take in as much teaching or information from others as I can. Keep what I find useful, discard the rest – no guilt or second-guessing.
- Tell a story. There is always a story in the way I see things in life. Even rocks and trees and stoves and car tires are personalities to me. It’s all stories.
- Know who you are and stick with it.
That’s where I am right now. Here’s the painting again. I’m really happy with this image. I enjoyed making it, I like the look of it, and it is a visble representation of feelings and an activity that matters to me.