In February/March I took an online painting class at Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, PA. The class was called BLENDING ABSTRACTION AND REPRESENTATION, and over 5 sessions our class explored the continuum between these two endpoints of a line. This set of classes is a continuation of the previous group with the same teacher and the same group of students.
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.
After completing the original class assignment of painting an emotion, which I amended to just…painting something abstract, I found I enjoyed the process, so I did more. Here is one. It is called “Fly” and it is 24″ x 18″ on masonite.
Someone asked me in the class why I named it as I did. I was not really sure how to answer. It looked sort of insect-like to me, yes. And it seemed to have a lot of flying off pieces to it. And…I don’t know, that is the word that came to mind.
I am surprised that I liked doing these abstracts – I have never found a way into the abstract with no representational elements world before that didn’t make me feel stressed and anxious. The key seems to be, forget what you are doing and just do. So…it becomes just pleasure to be painting.
I am sharing this because I know you would never be offended by how my brain responds to your art. I challenged myself to interpret your painting before I read any of your text and I immediately thought of sushi. I think it may be because that warm hued shape in the centre of the painting makes me think of a prawn and the fresh green makes me think of avocado while the white it like rice. But probably it is just because my thoughts are rarely too far from food!
I like the idea of sushi. I like sushi and I think it’s beautiful how the pieces are made, so…to me this is a big compliment!
I am glad you are enjoying this process. While the paintings are abstract, I still see shapes and colors that are true to you as an artist.
I think of it as like stream of consciousness writing. There are fragments that “make sense” and some just nice sounding combinations, and the meandering nature of the process appeals. The same thing with these “abstracts”. Maybe there is more going on than I think. At least in my head, when I am making these.
I love this. I’d love to get into abstract painting. I have done one or two, but your freedom and use of colour is inspiring.
Thank you. I have tried totally non-representational work in the past and found it aggravating – and I always then steered it back to some kind of representational thing. This class forced me to skip that last part and to let the process sort of play out. To my surprise I found that just enjoying the painting part and not thinking about results ended up working out pretty well and it has encouraged me to try more.
Oh, that sounds very liberating. I am hoping to cover abstract painting as part of my degree.
I love this. I think you got that right – forget about a plan and just do it! So relaxing and a bit addictive!
Thank you. You said it – it is kind of addictive to paint this way. There is no stress, just respond to what you have painted already, or add in what suddenly occurs to you. I wonder what has changed in my mind that I feel I can do this now, and not in the past. But short of therapy I don’t think I will find out and I don’t need to, just keep going. !!!