In October/November 2021 I attended an abstract painting studio class at Woodmere Museum in Philadelphia, PA. Our group met in the museum’s teaching studio and spent 3 hours each Tuesday morning just painting with critiques from our instructor, Val Rossman. Thanks to her and my fellow students for a nice experience.
It was nice to be in an in-person class indoors. This session was the first one in-person for this class offering since spring 2020. We were all vaccinated and wore masks. Though this was the first class I’ve taken with this instructor, some of the students were regulars and it made for a nice reunion for people to be together again.
The first week our instructor set up a still life in the middle of the room for us to use as inspiration. I like working this way – I prefer a real-life scene to kick off my creativity. Here is what I came up with in this session. I focused on the triangles made by the drapery on the table upon which all the other objects rested.
This is wonderful. I love the way you have balanced the warm and cold colours within the composition and there is a lot of great energy in this painting.
Thank you. The still life the teacher set up guided me and then I was able to make amendments to have things work out to make a nicer image in paint (to my taste, I mean). I enjoyed doing this painting and it gave me an appreciation for still life that I have not had – I guess I had not been able to find a way into this kind of subject before that suited me).
This is really great. I’ve never been an abstract artist myself, but I do enjoy it. I like the patterns and shapes.
Thank you. I think my artwork tends to lean to the abstract but with recognizable elements. This class focused on moving more to the less-representational side. I found that having a real scene to base my work on freed me to work more abstractly, just look at colors and shapes and so on. I did not feel lost as I have sometimes in the past when I wanted to do something abstract. I think for me having a basis in reality (even if I am just thinking about it and it does not come out so much in the art) was the key. And I do admit to really liking to make pattern and colors in a free kind of way!
I think I’m about the opposite. It’s hard for me to think abstractly. I tend to want to draw just what I see… more realism. Both are great. Only in doing Zentangle type things have I ventured into abstract. I’ll never be a commercial artist. That’s okay. I enjoy my art as I can see that you do. I do enjoy seeing your work and know the time that goes into it. It also conveys emotion really well.
Great colors as always. (K)
Thank you. The still life the teacher set up had a lot of elements and colors in it and gave me a lot to choose from. Although of course then that means leaving other things out. I feel like I could have used the set up more than once and chosen different elements to portray.
So much of creating is choosing. Like life.
And nice use of values too!
Thank you. I’m not usually interested in still lifes but somehow I found I was able to get interested in this assignment and I enjoyed it. Maybe I needed a different attitude (pick out the parts I like, discard the others).
Wonderful piece and I absolutely love your colors!
Thank you. It was fun to do this painting because at first I was not too sure about the still life idea, but…I enjoyed it!
What was said already by everyone else. Looks like this class was a great fit for you.
Thank you. I was uncertain at first. I ended up really enjoying myself and tapping into some aspects of painting I had not focused on before. I hope to take another session in the future.