Abstract Painting Class at Woodmere Museum, Spring 2022 – Part One

In May/June 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. You may remember I took an earlier session of this class with her at the same location in fall, 2021. This time was just as much fun. Thanks to her and my fellow students for a nice experience.

Let’s take a look at the work I did in this class. The structure was tailored to the individual students’ needs. We worked on our own projects or on the assigned topic as we wished and Val came around as we worked to critique and guide us. We also had a nice relaxed atmosphere in the studio and enjoyed being together, working silently along to music or at time chatting a bit. But the art always came first.

In the first session, we were given the assignment to look around the studio at the random splashes of color left behind on surfaces by the many students who have passed through the studio, and to take them as inspiration for some work.

My work tends to have some sort of representational elements in it, but in this class I always started with pure abstract shapes and colors and then let them tell me where to go next. Usually I made good progress on a painting in the studio and finished it at home later on.

Here is the first painting I made. It’s called “I Wrote My First Book in the Library” and it is 24″ x 18″ on masonite.

9 thoughts on “Abstract Painting Class at Woodmere Museum, Spring 2022 – Part One

  1. agnesashe

    Ah this is so interesting to see as it is abstract and away from your more figurative interpretations, but it is still mostly definitely your work. Is it perhaps the strong black out-lining going on? Fabulous colour selection and balance. I hope your tutor gave you lots of praise.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I was surprised by how this one turned out (I did quite a few amendments to it over time. Once I got kind of a “story” to it, I knew what to do – I find I am not that interested in purely working with shapes and colors, but guiding them along a theme, that worked out great. Plus I like all this blue that the painting ended up with.

  2. Laura (PA Pict)

    I can see that the looser lesson structure of this course has worked well for you. I really love the colour palette of this painting and the form of the figure as it merges with what I assume are pieces of furniture or the building.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Yes, I built up abstract forms first based on the suggestion of the teacher and then it turned into a person and tables and books and buildings and shelves, and I really enjoyed sort of finding this story in the painting coming at it this way.

  3. humoringthegoddess

    This painting is so perfect for the title — or vice versa. It has a wonderful feel to it; half unstructured, or at least structured enough to know what you’re looking at. Keep going!

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