Chapter Three: Abstract to “At Home”

In the fall of 2022 I participated in studio painting sessions at Woodmere Museum of Art. The class was called Exploring Abstraction and was led by Val Rossman. If any of this information sounds familiar it is because I have done previous sessions in the studio with this group. And that’s because I like being there!

Well, some time passed, and I did some other projects, and then Val gave us another suggestion: landscapes.

I’m not much on landscapes in the traditional sense ( I tend to drift off into Trees Trees Trees Sky Green Stuff Brown Stuff Trees …), but in this case, the idea was to take some element of landscape, macro to micro view, and see what we could do with it.

For some reason, I was interested in painting my front yard and my house. I have no idea where that thought came from, but I decided to go with it.

You know which painting I pulled out to work with: Example #3.

I worked on this painting simultaneously with another painting of the same subject. Again, I don’t know why I did that; in fact, I don’t think I have ever painted two versions of the same thing at the same time.

I’ll show you both paintings together in another post. For now, here is what I finished up with. I did most of it in the studio and the rest at home over the next few days.

“At Home”. Acrylics and acrylic marker, 20″ x 16″.


Here is a gallery of the before and afters, just for fun.

10 thoughts on “Chapter Three: Abstract to “At Home”

  1. Leonie Andrews

    I love seeing the before and after photos. It’s fascinating to see which elements were used and how you worked with the remainder. It’s such an interesting ‘dance’ between the two states.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. Usually some part of the first version gives me the direction for the second one. Since I don’t have the ability to mentally visualize anything, this method makes use of my strengths, working with what already exists, rather than my weakness in conjuring up a mental image.

      1. Leonie Andrews

        I think we are very much the same on that point. I start and then develop the idea. My visual diary records what I did and the odd (being the operative word😉), thought that pops into my head. I never develop a full idea in advance!

        1. Claudia McGill Post author

          Yes, I don’t know how a person plans out a whole artwork in advance (though plenty of people do it). It’s like my mind starts to fritz out if I think too much or too far ahead. I just can’t do it. (And I don’t really want to, either!)

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      That is exactly how I feel about it. I always feel I am uncovering the idea, not directing it. It is doing just what you say, finding its air to breathe and develop.

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