Chapter Six: Abstract to “Clever”

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, here we go again. I’ve thoroughly bought into the idea of multiples. As I said earlier, that’s how I work most of the time anyway, so…no decision. Multiples.

By now in the studio I’ve hit my stride after a slow start, and I feel happy and in the flow of painting. In each session, I settle in quickly and get to work. I have finished up those earlier paintings and I’m ready to start on a new set.

I decided to begin in a way that works well for me: paint and draw and do whatever I feel like, just fill up the canvas. Then I have something to work with, rather than a blank expanse of white canvas glaring at me.

Here is what I had at the end of a session. You can see that I photographed them on my table – my legs and feet are peeking in at the bottom of the pictures!

I went home and did a little more scrawling on them. There were a couple of them that I thought looked pretty good at that point. Could they be finished? I took them to class and asked Val what she thought. Yes, she agreed, there was one that was all done.

Kind of a departure for me, this one. But I like it.

“Clever”, 20″ x 16″, acrylics and acrylic markers, 11/22.

11 thoughts on “Chapter Six: Abstract to “Clever”

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Yes. You are right. I started off drawing the family room in my childhood home but then veered into other thoughts. Graffiti is what is this painting is.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. There is something about this one I like, though usually I don’t feel I have done anything when I make something like this and want to extend it into something else. This time, though, I just let it be and I am glad I did.

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    I am enjoying the explosion of energy in this one. There’s a sort of Basquiat vibe to it I think with the use of bold swipes of colour and then the black and white detailing.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. Usually I’d just keep on going with an image like this but for some reason this time it felt right to stop. One of kind painting for me (so far!)

  2. michele2932

    I love all the colors and shapes. There are so many doorways for the eyeballs and the brain to wander in these


    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I think you are expressing in words what I felt when I saw it, all I knew was that somehow it made sense to me, but why? I’m not used to making this kind of painting so I couldn’t say. It just kind of appealed to me. I hope to do more but I have the feeling they will find me rather than the opposite.

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