Category Archives: Paintings

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

In May/June 2022 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.

This week was the last full painting session we did in the class. For the sixth and last class, we did a little bit of work but spent most of the time in Critique Day – we brought in our painting(s) and chose one for the class to talk about. It’s a nice experience when it is done as we did in our class – we learn and we get to talk about our work and what it means and what and how we worked to accomplish our aims.

But I digress. In this the fifth class, I did two works. One was a reworking of a painting I did in the landscape class I had taken the previous summer. I just do not like doing landscapes and this painting always felt very forced to me:

So in this class I turned it into this:

It’s called “Fugitive” and is 18″ x 24″. I still don’t much like it but I am not going to do anything else to it.

I also did this painting:

It’s called “Interrupted Journey” and is 24″ x 18″. I keep wanting to add to it and then not doing it. I think that means it is finished, even if I feel an unfinished something about it. So that is why I named it as I did. Maybe this painting’s journey was meant to end before I thought.

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Well, that’s it for this session of abstract painting. I’ll be taking studio sessions again this fall of 2022 – let’s see what I come up with! I’ll show you when it happens.

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

In May/June 2022 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.

For this week our instructor discussed three different kinds of light: bright hot sunlight, winter light, and the light at sunset. Our challenge was to make an image somehow involving light as defined in these ways.

I was at a loss, and then I got the idea to try a painting with all three kinds of light. Here it is.

It’s called “Three Kinds of Light” and is 24″ x 18″ At the bottom is winter light, then above it sunset light, and then above that bright hot sunlight.

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

In May/June 2022 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.

Continuing with the assignment given in the first class (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), I started this large painting with blocks of color.

As a bit of history, I had ordered a couple of 40″ x 30″ canvases some time back, and I don’t know why, as I usually don’t paint that large. Anyway, they sat in storage until I happened to remember them, and I thought – why not try something on one of them?

I hauled it over to the class and got busy. By the time I left class, I had covered the canvas with a totally abstract composition of colors. I stood back to admire it and then I got back to work, because I knew that in its second life it would find its voice and meaning. I worked on it for the next week and here is where it ended up.

It’s called “In the Current State of Things” and is 40″ x 30″ on canvas.

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

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.

Continuing with the assignment given in the first class (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), I created these two paintings.

I show them to you together as I made them at the same time, moving from one to the other. As before, I did a lot of work in the class and then finished at home, but…to be honest, these were both pretty much finished when I left class.

This one is called “In the Midday Heat” and it is 24″ x 18″.

This one is called “Dancing in My Living Room” and is 24″ x 18″.

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.

My Neighbors: Revisit Three

A while back I went through my collection of paintings and picked out ones that I didn’t feel were quite finished, or had gotten to their true personality. Some of them I didn’t want to revisit and I donated them to the charity shop or else threw them out. And the ones I felt a connection to, however faint, I got to work in trying to pull more out of the picture. I will show you a small selection of three paintings that went through this process.

Here’s the original version. I did this one back in fall of 2020.

I was not satisfied with this picture from the time I made it, but I did like the intensity of color, so I did not paint over it then. I do remember that in composing it, I made some decisions, developed some “favorite areas” in the painting that I did not want to change, and breaking my own rule, got too attached and forced the rest of the painting into fitting with them. I also wanted more detail and liveliness in the picture.

Here it is after my work. Once again I kept the basic structure but added more paint, did a lot of work with my acrylic markers, and went crazy filling up every inch with a lot of pattern and line.

Well, now I am happy with things here. There is a sense of things happening, and I like that.

Here’s a quick overview of the three paintings and their current looks. Sometimes it just takes time to get to the place where things are as they should be, doesn’t it?

I Marvel: Revisit Two

A while back I went through my collection of paintings and picked out ones that I didn’t feel were quite finished, or had gotten to their true personality. Some of them I didn’t want to revisit and I donated them to the charity shop or else threw them out. And the ones I felt a connection to, however faint, I got to work in trying to pull more out of the picture. I will show you a small selection of three paintings that went through this process.

Here’s the original version.

As in the painting I showed in an earlier post, I Reach Out in Hope, I felt I had not gotten the depth of color I wanted and I thought the painting needed more punch. I also wanted there to be more elements in the picture.

Here it is after my work. I kept the basic structure but added more paint, did a lot of work with my acrylic markers, and revised the composition to put in a house and to define the sky.

Now I am at peace with this picture and I feel it says what I want it to say.

I Reach Out in Hope: Revisit One

A while back I went through my collection of paintings and picked out ones that I didn’t feel were quite finished, or had gotten to their true personality. Some of them I didn’t want to revisit and I donated them to the charity shop or else threw them out. And the ones I felt a connection to, however faint, I got to work in trying to pull more out of the picture. I will show you a small selection of three paintings that went through this process.

Here’s the original version.

I felt I had not gotten the depth of color I wanted and I thought the painting lacked any…drama?

Here it is after my work. I kept the basic structure but added more paint, and I also did a lot of work with my acrylic markers.

OK, now I’m happier. Mission accomplished!

I’ll Wait for You by the Big Tree

Here is another painting done while attending the online class I took at Woodmere Museum back in March 2022. We were focusing on Eastern/Western art and comparing characteristics of the two. This is another painting featuring a large tree in the foreground. Again with a figure. And this time with a crowd of people coming in and out of the picture.

It’s called I’ll Wait for You by the Big Tree and it is 14″ x 11″ on masonite, done in March 2022.

Spring Arrives

Here is another painting done during my online class at Woodmere Art Museum comparing Eastern and Western art. I composed another picture featuring a tree in the foreground, but this time I have a figure involved, too.

As a note, this painting is a reworking (on a major scale) of a painting I did last summer in the landscape class I took. You may remember I enjoyed being in that class but I did not like doing landscapes. So, I’ve been renovating those paintings into something new and this is one of them. Here is the earlier painting for comparison.

Quite a difference, right? Well, I’m satisfied with where this painting’s journey has ended up and I don’t think I’ll be making any more changes.

Spring Arrives, 18″ x 24″, on Masonite.