Tag Archives: painting

Grid Look

Here’s a painting that evolved from something I started at one of my recent classes, but it’s ended up nothing like it started out.

I called it “Grid Look” because of the structure of the image: I like thinking about whether I am looking in through a window or out. I guess it can go either way; I like that.

The painting is 20″ x 16″ and is acrylics on canvas, with some acrylic marker here and there, I think.

Commuter Crowd

This fall I have been taking an online class at Woodmere Art Museum (this class is different from the studio sessions I attend in person). We are focusing on women artists from different areas of the world.

I enjoy learning about the artists and am particularly interested in their life stories and why they create the art that they do. I have chosen this focus for my own work in this class. Sometimes it has been a more literal expression of my memories or experiences, as in this painting. I was thinking of the years I worked in Center City Philadelphia, and how it felt to be going to the train station with the crowds in the evening, on a hot summer day, let’s say.

This painting is called “Commuter Crowd” and is done in acrylics on canvas, 20″ x 16″, October, 2022.

My Thoughts Just Got Away From Me

This fall I’ve been participating in a studio painting group at Woodmere Art Museum, located not far from home. We focus on abstract work in these sessions. Here is something I started in class and finished up at home, as is my usual practice.

It’s called “My Thoughts Just Got Away From Me” and is done in acrylics and acrylic markers on board, 20″ x 16″. I used this opportunity to go all-out on patterns and colors and shapes.

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.

After three years…

Yesterday, August 27, 2022, I participated in the Lansdale Festival of the Arts in Lansdale, PA. It’s the first show I’ve done since the pandemic started and it’s three years since I was last at this location in August, 2019. The show was canceled in 2020 for the pandemic and last year for bad weather, so we were happy to have a hot sunny day for this year’s date.

I’ve pretty much stopped doing shows, and I don’t know when I’ll be at another one. So I’ll tell you a little about it.

As background, I have a long history at this show – I think I first attended it in 1996, maybe. It’s held in a park and is a well-run easy-going event, always one of my favorite places to exhibit.

Friday night we packed up the car. Since I am not doing shows regularly, we had gotten rid of our old big car and found a new car since our last outing, and it’s much smaller. It took us some time to pack up this new car, Jen McGill her name is, and get her ready to take us to the show.

A bit squeezed in, we arrived at the park about 7:45 AM and were directed to Space 31.

First thing, get the tent set up. And then the racks, and unload the artwork from the car.

Next, put the covers on the racks. Start arranging the artwork. Set up the table for small works. Then clear off the chairs so we can sit down and we’re all done.

Here is a view of the various panels in the display. It’s always a challenge to put the art in places so that each piece looks well and fits in with its surrounding pieces. Sometimes this is hard with the variety of colors and patterns I fill each piece with – I don’t want people to have trouble picking individual pieces out of the crowd.

Once settled in the day went well. I felt as if I had never been away from the show world. It helped that the setting and many of the exhibitors were familiar to me, as well as the show organizers.

By chance I posted this piece yesterday:

I displayed it at this show, as you can see in the above photos. And guess what, it won third prize in my category, Acrylics, Oil, and Mixed Media. That was a nice surprise.

Well, that’s about it for the show. We had a nice day, a lot of pleasant conversations, made some sales, and managed to re-pack Jen McGill and fit ourselves into our spaces for the trip home. Once we got home and unpacked, we settled down for our traditional after-show dinner, pizza.

Thank you to everyone at the Lansdale Festival of the Arts who made this show possible.

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?