Another Painting Class, Session 2: Painting 3

In February/March I took an online painting class at Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, PA. The class was called BLENDING ABSTRACTION AND REPRESENTATION, and over 5 sessions our class explored the continuum between these two endpoints of a line. This set of classes is a continuation of the previous group with the same teacher and the same group of students.

The class was structured so that we worked on our individual artworks in our home studios while participating in discussions and vewing demonstrations by the teacher. I did quite a bit of work and I’ll be showing them to you over a few posts.

Thanks to my instructor, Lesa Chittenden Lim, and my classmates, for a good experience.

As I said in the previous post, our class assignment was to choose an emotion and depict it in a totally abstract way. I made some attempts in my sketchbook – and I wasn’t satisfied with them. To me, emotions are not paintable. Things, people, events, that evoke emotions, they are visible and can be depicted. That’s how I see things.

So I decided I would just paint in an abstract manner. My goal was to make nothing recognizable in the picture, just paint. This painting was done at the same time as the one in the previous post. Working on more than one picture at a time helps me keep from overworking/overthinking. Just paint!

Here is the second in this series. It is called “Heavy Circle” and is 11″ x 14″ on masonite.

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Small Wordless Sketchbook 2020 Pages 38 and 39

In March-June 2020 I created a sketchbook full of art made from odds and ends I had saved. The book has no words, just pictures. I am showing you the whole book, two facing pages at a time. The book was finished in June. I made it to help myself feel better as I passed through the early days of the pandemic.

Here are the project’s specifics.The book is a mixed media sketchbook that’s 5.5″ x 7.5″. I used collage materials including magazine pages and scraps of my own discarded artworks, as well as acrylic paints and inks, India ink, and pens, regular brushes, and bamboo brushes.

Here are the pages as they appear in the book:

Here is a more detailed look at the images.

Another Painting Class, Session 2: Painting 2

In February/March I took an online painting class at Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, PA. The class was called BLENDING ABSTRACTION AND REPRESENTATION, and over 5 sessions our class explored the continuum between these two endpoints of a line. This set of classes is a continuation of the previous group with the same teacher and the same group of students.

The class was structured so that we worked on our individual artworks in our home studios while participating in discussions and vewing demonstrations by the teacher. I did quite a bit of work and I’ll be showing them to you over a few posts.

Thanks to my instructor, Lesa Chittenden Lim, and my classmates, for a good experience.

Our class assignment was to choose an emotion and depict it in a totally abstract way. I made some attempts in my sketchbook – and I wasn’t satisfied with them. To me, emotions are not paintable. Things, people, events, that evoke emotions, they are visible and can be depicted. That’s how I see things.

So I decided I would just paint in an abstract manner. My goal was to make nothing recognizable in the picture, just paint. Here is the first in this series.

I found something very satisfying about just letting the painting develop, put colors next to colors, and move to another area of the painting. No planning, just let the story tell itself. It was relaxing when I stopped trying to control things. I liked that.

Small Wordless Sketchbook 2020 Pages 36 and 37

In March-June 2020 I created a sketchbook full of art made from odds and ends I had saved. The book has no words, just pictures. I am showing you the whole book, two facing pages at a time. The book was finished in June. I made it to help myself feel better as I passed through the early days of the pandemic.

Here are the project’s specifics.The book is a mixed media sketchbook that’s 5.5″ x 7.5″. I used collage materials including magazine pages and scraps of my own discarded artworks, as well as acrylic paints and inks, India ink, and pens, regular brushes, and bamboo brushes.

Here are the pages as they appear in the book:

Here is a more detailed look at the images.

Another Painting Class, Session 2: Painting 1

In February/March I took an online painting class at Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, PA. The class was called BLENDING ABSTRACTION AND REPRESENTATION, and over 5 sessions our class explored the continuum between these two endpoints of a line. This set of classes is a continuation of the previous group with the same teacher and the same group of students.

The class was structured so that we worked on our individual artworks in our home studios while participating in discussions and vewing demonstrations by the teacher. I did quite a bit of work and I’ll be showing them to you over a few posts.

Thanks to my instructor, Lesa Chittenden Lim, and my classmates, for a good experience.

In this set of sessions, I did some paintings and also added work to my various sketchbooks. Eventually the sketchbook works will be posted with their companion pages when I do the books, but I’ll show individual works right now.

Here’s a painting I did. It’s called “Avalon”, and it is 20″ x 16″, done with acrylics and acrylic paint markers.

Many years ago I visited Avalon, NJ, as the guest of my Philadelphia-area landlord at their shore home. While there some friends stopped by to see me. We are the threesome in the chairs (I am on the left, if you want to know). I don’t know who the guys are in the sand behind us.

House at Norristown State Hospital

I’ve done some pictures from the Norristown Farm Park ( these drawings of Getty Cottage might ring a bell) and you may remember that the park was once the farm for the adjacent Norristown State Hospital. Patients left the hospital grounds to work on the farm in various occupations up until the 1970’s – it was thought beneficial for mental patients to have work of this sort, if they were able.

Often we walk on both properties when we go to the Farm Park – it’s easy to cross into the campus, which, though mostly closed, still has interesting buildings of all eras to view. This house is one of them. I took the photo and made the following drawing in August, 2020.

Pen, in my 8″ x 8″ sketchbook.

Knitted Bunny

I learned to knit when I was about 8 years old and that was 54 years ago so – I have done a whole lotta knitting, you might say. And I have made everything: sweaters, afghans, dishcloths, mitten, hats, scarves. Purses, bags, and socks and slippers. You might remember this sheep from a little while ago:

A whole lotta knitting over those years!

When I started out in my art career I was making quilts and other crafts. Since I could knit, I added some knitted items to my booth. One of them was a small bunny. I made about a million of them. OK, maybe not a million, but many many knitted bunnies. They sold well and I just kept on going until I turned more to making appliqued fabric wall hangings and gave up selling knitted items.

Recently I made one more knitted bunny, for my little granddaughter. It arrived at her house last night in the mail. I didn’t intend it to be an Easter bunny, as I have to admit I didn’t even know Easter was this weekend until maybe about last Thursday. It’s just a bunny from Granny.

It’s a bit larger than the ones I made in the past, since I used bulky weight yarn rather than worsted weight as the pattern calls for. A nice huggable size, I think this bunny is.

Here he is:

And here he is with some friends, before he left to go to my granddaughter’s house.

Another Painting Class: Painting #10

In January/February 2021 I took an online painting class at Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, PA. The class was called BLENDING ABSTRACTION AND REPRESENTATION, and over six sessions our class explored the continuum between these two endpoints of a line.

The class was structured so that we worked on our individual artworks in our home studios while participating in discussions and vewing demonstrations by the teacher. I did quite a bit of work and I’ll be showing them to you over a few posts.

Thanks to my instructor, Lesa Chittenden Lim, and my classmates, for a good experience.

Here’s a painting I did. It’s called “Reading in the Living Room”, and it is 20″ x 16″, done in acrylics on canvas. It’s a picture me doing something I like very much – sitting on my sofa and reading a good book.

This painting was done for the assignment for the last class of the series. The idea was to take the spectrum of abstractionism that we have been considering in class – from very realistic to totally non-representational – and to make a painting or artwork showing where we are on this line at the moment.

And …to consider some questions. Is our work where we want to be on this spectrum? What changes have been made in our art practice? Where do we want to go?

For me, this painting is the spot on the continuum where I am most comfortable. There are clear “reality-based” elements in this painting. But I have not made a “realistic” painting.

The class has made me think very hard about what it is I want to be doing with my artwork.

  1. Make no art piece that is hasty, shallow in conception, or boring. Or just pretty. Or because someone thought it would be a nice idea to paint (fill in the blank).
  2. Make art that is personal to me – expresses a feeling, memory, incident, theme, etc., that means something to me. Know what that meaning is at all stages of the painting (understanding that it could change, too, as I go along).
  3. Take in as much teaching or information from others as I can. Keep what I find useful, discard the rest – no guilt or second-guessing.
  4. Tell a story. There is always a story in the way I see things in life. Even rocks and trees and stoves and car tires are personalities to me. It’s all stories.
  5. Know who you are and stick with it.

That’s where I am right now. Here’s the painting again. I’m really happy with this image. I enjoyed making it, I like the look of it, and it is a visble representation of feelings and an activity that matters to me.

Small Wordless Sketchbook 2020 Pages 34 and 35

In March-June 2020 I created a sketchbook full of art made from odds and ends I had saved. The book has no words, just pictures. I am showing you the whole book, two facing pages at a time. The book was finished in June. I made it to help myself feel better as I passed through the early days of the pandemic.

Here are the project’s specifics.The book is a mixed media sketchbook that’s 5.5″ x 7.5″. I used collage materials including magazine pages and scraps of my own discarded artworks, as well as acrylic paints and inks, India ink, and pens, regular brushes, and bamboo brushes.

Here are the pages as they appear in the book:

Here is a more detailed look at the images.