Tag Archives: painting

Another Painting Class, Session 3: Painting 1

In April/May 2021 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 most of the same group of students, plus some new faces.

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 assignment was to choose a piece of art in any medium, examine why we were attracted to it or what appealed to us about it, and to create a painting based on that analysis. After some thought, I chose the work of the Gee’s Bend quilters as my artwork inspiration.

Why? I have loved these works since I first saw them. As you may know, I have a sewing and quilting background and fabric work will always interest me. The quilters have a compelling story behind their work. But in the end, I love the vibrant, emotional, and free qualities of these quilts. They are the essence of improvisation but are never random. Each artist listened to their inner voice to make these works.

I feel a kinship with this way of working.

*******

All right. I did not want to paint a quilt. Fabric does not behave like paint. I thought of images that make me feel the way these quilts do, of something that I could depict.

I settled on these houses in Allentown, PA. You know of my love for houses and this style of building is exuberant, lively, and alive – like the quilt images are for me.

I got to work. First I painted a pink/red/orange etc. background all over the paper, in a nod to the construction of the quilts. Then I took India ink, acrylic markers, and acrylic paint, and I added the houses on top. I amended the sky a bit and I had my painting.

The painting is called “Houses Sewn Together” and it is 18″ x 24″, acrylics on paper.

Another Painting Class, Session 2: Painting 8

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 in this series, the class assignment was to use a color we did not ordinarily feature in our paintings as the main hue. I interpreted that to mean not only did I not feature it but I did not really like it as well as others, either, and maybe for reasons that had nothing to do with the color, but maybe it was the paint tube mechanics or that I hate squeezing out paint from nearly empty tubes. (I know. Crazy.)

Here is the second painting I made for this assignment. It was based on this photo I took a couple of years ago at Lake Galena, near Chalfont, PA:

I chose the colors red and gray for this picture. I first drew in the plants with red paint, then filled in around it. Gradually I added more and more colors and refined the shapes.

I am not sure why I don’t like red much; I do know I’ve felt this way all my life about it. I remember my parents choosing red carpet for my childhood room and I was not happy about it, so the feeling goes back some years, you may say.

Gray, I find to be a very useful color and I use it often, but it is not major player in a composition for me. It has fallen into the reliable workhorse category.

I do think I will lean on gray more in the future. Let it have more of a voice.

I will also have a better attitude about red, as I think it looks good in combination with the other colors in this piece, but it is still lower down on my list of colors that make me feel good to work with. Maybe we just need to get better acquainted and let old disputes fall away?

I like how things ended up. I have got a stalky space plant from another planet garden going here, I think.

The painting is called “At Lake Galena” and it is 20″ x 16″, acrylics on canvas.

Another Painting Class, Session 2: Painting 7

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.

The class assignment was to use a color we did not ordinarily feature in our paintings as the main hue. In my mind, this idea morphed with the idea of using colors I don’t like as much as others.

To clarify, there are no colors I dislike or would refuse to work with. Some colors just don’t come to my mind as much as others. Or, I have built up a habit of using certain colors and avoiding others.

Here is a confession: I do find that if the paint tube has a difficult to use cap…or…if there is just a little paint left in the tube and it is hard to squeeze it out…I avoid these too. Yes, it is stupid, but I have realized I do it. Now that I have thought about it, I will try to overcome this idea, because it is just dumb to be doing things this way.

OK. I made a couple of paintings featuring colors I don’t usually present as the main ones because I don’t like them as much for whatever reason.

Whew! Now that you know that, here is one of the paintings I made. It was based on this recent photo:

I chose the colors gray and some olive brown greens as my main colors. I have always liked these colors fine, but I tend to the more showy.

I am pleased with the results of this experiment, though, and I feel I’ll be more likely to use these colors in bigger proportions in the future. Because I gave them a chance to be the star and they came up with a great performance!

The painting is called “Power Lines” and is 20″ x 16″, acrylics on canvas.

Another Painting Class, Session 2: Painting 6

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.

The class assignment was to examine what paths we might like to take our art along in the future.

I did a post on this topic at the end of the first class with some detail: look here if you want to see it.

As you may imagine I have a lot of ideas. But one thing I would like to do is to paint more pictures of people – either portraits or peopled scenes. This idea is something new to me and I will have to give it more thought.

In the meantime, I decided to represent myself as a portrait. I took a photo with my phone and got to work. Here is the result.

“Self-Portrait”, 3/21, acrylics on masonite, 24″ x 18″

Another Painting Class, Session 2: Painting 5

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.

After completing the original class assignment of painting an emotion, which I amended to just…painting something abstract, I found I enjoyed the process, so I did more. Here is one. It is called “Fly” and it is 24″ x 18″ on masonite.

Someone asked me in the class why I named it as I did. I was not really sure how to answer. It looked sort of insect-like to me, yes. And it seemed to have a lot of flying off pieces to it. And…I don’t know, that is the word that came to mind.

I am surprised that I liked doing these abstracts – I have never found a way into the abstract with no representational elements world before that didn’t make me feel stressed and anxious. The key seems to be, forget what you are doing and just do. So…it becomes just pleasure to be painting.

Another Painting Class, Session 2: Painting 4

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.

This painting is the third one I did as a group to meet our class assignment, which 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.

As I also said earlier, I worked on more than one painting at a time. I like having a lot of choices in front of me and it keeps things fresh and moving along to skip from one painting to another. I liked that feeling!

Here is the third in this series. It is called “Loops” and is acrylics on masonite, 18″ x 24″.

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.

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.

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.

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.