Class Notes: Postcards from the Abstract Universe

In this last class session of the year, I have focused on "abstract" painting because it presents very unique challenges and forces students to look at things a little differently.
In the past (see:Class notes: Abstract Painting) we have approached abstracts from a purely compositional point of view, developing work with a specific compositional theme.
This time however, we started with a still life which I set up in a rather random way and left on the table for about 10 minutes; time enough for students to see and process shapes for a rough sketch. Once the sketch was roughed in we focused solely on shapes - looking for interesting shapes, deleting some, redrawing others. We turned the paintings sideways, or upside down - anything to help the "items" disappear and the shapes take over.
I have a fascination with outlines (and a life long love of coloring books) so I used them to create, resolve and dissolve shapes. It is also a natural tendency for me to see everything as a landscape. This is pretty clear in the lower piece.
Abstract work has a way of revealing an artists strengths, weaknesses and natural tendencies because composition, shape and color take precedent with out subject matter getting in the way.


Judith Greenwood said...

Another intriguing way of looking at creating an abstract painting. I think it's definitely worth playing around with.


Coni Grant said...

Always great fun!