Class NOtes: Elemental Thinking

After a beautiful plein air season, classes are now back in the studio which  always gives us opportunity to try some new things and go in some new directions.
As a working professional,  I think artistic growth and evolution is essential. The willingness the learn and change is hallmark to our field - all with the idea of pushing the work beyond itself to a new place.  This might even involve re- inventing yourself. . . . .

These thoughts seep down from my head- into my class sessions and my painters know that when I start thinking about something - everyone in class will have to start thinking about it.
    Something that is always on my mind is - how to bring new ideas to my work.
Currently, I have a class of about 12 painters, all with pretty advanced skills. What a luxury for me!  So, we have purposed to spend this last painting session of the year looking at the design elements of line and shape and applying them to "other" painting styles.
 Not so that we can become like THAT artist- but so we can gain insight into ideas and methods that will broaden our own work. Or maybe it's a case of saying "What would happen if I do THAT?".
And maybe- it will be fun!
The top piece appears to be an homage to the American expressionist & pop artist Jasper Johns - but started out simply as a plan to express letters or numbers by the design elements of line and shape - with the idea of PAINT being the subject.
Applying a design element to imagery is a good way of changing the focus of a painting.
Another way is to think of PAINT as the subject in order to get your brain away from the"imagery" in order to create a stronger sense of the abstract.

The bottom piece is done in, what we might characterize as an "impressionistic" style - which is essentially lines and dabs of color laid down next to each other in individual strokes. For this one we used a piece of landscape reference but followed a strict formula of stroke next to stroke.
PAINT is very much the subject as lines of paint go down next to lines of paint to create imagery;
it's not as obvious here - but it IS elemental: line and shape.