Tuesday, February 9, 2016

abstract landscape workshop

1st day experimentations
After resting my arm with no painting or knitting for 2 weeks, treating with acupuncture, therapeutic massage and chiropractic I am happy to say that it has improved so I was able to attend an abstract workshop that I had been very much looking forward to the last weekend in January.  
Claudia with demonstration piece

The workshop was given by Claudia Jean McCabe.  It was just what I needed for a change of pace, try new things in a different medium(acrylics) with no boundaries.  Because I had been nursing an injured arm I was conscious of not aggravating it further, so I pledged to myself that this would be the perfect opportunity to try things as a 'lefty'.  Since we'd be doing abstracts I thought: "Why not?"  Although I began with the plan to paint left handed, when I wasn't paying attention and was immersed in the painting, I'd look down and find I had somehow switched back to using my right hand...!

The 'warm up painting exercises' began as a series of 5 or 6 small squares or rectangles painted simultaneously on hot press paper.  The idea was really to scribble and let go of preconceived ideas, responding only to balance, colour, shapes, rhythm, pattern.  It was really VERY liberating and very fun.  

I've posted a short video I took of Claudia stepping through the short 'warm ups' scribbley demonstration below.  Watching her work fired the rest of us up to give it a go, with mixed results.  It's always interesting to me to see what comes naturally to people.  I swear we had a Jackson Pollock among us, as well as a Kadinsky or two and a few Klee's in the class.

After lunch, many of us got out canvas's to work on putting into practice the freedom we had learned in the warm ups.  Easy huh?  NOT! Way harder than you'd think it would be!  Painting with only intuition is like walking a gangplank, you have to trust there is something to land on. There was a lot of painting over involved, obliterating, wiping, sighing...but there was perseverance too.  I think perseverance really became my buddy while I worked...and I liked her and was glad to find her.

3 works in progress

Above are the 3 canvases I worked on throughout the two workshop days.  I feel they were a solid start.  The green/pink one speaks to me quietly and I know it is asking me to find a resolution with it.  That makes me happy because I love having a painting or two hanging about in the studio that wants to be resolved...it's like an invitation to a conversation!


1 comment:

  1. A great post Sally!Having recently dabbled with abstracts, I could totally feel the fun and freedom you were having here.
    Love the green and pink one too - but I am jelly for that colour combination!
    Hope your arm is totally recovered very soon!


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