Abstract Painting Workshops
This is a five-day workshop.
In this workshop we explore the idea that working in series is a process. Whether the resulting pieces “hang together” or not is secondary to the notion that this process gives you breathing room to explore multiple possibilities, try out different solutions to visual “problems”, and develop confidence in uncertainty.
To some, the idea of “Creating a Series” can be intimidating. It sounds so serious, and perhaps monumental. I am offering this workshop to emphasize the series as a way to format your art practice, rather than a method of creating a group of finished pieces. Working in series gives your art practice focus and momentum; rather than face the blank canvas with too many possibilities to choose from, the parameters of a series create clarity of a starting point. By considering the series the basic unit of art making, you shed the preciousness of the individual piece, the fear of “ruining” it, which can keep you stuck. Get un-stuck by working in multiples.
Using acrylic paints, collage, and drawing media, we will work in multiples based on specific guidelines and examples. As the workshop progresses, you will work more independently, setting your own parameters and starting points. Most importantly you will learn the practice of working in series as a way to keep your creativity alive and thriving!
This is a two-day to five-day workshop
We all love that complex, mysterious look of layering and depth, but how do you achieve it? The trick is building up those layers gradually, and obscuring or removing (excavating) previous layers selectively. Sometimes your finished piece betrays nothing of its original layer, but this process offers lots of opportunity for play and experimentation.
Why put that first layer down if you are only going to cover over it? The answer is that the first layer is a starting point from which you build subsequent layers, and ultimately end up with a finished piece of art. All the layers are necessary to the process, even if you can’t see some of them. In this workshop I will show you many of the techniques I use to layer and excavate, to create visual texture and atmosphere. Learn to Paint Over with confidence, and let go of the attachment to the Finished Product. Free yourself from the bonds of perfectionism. Allow your paintings to reveal and conceal, to suggest depth under a quiet surface. Learn to use your paints and mediums effectively, and gain the freedom and spontaneity of a layered approach.
This is a two-day to five-day workshop
Use acrylic paints, collage, and drawing materials to explore a visual world beyond the usual design principles and concerns of composition. Let go of Rules and Expectations and discover what is unique about you as an artist. If you’ve ever tried this, you’ll know that it is SO much more easily said than done. How do you silence the voices that tell you that you have to Get It Right? If you paint without concern for color theory or accurate representation will you just make a mess? In this workshop we’ll take a broader view of composition, and you will gain the tools to create in a more personal voice.
I use the term “improvisation” to describe this approach because it is very much like playing a solo in jazz: In a typical jazz solo, the musician makes up a melody as she goes along, over a set of chord changes that define the song. In “free jazz”, you can make it up without the underlying chord progression. We’ll begin with an underlying structure so that you can create variations on a theme; then we’ll move to a broader kind of visual improvisation where you get to compose-as-you-go in every aspect of the painting.
This workshop is open to those with some experience. If you are familiar with acrylic painting materials and have basic knowledge of color mixing, you qualify.
This is a five-day workshop
How do you make good art? How do you make art that is truly yours? My view is that there are no tricks, gimmicks, or shortcuts to this elusive goal: it just takes a lot of art making to cultivate your inner awareness of who you are as an artist. Fortunately, making a lot of art is fun, if you can let go of the expectations and negative voices (that inner critic!) that get in your way. In this workshop we will focus on quantity – making a lot of pieces from a given starting point. The pieces don’t have to be “good”; they don’t even have to be finished. By focusing on quantity, you begin to let go of the constant judgment and evaluation that can get you stuck, and you get the practice you need to move through the ordinary frustrations of making art. We will also have a chance to slow down and go deeper into the work as well. Loosen up, be expansive and generous with yourself, and have fun!
This is an intermediate course, open to those with familiarity with acrylic painting materials and basic understanding of color. If you have taken any courses in painting, or had at least some experience with the medium, you qualify.
This is a two-day to five-day workshop.
Big Fat Art is a state of mind rather than a specific kind of art. It is all about process, and about working on multiple pieces. We start on big fat cheap drawing paper with inexpensive paints and drawing materials so that you can’t possibly worry about Wasting Good Paint. If you do come up with finished pieces, there are ways to make this paper durable and archival.