After the Abstract Painting Workshop – taking action

The process of learning to make art  is like that of learning to speak. You learn the language, the grammar, the idioms. But what you say with it is totally up to you.
– Jane Davies in Abstract Painting: the elements of visual language.

I am inspired by a recent painting workshop with abstract painter Leya Evelyn, and I want to tell you about it with this video to give you a peek at my new painting series.

Leya led a group of 12 painters through many exercises and challenges around composition, colour and design.

Abstracted painting fascinates me. Although, I still want and need to include a subject, I want to leave some mystery and ambiguity for the viewer. It’s a fine line to walk. It’s a challenge for me to veer away from making the subject too realistic. I used to think it was about not stopping the painting soon enough, but now I know it’s more than that. It’s about transforming a three-dimensional world into a symbolic one. It’s about a new interpretation of a well-known theme.

A few of my explorations from the workshop:

I’ve started a new series, inspired by black and white charcoal sketches of scenes, many from the past including some from my student days in Berlin. You know how memories of people and events are fuzzy? I want to present a visual version  of that fuzziness.

Leya’s class helped me to imagine some of the ways I could do this.

I’ve started my first painting in this series and will show you more when it’s farther along.

A detail of the new work in progress.

I think there is much for me and other artists to learn from non-representational artists such as Leya Evelyn and Jane Davies. I blogged about the wonderful online course in gelli-printing that I took with Jane Davies last spring.

Well her new book just arrived and it’s filled with inspiring words, images and ideas for my new painting journey.

I love learning about this medium and trying out new ways to approach handling paint and  to tell a story.

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