Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gotta Start Someplace Department

My first attempt at abstraction.  This may not look like much to you, but for me, it's huge!

I'm currently taking a class called Pushing Toward Abstraction from the West Hartford Art League.  Here's the class description:

This course will teach you how to create
compositions with forms that have no
immediate implication to any specific
concrete objects; people, places or things.
We will briefly review the history of successful
paintings by old masters and great
abstract painters using an altered approach
to drawing from life and gestural studies.
Students will work on unique paintings
and drawings in the direction that most
interests them.

I signed up for this class because, when I create art, I don't know how to get away from the strict reality of the things I see.  For example:

This is a shot of the banks of Trout Brook, near my home

This is my rendition, in hand-painted fabric, Shiva painsticks, and hand embroidery, of that photo of Trout Brook.
I want to learn how to be more creative with the things I see, and to try to loosen my tie to granular reality.

So:  Pushing Toward Abstraction.

In the first class, the teacher, Ethan Boisvert, started us off by having us come up with 20 different ways to make a line.  I came up with these:

Then, he had us draw 24 boxes and fill them with...whatever.  Here are mine:

Finally, he pointed to a cluster of objects he'd arranged on a table in the middle of the room:  the usual still-life props--wine bottles, goblets, baskets, artificial grapes, things like that.  Plus a cinderblock and some other miscellaneous stuff.  He invited us to build on the two exercises we'd just done, and make images of some of the things we saw, using the lines and the boxes as techniques/tools to work with.  I came up with this:

This is a huge step for me.  Gotta start someplace.

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