Thursday, September 13, 2012


The past two days I attended an abstract workshop (at the Madden Museum in Fiddler's Green where our current CWS New Trends show is hanging) given by Joan Fullerton; a wonderful artist who lives in Parker, CO.  As you know if you've followed me for long I have begun to be interested in stretching my artistic muscles and play with abstract.  I still LOVE working with touches of realism, but I find the concept of abstract challenging and would be a great way for me to grow as an artist.

If you click the link to Joan's website you will see right away with her beautiful piece "Singing Solo" WHY I was interested in taking her workshop! She has a beautiful way of marrying those things we see and put our own story to with touches of recognizable subject matter...and a TREE to boot! RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!

In Joan's workshop she began with sampler boards on 140 lb watercolor paper...these samplers were fun ways to think in the abstract, using materials such as Venetian Plaster, gesso, acrylic medium, paper, name it...!  Below are examples of some of my favorite samples.
This sample was using venetian plaster and pain on top...FUN!

This was brown paper uing venetian plaster and a stencil with paint on top...

Can you see a theme here...this was actually custom patch; which I use in my work currently, a tree stencil with paint on top...and on the left you can see some play with cheesecloth and glitter and paint...above a stencil with gel medium and painted over...and I believe that little swirl was a stamp INTO venetian plaster...FUN DOINS!
I like custom patch for a lot of my texture work, but the thing that is unique about venetian plaster is the cracking that often isn't as flexible as custom patch, but the cracking is FUN when you want a little something extra!!
An example (a little blurry, sorry Joan) of Joan's work included a crow...During our workshop we talked about icons or images that spoke to us in some way.  I have always loved me they mean strength and peace; they reflect humans in my mind as they live lives and their scars often show...BUT, as I began to work in trees to my starts for paintings I couldn't stop thinking about hard as I tried to make it just about trees...birds were always there in my me they mean freedom and growth...which is PERFECT for where I am in life right I suspect birds will be an icon for me for awhile...stay tuned....I am thinking a bird will be interjected into the piece I began at the top of this post! :)
Another thing Joan adds to her work is a lot of "junk" or "ephemera" as she interchanged defining in her demos.  These pieces I believe house a piece of railroad I think and other various items she may have picked up here and there...but you can see how she blends.
So, armed with some new and some reminder information I began to just slap things down with a composition of sorts in mind...something we talked about at the beginning of day two.  Below are my "starts"...and some detail that is exciting...and then I decide what I will incorporate...check out below! you can obviously see some tree trunks in there...and some dark streaming through the piece...BUT, as I woke this morining I feel I may have to add birds in some stay tuned...ONE OF THESE DAYS I will get back to it!!  Hopefully SOON!

This is a detail of the above painting...I absolutely LOVE the texture and color that is peeking from behind...If you look closely you can also see foil that will be sanded down and color added as I go along...
Here you can see some of the drawing that was covered over, a little piece of book, lots of texture and color peeking through...EXCITING!!
This is a second painting see trees and tons of texture...but, this bird thing definately is speaking to, I'm curious as to what comes out of this two days of inspiration!
As you can see we were all busy working and playing amidst the beautiful setting at the Madden Museum...At the back you can even see my friend Susan Gordon's abstract in the middle that won an award at this show!!  Way to go Susan!!

So, I am armed with information, inspiration and some's now up to me to get going!! 


CrimsonLeaves said...

I don't think I'll ever get over my dislike of abstract art, but I will say that I do love all the textures and when I can see something real in the pieces.

Saundra Lane Galloway said...

Good way to find the lemonade my friend!! :)

Elizabeth Seaver said...

You are always learning and stretching. That's the way to keep growing!

Saundra Lane Galloway said...

You are SO right Elizabeth! I'd rather stretch than shrink...specially cuz I'm only 5' tall to begin with...tee heee

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