A Patchwork Fall

A Patchwork Fall
"A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art." ~Paul Cezanne~

April 9, 2014

Composing Abstract Paintings ~ Joyce Baron workshop presented by UWS

I signed up for a mini workshop through the Utah Watercolor Society (UWS) this past Feb/March. Joyce Baron, past president of the UWS, was the instructor for this workshop that focused on planning, design, and creation of abstract paintings.

Joyce is a fabulous abstract painter with vibrant colors and excellent movement and design in her work. She also creates beautiful fused glass jewelry.

While I am not a full-on abstract painter by nature or intent, I do like to incorporate abstract elements for visual interest and texture in my own paintings, so I was excited to take this workshop to see what I could learn. My abstract paintings are usually the side product of test brush strokes I make while painting something else, or the occasional woven painting. 

I find that taking workshops from other artists who work in a variety of different ways really helps to unlock the creative side of my brain. I try to take elements of what I have learned in a workshop (technique, style, or anything useful to me) and incorporate them into my own work. In some workshops, the instructor has everyone in the class paint the same composition and he/she will walk you through the process that they use to make their own paintings. This is a great way to learn technique and/or a skill. In other workshops, you are encouraged to work on your own compositions, but incorporate the things you are learning in the class into your work. This was the approach that Joyce took in teaching our class. 

We were instructed in the different types of composition that can be used in making an abstract painting (or any painting for that matter). We also discussed color theory and ideas for color combinations, and Joyce favored us with wonderful demonstration of her approach (making it look so easy - of course). Then we each practiced creating some of the different types of composition and color combinations (NOT so easy!), ending each exercise with a "show and tell" feedback session. 

Joyce demonstrating:

I created four paintings during the course of the two-day workshop, the first two of which I was less pleased with, but I learned good things from the creative process. But, I was very pleased the final two paintings, wherein I incorporated some of the things learned in the workshop into paintings that were more "me." These two paintings were Kokopelli Three and An Orange Pair

For Kokopelli Three I incorporated the use of complementary color combinations as well as abstract shapes for texture and visual interest in a repeating pattern design. 

For An Orange Pair I used the complementary color combination - this painting was done using only two colors: Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Orange. The background is the neutral brown/gray color you get when mixing the orange and blue. I also used opposing forces in the composition for visual interest. 

Both paintings can be found for sale on my Xanadu Studios artist page by clicking here. :)

Kokopelli Three

An Orange Pair

I love the artistic jolt that I get from taking workshops. But, even better than that is just having one or two full, uninterrupted days of painting and art!  I am looking forward to another workshop at the end of April with Lester Lee and will write another blog post with follow up. :)

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog!