Monday, April 1, 2013

A Different Kind Of Art Class

I signed up for Strathmore’s 2013 ~free~ online workshop series.  The first workshop is taught by Robert Joyner and it is a mixed media series delving into the world of abstracts.  I like abstract-I really like the work he presents.  It is simplistic to the core, but stunning and dramatic work.
I don’t know that I have done his class any justice, but I certainly have enjoyed trying his methods out.
The first week was an introduction to materials and techniques.  In it he demonstrates a deceivingly simply cow painting.  My attempts in trying his methods with a cat are fairly horrific so I won’t even bother posting those.  One of the things that I noticed was how he holds his brush-more of a whole hand grip versus how one would hold a pencil.  I have been trying that as well as standing up to paint and moving around a bit.  I think he has a mini workout each time he paints.  I’ve tried it with watercolor painting, but I have found that it makes me more tense.  Not so with this-I think that if I were sitting it would be very restrictive.
I’m stuck one the second week presentation.  In it he paints a ketchup bottle.  He says to find an instantly recognizable object.  I thought about trying a bottle of Tabasco sauce and was unsuccessful finding one in my refrigerator.  I really didn’t want to concentrate on a food item or I would be thinking how good a hot dog would taste….right now!  I poked around my home and found a bottle of Jean Nate.  Pretty recognizable with the large, round black cap and green liquid.
It’s funny how such a simple shape and still life can still be a challenge to get it to look right and at least interesting. 
Strathmore 2013 Online Workshop
I was happy enough with my painting, until I looked online at everyone else’s work.  I was really blown away with the talent.  It was a bad moment of thinking how much I suck at this.
I talked myself out of quitting and gave it three more tries with Jean Nate as my muse.
Second Attempt:
Strathmore 2013 Online Workshop

Third try:
Strathmore 2013 Online Workshop
Final piece:
Strathmore 2013 Online Workshop
I like the feel of the bottle in my first painting, but prefer the background colors I used in the last one.
I’m not quite sure what I expect to gain from these workshops.  I’m glad to be painting and using supplies instead of storing them.  It’s an interesting road and I’m happy to be able to travel on it.
Just to make me feel better about Jean Nate here’s Ugly Cat:
Strathmore 2013 Online Workshop
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