Friday, March 9, 2012
Give Me a Word, Any Word
I just finished up a six-week painting class last night. It was held once a week in a downtown Salem studio. There were ten of us (and five were guys, the most guys I've ever had in a class). My friend Tory also signed up for the same class (we had no idea the other was taking it), so that made it fun. The people in the class were a nice bunch, although we were encouraged not to get to know each other so we remained in an acquaintance stage for most of the six weeks, until the final night when everyone seemed to loosen up a bit (maybe it was the wine being served!) and interact.
I was expecting more instruction and demonstrations than there were, but once I realized it was more just an open painting time, I relaxed into the process and looked forward to hanging out with Tory on Thursday nights to paint. The instructor began each week with a reading or a short talk on some aspect of the painting process, then she had us do gestural drawings for 30-60 seconds on little boards. She would give us a prompt, i.e., growth, security, circles, unity, loud, and on and on until 30 prompts were given over the course of six weeks.
Here's a quick look at how the six weeks progressed, from weekly anticipation, to eventually just working on my prompt boards in greater detail.
For week one, in addition to doing our five prompt boards, the instructor had us paint our interpretation of a bird model. I gave it my best shot, trying to paint loose and free. I'm not sure I did that bird any favors!
WEEK 6 (Final Night)
I just had to slip in a photo (with his permission) of Karl. He was always smiling and having fun (even when he wasn't sipping a glass of wine!).
I'm pretty happy anytime and anywhere I get to paint!
I eventually took the initial 30-second prompt boards in whatever stage they were in by the end of each class, and worked on them at my own studio. Of course, I kept reworking and reworking some of them - in some cases gessoing over what I had for a while thought was a completed painting.
Toward the end of the process I snapped a photo of a pile of my progressing art boards . . . .
. . . and after my final class last night, I grouped them together for a group photo!
I have some ideas burbling about what I'll do with these little pieces of art, so I won't say too much or share all of them. But I would like to share just a few: