The Guild monthly meeting for April challenged members to create an Abstract using any medium they preferred. As most of us attending are representational artists this was a challenge indeed. Present were Jim, Joy, Jenny, Mike, Sonia, Jane and Ann all armed with materials and ideas they set up for two hours of experimentation.
Jim had provided some helpful notes from : https://www.artistsnetwork.com/art-techniques/6-abstract-painting-prompts/ and other links for preparatory reading prior to the meeting. These are provided below for any who are interested to “try this at home”.
- Connect 7 dots. Literally, dot your surface seven times and get started connecting them with pattern and texture, colour and any kind of mark that comes out of you. All are welcome.
- Use your non-dominant hand to start. This way you know that you will get some unanticipated marks. You can always switch back once you feel like you’ve got some inspiration flowing.
- Alter your surface. Crumple your paper. Smear it with a wash. Flick paint at it. Put something unique down first and it might adjust your vision so that you work in a different way.
- Only one colour. Now you really have to work on texture and forms to get creative.
- Only one tool. That means one brush. And remember a brush has one traditional way of being used but several non-traditional ways of being used.
- Close your eyes. Or blindfold yourself. If you are at home, no one will see you. You get to start fresh and see with your mind’s eye. Surprisingly enough it will likely set your hand free.
If you can put up with advert interruptions, some YouTube videos that might be of interest:
From the series ‘Abstract Painting for beginners / Demonstration in Acrylics / Relaxing / Daily Art Therapy’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6CgtC-m7EU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAAi_RiW90s and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YmfyZvGgSQ
Abstract figurative painting in Acrylics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2BRXn_ZT84
Michael Lang does a good number of ‘loose and fast’ YouTube abstract painting demos. e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMgYf8HIxAM
There were many avenues to explore indeed and work comenced.
After 2 hours of fun experimentation the group had produced a variety of abstract pieces using ink, pastel, watercolour, acrylics, collage etc. All agreed that it had been an enjoyable evening and I for one intend to explore this area further.
We hope that members and guests will try to join us at our next monthly meeting on May 15th which is an Open meeting and features a pastel demonstration by visiting artist Steve Hall.