Friday, September 4, 2009

Chicago -- Painting and Layering Class

When we set up the room for the class in this spacious, comfortable facility, Shelley said to forget about the chairs at the tables, this group would be on their feet working all day anyway -- and indeed they were! In addition to exploring a variety of painting, printing and layering techniques, I asked each person to select a reference image of a painting that "spoke" to them from a pile of possibilities. This image became a reference that each person could use to structure their explorations in color, mark and pattern over the course of the two days. Or,they could set it aside to play and explore.

The class is basically about creating elements for collaging. Painting, printing and layering components, each person chooses the degree of texture on their completed surface.

It is important to me to create a classroom environment where people can work individually. Some people spent their class time observing and recreating many of the colors and textures on the reference painting they had chosen; others worked with varying dilutions of paint and layers to compose layered surfaces. Still others focused on painting and printing a variety of pieces of cloth.

Here Kathy is working with painted fusible, a sewing product. Once painted, this product makes an excellent underpainting on which to layer other fabrics. Once it has been fused to a ground fabric, you can work back into it with additional layers of printing or painting or even more layers of painted fusible.

Stacy produced a wonderful textural pattern on dyed organza by adhering the painted fusible to the back of it; the pattern, although slightly muted, comes through the sheer fabric beautifully. Because the fusible retains its tack when painted, she can layer this on a fabric ground.

Here's a closer view of the fusible attached to the organza. I am eager to see how this idea will evolve as Stacy works with it at home.

Val really "stretched" by working with an image painted in a wide range of NEUTRAL tans and grays with hints of lavender and pale blue -- a definite challenge for a lover of more saturated colors. She painted a variety of components that truly captured the tone and feeling of the original painting. Hopefully, next she will translate what ended up to be a beautiful color palette into an original composition.

Everyone did such wonderful work in the class and I so enjoyed the creativity and laughter and willingness of everyone in the group to work with new and unfamiliar materials.

I had to leave a bit early to catch my plane, so we didn't get to really do a walkabout and have the type of closure that I normally get to do in my classes. I do hope those of you who attended and are reading this will e-mail jpg images of some of your favorite samples from the class to me. If you do, I promise that I will post them along with your comments about how you developed the surface!

Important P.S. -- I have scheduled no classes for 2010 so I have the year to prepare new works for solo exhibitions. I've agreed to teach three classes in 2011 and will be creating a new design-based painting class that will allow students more time to work with developing ideas and content in their work, so look for an announcement early next year.

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