Artful Gathering, Artful Abstraction

180 wingsAs you might guess, I’m excited to be teaching at Artful Gathering Online Art Retreats 2016, June 6 – July 17 and July 16 – August 26. The preseason kick-off includes the Artful Gathering annual Hop Contest.  I’m one of the featured  instructors this week! Just follow this link

These are the two uber-nifty classes I’m teaching for Artful Gathering – both designed by yours truly
A Story Within a Story: Narrative Collage Covers for your Personal Technology & Journals and The Mystical Cat Shaman. Be very afraid of that cat one – Meow!

What’s in it for you, you ask?  When you join the class for just $85 each session, you get almost three hours of video instruction right from my studio, plus “live” feedback in our online classroom. And these workshops are never “sold out.”

This is my third year with Artful Gathering, and I wasn’t sure how it all worked when I first started. But it’s very cool! And you can come to class in your PJs! Registration opens on May 1st. Hope to see you at Artful Gathering!

smNow – –  on to ARTFUL ABSTRACTION.

Wednesday’s workshop, Abstract Acrylic Exploration, was hard work – just ask any of the participants! Painting from an abstract perspective is like walking a tightrope without a net – there are no representational objects to look at. You are on your own, trusting the process and making decisions every moment while trying not to over-think. It’s tough.

I am so proud of their results! Each of the students had the same guidelines (layers, textures, limited palette with just two colors on a 12×12″ canvas) but individuality ruled! Take a look at these amazing abstracts – intricate, passionate, personal – nice work, everyone!

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Hey, look – this might turn out OK after all . . . dang!

I love teaching art. Actually, you can’t really teach art, but you can be an art coach and encourage the art that’s already inside someone to come out and play!

This afternoon, my friend Mary worked with me at the Studio on abstract painting. We started with a mj1hard task – saving some unsave-able paintings. In this example, we began with a background that had been painted in the last class but didn’t have much direction. First step was to make some random scribble marks right on top of the painting (left). Eek! 

But that gave us permission to really get into revising it, layering paint, scraping back into it, adding texture. There were a number of times when neither of of thought we were going anywhere, but we kept trusting the process. Mary was fearless in following my suggestions – brave woman. She added many of her own good ideas as we worked back and forth. Here are some pictures – the last photo is the finished piece. I love what she did!

Ya just have to Trust the Process (and read the book by that name). Which means – keep trying, add paint, subtract paint, keep listening to what the painting is telling you. Making art is HARD, but so rewarding! Great work, Mary – high fives!

Tina Karagulian at Intermezzo Gallery in Boerne

 Tina Karagulian is a storyteller, writer, poet, artist and friend. I was lucky enough to see her recent work at Intermezzo Gallery and Studios on Saturday afternoon in Boerne, Texas. Intermezzo is an amazing art-filled space. Owner Cathy Galloway‘s mission isto bring together people and creativity, color and sounds, textures and poetry, ideas and hope, surprises and beauty.”

All of these were in evidence as Tina read her poetry and discussed her work while jazz guitarist John Lind played interpretive music to the audience’s suggested descriptive words for each of the paintings. Here’s a short video of Tina’s paintings and poetry, John’s music, and the Intermezzo Gallery.

It was, alas, the closing day of her Inner and Outer Space exhibit, but you can learn more about Tina and her work on her website. And do go visit Intermezzo Gallery and Studios when you’re in Boerne. It’s a serene and sacred space. Thank you, Tina, for your gifts and for sharing them with all of us!