Dear <<First Name>>,
My Luscious Abstractions class is an obsessively fine-tuned experiment in how to best teach abstract painting. After 15 years I still tweak it every time. I consider it a course in "the quickest way to a good abstract painting" - a beautifully streamlined yet flexible system for anyone who wants to jump into the sea of Abstract Painting with the skills to swim.
Recently I had a significant breakthrough in this experiment.
One step in my process has always been the hardest to teach: structure. A painting needs some bones to hold it up, and I've tried moving this step backwards and forwards in the sequence with way too mixed results. It seems that people have widely different preferences for how much structure they want to create!
My moment of truth came thanks to Elliott, a dear mentoring client who flew across the country for private instruction. At his final critique, I gave him some of my past exhibit postcards. He looked at a very fluid one and said, "Hey, I want to do this. Why don't you teach this?"
I had to think. Why didn't I? What was it about this boneless painting that I had overlooked; that is, without structural lines, how was it standing up so strongly?
That's when I realized that more important than bones in a painting is the bending of space. I had been teaching both together, not cognizant that they were two completely different kinds of structure and one was optional.
Look at it like a room. Which is more important in shaping the space: the furniture or the walls? Some people don't like furniture.
We need the big bending of space in a painting if we want real depth. That means large-area value shifts (lighter-darker). And, of course, not half and half.
Explore this foundation and much more in my Luscious Abstractions class next week. It's the last one until fall, because... drumroll... I'm using the summer to create an online version of the course! Very excited!
Yours in the love of beauty and spirit,