Abstract Painting Workshop, Day 3

On this third and final day of the Abstract Painting Workshop, Rita Montrose led us through an exercise in developing an abstract painting using repetition and variation of shapes; or rather, the task was to use just one shape, in various sizes, repeated, altered, or otherwise experimented with. She again began with a demo, and after a bit, I began sketching rectangles, in an overlapping pattern; shortly, this pattern developed an “infrastructure” kind of look for me: structures, reminiscent for of sculpture armatures, linked together, or junction boxes, conduit, battery packs, with squiggly wires, “electricity.” I liked the look of the sketch, and so did she, and so I transferred this rough sketch in more organized fashion in pencil to the canvas, and took up my paints: Vermilion, Turquoise, Yellow. I didn’t want to be too precise, so left the brush strokes evident. Ann suggested the small, but emphatic color dots. I wanted a wash of some kind to tie everything together, and Ms. Montrose suggested Ochre, which worked out well.








The sunny afternoon closed with participants exhibiting their paintings, and describing their “process” in each case, with comments and suggestions from Ms. Montrose. Then it was time to pack up, put away, clean up, part company, and bid goodbye to the beautiful Peggy Hahn Pavilion. A beautiful shared experience. I love painting! Most of the time, I don’t employ color in my sculpture, for as the adage goes, “color trumps form,” and sculpture is all about form. But here: color, nothing but color! Though as one participant, quoting another adage, reminded us, “Color gets the credit, but value (color value) does the work.” Also: such rapid “return on investment”! Pulling a sculpture–even a small one–through the whole process from conception and modelling, to molding & casting, and mounting (if a base is required) is long–weeks, months, and sometimes even years’ long. Here? Third days, three paintings (though still some work to do on all three).








Break out, man! Sweet! I do think you’ll be seeing more paintings from me–.