In conjunction with the 14-woman group exhibition STUDIO: An Abstract Experience currently on at CityScape Gallery in North Vancouver we conducted a free painting demo.
Along with myself and Catherine Fields of North Vancouver, we were joined by 3 other artists in the show who came over from Vancouver Island to take part in the demo: Jill Ehlert, Diane McCarten and Eve Llyndorah.
We were very excited to see the audience’s interest in abstract art, our process and the use of paper in our work. More than 40 people came to the demo, with lots of questions and excited chatter!
As this exhibition was in honour of a course we had all attended in Nanaimo given by Steven Aimone, we decided that it would be fun in the demonstration to present some of the challenges Steven gave us in the workshop.
The object of the challenges is to free up your mind and paint without thinking…to achieve this you work automatically, intuitively letting yourself mark up the canvas/paper. Here we gave Diane, Eve and Jill Steven’s “circle, square, triangle” exercise. On the left piece of paper, they took their time to paint a circle, square and triangle. Then on the right piece of paper, they repeated the forms, but very quickly, without thought. Then they were free to veil, add, obliterate as they saw fit.
Diane McCarten at work on her circle, square and triangle…now she has started to obliterate some of the lines with white paint, scratch in some other lines with crayon or watercolor pencils.
Here Eve Llyndorah is combining some of the paints to create some greys.
Jill Ehlert is stepping back from her work to pause until she moves in to add or veil…
The artists continue until they are satisfied.
For the second challenge, the women are given sheets of 36×48 and the audience is asked which number they should use in a repetitive motif to begin their works. The number 4 is chosen and the artists begin by filling their paper. Then they are free to complete the challenge with color, crayons, paint until they are satisfied.
Amazing how all 3 artists created abstract works so different, so unique and colorful…all with the same challenge of using the number 4 as a base for their work.
(L to R: Catherine Fields, Sara Morison, Jill Elhert, Eve Llyndorah and Diane McCarten)
This was a great exercise in visual conversation, the to and fro of creating an abstract piece, moving in, stepping back to pause and examine, then reengaging until you are satisfied.
Thank you so much to the invited artists, the engaged and interested audience, to Linda Feil and Jo Dunlop of CityScape Gallery, North Vancouver for accepting our proposal for exhibition and for showing an interest in our enthusiasm for the Abstract Experience!