Saturday, April 30, 2016

Beyond the Colour Wheel, Lesson 6

For the final lesson in Jane Davies' on-line course, Beyond the Colour Wheel, we were asked to refer back to the 3" mini-collages we made in Lesson 5, and to make "Colour Field" paintings inspired by them. Having a Mark Rothko calendar in my studio didn't hurt in making my first tentative steps in this new direction.

Because I'm not a painter, I appreciate having a structure imposed on me, and I was happy to use this opportunity to explore colour, texture and the handling of paint by doing this exercise. All these paintings measure 10" x 10", and required many layers. I just kept modifying the colours / transparency / texture until each began to look interesting. I found I preferred rather feathery, irregular and roughened edges.

Here is one of the mini-collages I made in Lesson 5:

and here is one of the paintings that followed:

and the second:
I prefer the second one, because of the texture / transparency achieved both in the yellow square and in the background. I like the hint of dark under the blue of the foreground and on the "horizon". With #1, I like the little dribbles in the foreground.

Another mini-collage:

and the painting that resulted from it:

The central, mauve-y shape has a bit of gleam from overhead lighting. Here I like the way the red merges, melting with the orange. The magenta was very hard-edge to begin with, but that was softened with a transparent overlay.

Another mini-collage:

and the resulting painting:

Again, some gleam from the overhead lighting, which obscures the feathery margins. I'm planning to mount these on birchboard cradles, which should minimize the glare by flattening the painting.

The mini-collage:

and the two paintings inspired by it:

Again, a bit of glare on the yellow shape. This one looks more interesting in real life, because the contrast between the yellow square and the ochre background is more obvious, though still subtle enough to be engaging.

The mini-collage:

and the two paintings it inspired:

Trying to build up an interesting series of layers sometimes led to a shift in the colours. I think that in both of these, the transparent overlay of the smaller rectangle is interesting.

Another mini-collage:
Original mini-collage #2

Couldn't quite capture the right shapes, and their relationship is not as interesting as in the maquette. Also, the background could use more texture and depth.

The final mini-collage:

With this one, I used some sandpaper to give it a little extra texture.

One of the reasons I took this course was that doing the exercises would give me some experience with abstraction, which was very rewarding. I hope to build on this experience with painting and transfer some of what I learned to my work with cloth. I would highly recommend Jane Davies' classes, and hope to take another.

This was my third on-line class with her. Good feedback from the instructor, and it is also helpful to see how the other registrants handle the assignments. Having deadlines for each lesson is useful too. Though taking a real-life workshop with Jane would be exciting, I think I respond well to the on-line format, because it gives me time to digest the material. Less frenzied.


Dianne Robinson said...

what a great class this has been. Thanks for sharing your results. And I may be going back through them all as Elizabeth has assigned "layers" as this month's theme.

Heather Dubreuil said...

As in transparency, Dianne? Or perhaps the illusion of transparency?

Lisa Flowers Ross said...

I agree. I took several of Jane's classes at Art & Soul in Portland and there was a lot of learning going on. Hard to digest it all at once. I am taking her online drawing class in the fall and hope the slower pace will let things sink in.

Heather Dubreuil said...

There's a lot to be said for on-line learning: no travel or accommodations to pay for, time to digest the material, having all your supplies at hand in your home studio, and a chance to benefit from seeing the others' assignments and the instructor's comments. I found this class really worthwhile. Of course, as with so many experiences, the more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it.