Friday, March 4, 2011

Painting at the Fleisher

Better version of Goethe-Color-Wheel.jpg, shar...Goethe's color wheelImage via WikipediaThis winter I have been taking two art classes:  on on color theory and the other on Painting Intuitively at the Fleisher Memorial Art Center. The Fleisher Memorial grew out of the Graphic Sketch Club founded at the turn of the century by Samuel Fleisher  for poor children in South Philadelphia

For most of my childhood, art class was a pretty painful experience.  I remember counting the minutes until the class was over. I made some really crappy, disorderly things.  Stuff that was just slapped together without rhyme or reason.

But, I thought with a new pair of eyes that I might try this art stuff out again as long as I honor a few limitations.  I decided not to do anything with drawing.  Copying things is not a strength and I need to do some occupational therapy for fine motor skills.  But I thought it might be good to cultivate some visual skills somehow.  Especially some higher order ones like perception. But maybe instead of trying to reflect the outer world directly, I would start thinking about my inner world.

I picked the  color theory class because I have always liked color.  I like really bright happy colors and I like muted subtle colors.  I find color both energizing and calming.

I picked the Painting Intuitively class because I could do something with the color theory that I have learned but not something involving drawing.  I use a big canvas and big brushes to paint abstractions in acrylics.  I am into texture and have been fooling around with applying paint directly from my wax paper palette.  Today I will be experimenting with adding eggshells and tissue paper.

I have one nice purple painting that I have been working on.   Kind of a soul journey type of painting with lots of plum and indigo.

I am also doing a nice green painting... cool shades of green.  Like a cool walk in the forest.  I am debating where to go with it.  I thought about warming it up with an orange glow in a corner and an orange and yellow foreground.  Hubby doesn't like that idea .... wants to keep it cool.  I like it both ways.  Warmed up or kept cool .   We'll see where I will end up.

The funny thing is that I work better at home.  The studio is too overwhelming.  What I make in class is a bit of a mud puddle.  I just don't compose too well in the studio.  At home, I am able to "take it in" more and get a better composition.  Unfortunately, preferring to be at home puts one in the position of being a bit of a snob or a bit aloof.   I mentioned my preference to my teacher and she thought I was being a little too too.  Oh well.  What can you do?

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