I have been taking part in Nancy Hillis's Studio Journeys this month. It's a monthly program that includes ideas, instructions, and community for abstract painting. Each month she provides an art bundle which gives a focus for the month. This first one is "work in a series." I was a little hesitant to join because I already work in series, but I have been fully enjoying it. I like having an assignment to focus on for the month and some inspiration for doing it. The Facebook community has about 350 members and has been a fantastic place for seeing a wide range of abstract painting. Looking at so much work helps me clarify what I do and don't like in abstract painting, and it helps me clarify what my own style is.
This month we are instructed to brainstorm 10 different series we could explore, then choose one. We come up with some constraints for our series, make between 5-10 starts, and then choose some to develop fully.
I decided to work with November leaves. Only in the middle of painting them did I recognize how similar my painting is to my stitching projects. I can't seem to stay away from subtle shifts in the seasons. Maybe because I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where our seasons consisted of brown hills or green ones, I am now fascinated by all the shifts in the sky, earth,and plants that occur in Portland, often even in the course of a day!
My constraints for this series are 12" squares and black, white and earth tones. I started each piece by very roughly drawing leaves I had collected. They pretty much disappear in the final versions, but provide a little starting energy to get me going.
|"November Leaves 1", acrylic on paper, 12"x12"|