Friday, May 20, 2016

Thanks For the Lesson

You can learn a lot from your students.

Recently my alcohol ink class wanted to do abstracts. I was a bit reluctant just because I don't do many abstracts but alcohol inks lend themselves to abstracts so well. So, yes of course, we would do abstracts.

The timing was really good for me because I've been procrastinating about completing an abstract commission. (Never tell me there's no hurry.) But in my defense I will say I did not feel it - I just wasn't getting into it. I went home that night and printed up some examples from the internet of all sorts of abstracts people have been doing and I did a few of my own - on canvasses. Now, painting with alcohol inks on canvass is totally different than on Yupo paper because the canvas absorbs much more of the inks.

By the time I was done with my two examples I was ready to tackle my commission. It was a lot of fun. This was the biggest alcohol ink I've done, 36 x28, so it was a bit hard to handle but I did fine. I was surprised by how much I like the size and am making plans to do more paintings in this size in the future.

When the day of the class came, I have to admit, I was a little nervous about directing people in the abstract but I gave them a few starting suggestions and reminded them of the different techniques they could use. Everyone was immediately engaged and in their own worlds. Laura, a student, made the comment that abstracts are instinctual and after watching the class I'd have to agree. The class was exciting, messy and a total riot! I loved watching  everyone come up with their own designs. I think they taught me a lot about the joy of just creating with no expectations. A lesson well needed for someone doing commissions, getting works to a gallery and getting ready for shows. It's not all about the end product... not everything needs to have a price attached to it.

 Everyone created their own unique pieces, so different from the person they were sitting next to. I think adding salt was one of the biggest hits.

Thanks for the lesson everyone!

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