Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Level II

"Rolling Right Along" was finished right before I attended the latest workshop

In early April I attended a Level II oil and cold wax workshop in Asheville, North Carolina, taught by Wisconsin artist Rebecca Crowell.  Last June I took her introductory three day workshop, learning an array of techniques for incorporating cold wax medium into my paintings.  In the months following the first workshop I continually experimented in my studio and was gratified by my new ability to deepen my painting surface and energize my underlying concepts.

The Level II workshop at first seemed like a review of previously presented material, but each day I realized I was writing copious notes on the demonstrations. I was especially stimulated by the power point presentations Crowell delivered during each day's lunch break.  The material presented would quite clearly have been less useful to me in the earlier stages of my work with cold wax.  Rebecca Crowell is not only a superb artist, but she imparts knowledge with skill and generosity.  Her presentations on Visual Thinking and Form and Content were invigorating additions to the workshop.

I experimented diligently for three days, trying to make the most of what was offered, yet I know the best is yet to come.  It will take me a while to assimilate all the stimuli generated in the intensive classroom environment.  I believe in time lapse absorption, as the capillary thinking of my peripheral thoughts and new ideas cohere with the vein of my current work.

These are casual photos of works I began in my workshop and finished in my studio

My artwork arises from my life's observations and experiences, layered like an old wall.  The process of working with oil paint and cold wax allows for the strata of built-up color and texture to be scraped back or etched into, revealing new meaning, like half-remembered dreams.  Each painting has a past, much like human life.  Our experiences create character or even scars, but we grow richer and deeper from all these layers of life.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for writing about the Level 2 workshop! I really enjoyed working with everyone on a more advanced level. Once past the basics, there is still so much to explore...and as you say, some of that is more conceptual than technical. Glad you came and best wishes for your work!