Abstraction: Diving Deeper

Abstraction: Diving Deeper
Instructor: Karine Swenson
Drawing, Painting, Mixed-Media • $85 

Class Dates: March 22 – April 1, 2016

Price: $85.00


Have you ever asked yourself “how do I know when a painting is finished?” If you have ever struggled with this question, this is the class for you.

In this painting class, we will dive deeper into our abstract paintings in order to make discoveries and learn, but we will also be constantly asking the question “is this painting finished?”

The focus of the class will be to work through three stages of a painting – the start (so fun, such excitement!), the middle (“oh NO! I ruined it!”), to the finish (Wow! I did it!). I will offer suggestions to help you through each stage as we work towards a resolution. You will be encouraged to use your preferred kind of paint, whether it be acrylic, oil or watercolor. (I will be using oil, but will try to offer tips for other kinds of paint as well.) You will also be encouraged to find your own approach to each part of the process. I do not teach specific techniques as much as I wish to help you find your own techniques and style.

At the end of the class, depending on how quickly you work, you will have finished at least one, if not two, larger sized works. (if you prefer to work small, that’s fine too!) I do encourage you to try a larger painting, if you have been wanting to do it. I encourage risk taking, and I will help you find ways to “save” a painting if you think you’ve pushed it too far. We will be spending a lot of time painting in this class, so push up your sleeves and get ready to move around some paint!
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Class Itinerary:

Lesson 1
In the first lesson, we will explore different approaches to beginning a new painting. Suggestions will be given on various ways to start – you will be given a lot of freedom to find what way works the best for you. If you already have a method you’ve been using, but want to try a new method, you will have the chance to do some experimenting. We will start a new painting and try to push it as far as we can in the first lesson.
Lesson 2
We will now re-visit our painting. Do you think it’s finished? Can you push it further? Have you reached an impasse? I will encourage you to risk the exciting things you may have found in your initial marks in order to dig deeper. Options will be offered if you are having trouble. We will begin to talk about how to look at our own work critically. We will try to push our painting even further. You can start a new painting if you need to, but I do encourage you to try to dive deeper to see what you can learn.
Lesson 3
I will send you out to a museum or high-end gallery to look at abstract paintings in person. The focus is to learn from other abstract painters. You will be given a list of questions to answer while on your field trip. For those of you who live in rural areas, or who have to schedule this trip, you will have the option to do this lesson at any point during the two week class. (Or, if you sign up early and have the time to go before class starts, you have that option too. I can email the questions to you ahead of time.)
Lesson 4
We will now re-visit our own painting(s) with the same list of questions we had while looking at other artists’ work. Can we be as objective about our own work? Was there something we saw that we want to try with our own work? Did you have an “aha” moment? The lesson is to push the painting deeper or begin another painting using an idea we got while out looking at art. The mission isn’t necessarily to copy another artist as much as to discover something new to try in our own work. Sometimes, this can lead to big discoveries!
Lesson 5
Now we will really try to finish our painting(s). Is it finished? How do we know? How does the painting make us feel? What do we think about when we look at our work? I will give you options of things to try to add just a bit more “wonderful” to your painting. We will also think about if there is just one or two small changes that might make all the difference. Sometimes, a major overhaul is needed, sometimes a simple flourish. I will be painting right along with you, so you can see some of the things I use. This is where we really work up the courage to be able to say “I am finished.” Or “I am almost finished.”
Lesson 6
This is the final lesson, where we will sit and look at the work and once again ask “is it finished?” If you have finished one, this will be where you try to finish another one. We will talk about how each painting leads us to the next painting, and how we develop the idea of painting as a lifelong practice. How we learn to say “I am finished with this painting” in order to be able to begin another one. We will also talk about what we do to a painting when it’s finished (signing, photographing, framing, wiring the back, etc.). What steps here are important to you so you can move on to your next painting?

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Here’s the scoop for this class:

• On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week you will receive an email with a reminder to visit the class blog for that day’s lesson.

• A password-protected blog dedicated to each class will serve as our clubhouse.

• A facebook group will be created for you to (optionally) share your paintings, and enjoy and learn from the artwork of others. (However, if you are shy about posting your art, Karine is always available to look at your work via email.)

• The class materials will be up and available for download until “forever,” if for some reason you need to miss a day (or a couple of weeks).

• Upon registration, you will receive an email within 48 hours confirming your sign-up. On the Friday before your session begins, you will receive a “test” email to make sure you can receive/view everything.

• What you will need: You will be able to read acrobat pdf files and view videos.

• Class fee is good for participants living in a single household.

QUESTIONS? carla@carlasonheim.com

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Price: $85.00

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Karine_PortraitKarine Swenson grew up just outside of a town called Rapid City, South Dakota in the Black Hills. The closest neighbor was a mile away. Reared in this environment, Swenson’s connection with the natural world was strong. After receiving her BA in painting from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, she moved to Colorado. She has spent most of her life in small towns that sit right next to the last remaining bits of wilderness. From the mountains of Colorado, the ocean surrounding Maui, Hawaii and now the desert near Joshua Tree, California, she feels the most at home out in nature. In the studio, her second home, she can explore her relationship with the natural world. Her oil paintings are reflections of this relationship. Swenson has been a full time artist for the past ten years.

To watch a short video introducing Karine, click HERE.

See more wonderful art at Karine’s website: www.karineswenson.com.

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