Well, I'm home from an intense three days with Sue Benner. I'm exhausted and exhilerated. What a lovely woman she is, and what an excellent teacher ! Now I know why people follow her all over and repeat classes with her. She had so much information to share. I don't think I've ever heard anyone do such informative and educational critiques of our work.
The class we had was one Sue calls "Driven to Abstraction," and we learned a lot about developing abstract work from image sources.
Our first assignment was to make a quick, small piece using a photograph Sue randomly gave us using only 5 fabrics, two of which we were randomly given. Here's the one I got:
Not surprisingly, I honed in on some details and made this:
From there, we were asked to choose an image we'd like to work with for a while. I pulled out this magazine photo:
Our first exercise on abstracting our "personal image" was to tear magazine pages to create a collage of the image, working fast. I made this:
And from there, we were to make 5 small square pieces, each abstracting some aspect of the image, in whatever way we wanted.
Focusing the bright flower shapes against that great blue door, I did this...
I moved on to work the bunch of buds and came up with this:
And that led to this,
...and then this.
I learned a lot from these exercises, not the least of which was just to stop thinking about the subject of the image as particular THINGS. I mean, I kept seeing "door" and "flower" instead of shapes and lines and colors. So it was really useful for me to get beyond that. I know...duh. But still, it felt like a big mental shift.
I started a larger piece based on another image, and that's under way but needs a lot of work. So you'll see that soon. Now, I'm tired and sore (I tend to work standing up without even realizing it) so I'm headed into a hot bath.