Art Workshops on Maui

The last two weeks went by so fast teaching at Hui No’Eau on Maui. Both the watercolor and the abstract painting workshops were full, and the students that attended were an amazing group of creatively inspired adults who sought to expand and explore their creative potential. I feel so grateful and honored to have been invited to Maui to teach at the Hui. I look forward to return visits. After all I’m just an island away.

Abstract Expressionism Workshop

Everyone had an exciting time exploring paint and the world of abstraction this past weekend in the Abstract Expressionism workshop. I prepared the studio the day before by covering the walls and floors with tarps so my students would be able to splash and drip paint freely. I also salvaged several boards from a construction site to use as support for the larger size art. I had purchased a couple of large rolls of paper from the art store in Kona that we cut into 3-4′ lengths and stapled to the walls. I wanted people to paint big with a variety of larger brushes than they normally used for painting. The experience of painting in a large scale lends itself to both abstraction and personal expression. The class was well attended and I was able to offer the class again the next day to several students who missed Sunday’s workshop. I believe even for representational painters, changing up the scale and painting abstractly is important as it ‘informs’ their other artwork. Plus… it’s just plain fun!

Private art collection in Berkeley

My collector painted her walls to match my paintings!

What a trip! I’ve been traveling for over two weeks now, visiting my friends in California. Lucky for me I have been able to stay as a guest in beautiful homes and settings from Marin county to Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Berkeley. Recently I spent a few nights with my collector in Berkeley and had the joy of not only visiting her, but my paintings as well. This year’s theme for me has been a wondrous retrospective, as I’ve revisited so much of my past art and have been so inspired by my earlier paintings.

Abstract Paintings: Gems from the Past

Digging through my past art work this week, I uncovered some hidden gems. I found a group of small abstract paintings that I painted while traveling in Europe after art school. I have been revisiting abstraction in my art lately and it is a timely thing to rediscover the direction I had been going with my abstract painting. I have gained some new ideas, insights land inspiration from observing my own artwork. What a blessing! I am so thankful to my younger self.

Watercolor Collage Workshop – Fall 2016

Watercolor & Collage Workshop
November 2016
After a demonstration showing some basic watercolor techniques, my students experimented with watercolor by painting from observation or by simply playing with the medium to see what it could do. The second half of the workshop they then recycled their artwork by creating collages with the paintings. This became a process in balancing control with releasing control, allowing for an entirely unpredictable outcome. As usual, I learned from my students as they revealed their unique creative skills and vision that they offered to the class.

Thanks Marie for showing how blowing through a drinking straw spreads color in fun linear patterns. I was the last to learn a simple trick that most kids learn in school.

Abstract Painting Workshop – student work

My student Kieran had a natural ability to express himself boldly in his first abstract painting workshop. Here he is working on an exercise in repetitive shapes. It will be interesting to see how he develops his own marks and vocabulary, and how it will inform his representational artwork. Click to see other art workshops and student work from past workshops.

kieran-2 kieran-abstract

Abstract painting – Allowing the painting to lead

Abstract Painting Workshop

Fresh back from an exciting painting workshop in Maine where I spent 5 days immersed in abstract painting within a structured artist residency that combined yoga with expressive painting. I embraced the basic concepts of composition while the movement of my body, the paint and the brushes became my guide. These paintings and drawings were done on paper and canvas using acrylic paint, and a variety of mark makers. I look forward to seeing where an emphasis on automatic painting will lead me. Flowers are appearing and I hope my art continues to blossom!