In which I learn to do abstract painting

Rebecca invited me to go along with her to a painting class today; it was a really interesting experience!  The teacher, Lorraine Danzo, is well-known in Colorado Springs, especially for her watercolors, and she has been teaching classes for years.
We started with mat board onto which we glued fibrous paper and added gesso to create texture.  Then we ran liquid watercolor down the page and spread it around with water.  When I did mine, it created an interesting shape that reminded me of a building that I love.
Can you see the building at the top of the page?
We made our own stamps using fiber and mounting board, and stamped with other textures, like cardboard and sea sponge.  Lorraine instructed us about composition and color placement.  I found it all very intimidating, but I gave it my best shot.  I seemed to have the most problems with knowing to add enough white into the canvas, for contrast.
Here was my canvas before we 'blocked' it in with white gesso...
and here it is after using gesso to enhance the best shape of the piece:
I did most of the blocking at the top and bottom; what I was trying to preserve was the downward movement of that original watercolor 'drip' in blue.
I can't tell you how out-of-my-league I felt among the group of women who were all real painters.
This is Rebecca, and her beautiful piece, which looked to me like the tide-pools in Monterey Bay...of course, I had San Francisco and California on the brain today.
Do you know how happy I was when I showed Dennis and Ben (separately) my painting and they each correctly guessed the building I had envisioned in abstract?
I saw the rotunda of the Palace of Fine Arts in my hometown of San Francisco, CA, surrounded as it is by a lagoon and those trees -- and so did they!  Ben even discovered a swan in my painting, that I hadn't intended -- but I'll take it!  It was the high point of my weekend.  I hope yours was nice, too!


Linda said…
First time!?-looks good to me.
Kathy said…
I think you have more natural talent than you give yourself credit for - it turned out beautiful and deserves a frame!
WOW - I wasn't sure about the building concept until you showed the real building and it IS there. So fun. Great job.
autena said…
That's so interesting, because I see a figure at the top with a peaked hat, eyes and a little jacket! I guess that is what art the eye of the beholder.

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