Posts Tagged ‘painting class’

Here’s the fifth piece in this simulation of a gallery experience. When you go to a solo-show, you get drawn into this person’s sensibility. What kind of perception and thinking is going on here? You immerse yourself in these canvases, you’re puzzled, surprised, delighted, confused. You feel your brain is getting a bit of a scrubbing and you like how that feels. You may walk out more alert, seeing colors and shapes more vividly. Or powerfully moved, challenged to change your life, even. You may feel you should buy one of these paintings, live with it, relive those surprises and challenges, converse with it and let it open you to possibilities. This happens. Art is powerful that way.
Not with decoration. A decorative piece will make you feel comfortable and complacent and, of course, you like that. Helps with digestion, don’t you know. But art is something else. Art is part of how you develop and developing is work.
To get what I’m getting at here, you may need to get messy, sign up for a class and face the process. Get it? Experience! Btw, contrary to popular myth, 14MayWestEggFlipart classes are not relaxing. Slug it out with the Apollonian and Dionysian for three hours and you’ll be ready for a nap. And that’s a wonderful experience.

As the teacher I have the added pleasure and privilege of witnessing the development of my students’ paintings.
All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »


That’s the title of the painting class I proposed for the fall. 

The class used to be called “Impressions of Landscape”  and it will retain this title for the plein air class held in the summer, but for the indoor version it’s just not a good fit. My students actually pointed this out to me during the winter term because what we were doing in that class was really all about abstraction.  True, we talked about what makes a painting landscape-Y and we referred to the Impressionists a lot. But basically, folks, abstraction is what we thought, felt, breathed and painted.

Unfortunately, the word abstraction is intimidating. It sounds cold, unfeeling, merely cerebral. 

But the experience of working abstractly isn’t anything like that!  It’s a passionate, highly personal, engaging process.  So much so, that at the end of a three-hour painting session, you’re likely to be exhausted and ready for a nap.  Well, you can’t put language like that into a class description. 

After much doubt and procrastination,  I came up with a class blurb that asks “What would Mondrian do?”  and then goes on with a short paragraph like this:  “…or Diebenkorn, or deKooning, or Hofmann?  Learn from the masters of modernism and from your own experience how line, value, edge and weight can create tension and movement in your work.  Learn what pleases the eye, tickles the mind and draws the viewer into your painting.”

Someone in the office must have liked these words, because they put them on a poster, using a Diebenkorn painting as ground.  And then this: “Take Katherine Hilden’s ‘What Would Mondrian Do?’ or choose from many others.” 

Oh, do!

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.




Read Full Post »