I assigned that the students abstract something from nature; that they think about design elements and use of color to express the essence of whatever natural “thing” they chose to abstract; and that they turn the panel at least once to get away from anything representational. It worked beautifully, being enough different from earlier sessions to catch their interest, and reinforcing several of the points that I made during the first classes. Next, we critiqued those four panels, which I had told them would become underpaintings for me to take home and work on (they requested e-mail photos of the results). Finally, each student presented his/her two finished pieces chosen for the group exhibit this afternoon, and described the processes and choices that went into each. Then we hauled easels and paintings down to the school library and set up the exhibit, and packaged up the other pieces for each student to transport home. Graduation is Saturday, and the school year is over.
I am left with four interesting panels to work with, each retaining the energy of its initiators. I also am taking home the five 12’ x 12’ panels that I worked on as demo’s, each of which I intend to finish and cradle and take to the gallery. Beyond the physical pieces, I am taking home a wealth of ideas and energy, and good memories of a strenuous week. It has been a rich and enriching experience.
The image above is of a 16" x 20" panel by Lainie, one of my students, who chose it for one of her two exhibit pieces.