Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hundertwasser Kicked My Butt!

Liz here with you today. I love to take classes. I am at a stage in my study of art where I take classes from outside my main discipline of textiles.   I take jewelry, metal working and recently have delved into painting classes. Two weeks ago I was teaching at Art andSoul, a fantastic mixed media art retreat, in Kansas City and I decided to treat myself to a class with Jill Berry. I have wanted to take this class ever since I first read the description last year. The class is called Under the Influence. Jill choose 4 artists who have influenced her work. The four artists are: Wayne Thiebaud (California), Wosene Worke Kosrof (Ethiopia), Friedensreich Hundertwasser (Austria) and Joan MirĂ³ (Spain). A couple I had never even heard of but I am a big fan of Jill’s work and know she is a great teacher so I dove in to this 2 day class with just a little bit of worry about my lack of painting experience.

We started with Miro and had to create a family portrait.  This was a very fun exercise learning how to use symbols in our work. Miro was great to start with and most of us felt pretty comfortable with this piece. I am not revealing which family member is which symbol! None of my pieces are done but I will keep working on them when I am back in my home studio.

Next up was Wosene Worke  Kosrof.  I had never heard of him before but really loved looking deeper at his work and his process. I love the piece I created in his style. I was totally out of my element here and a bit uncomfortable but after I relaxed I really got into the flow.
Day two started with Wayne Thiebaud, another artist I knew little about. His changeable landscape and city perspectives and use of color lines were intriguing to experiment with. Again I was very uncomfortable at the start but once I got the hang of his many layered lines of color I enjoyed the process and it is quite addicting.
Lastly we came to Hundertwasswer. I love his work! On the surface his work looks fairly straightforward and simple but the more you look at it the details and layers become clearer the more complex. I started off pretty confident but it was less than a half hour before I started looking for distractions because I was so uncomfortable and not thrilled with my progress. I wanted to measure and plot out rather than just go with the feeling of his work. I wandered around the room to look at everyone else’s work; I went for a walk to clear my head. I came back to try again. I was off the deep end in my level of discomfort! I am not at all happy with this piece! There is still a lot of work to be done on it.

I am however inspired to continue exploring the feeling and emotion in his work. As an artist I find that when I push through the uncomfortable hours that arise during of the process of creation I find the most growth in my work. I think it is the uncomfortable, unsure, don't know where I am going parts that are the hardest aspect of making art. What is your experience?


lizzieb said...

in my current painting class, the prof keeps saying, let the painting emerge. If we start out with a preconceived idea of what we want to create and how it will look when done, we are not open to what happens during the process. He also talks frequently about the "painting curve" which starts out high and then drops down low as we continue to work but as we add those further layers of paint and things start to come together, then we are back on a high.

Gloria Hansen said...

Pushing through the uncomfortable -- isn't that the truth of it all!

Carol Sloan said...

I agree, it's hard! I love to paint but when I first begin, I stall/ponder/look around/research (my favorite form of stalling) or do chores. I also agree that when we charge ahead and work through the angst that we receive the greatest reward. Growth.

Anonymous said...

It looks like everyone had fun, of course. With the learning coming packaged in the fun. The best way to learn.

Kristin L said...

Difficult, but so very enriching to follow the lead of the masters. Sounds like it was a good class.