Steep, Steeping, Steeped

One of our generations’ great abstract painters, Helen Frankenthaler just died at the age of 83. She is quoted as sharing a common mantra at ArtHouse 23: “There are no rules. Let the picture lead you where it must go.”

Despite all its required freedom and complexity, the painting process has a somewhat predictable progression.

The impetus to pick up a brush begins with noticing some impact from our life experiences.

Our imagination is employed for the generation ideas and/or making connections that begin to layer upon the substrate.

From there it is a back and forth rhythm of evaluation and bursts of creative impulse. Practicing the exhilarating balance between what goes on in your head, on the page and in the gut can be equally as frustrating as it is seductive. The results will almost always be unexpected. New doors continually open when it’s going well.

This week we continue with the piece begun from a specific idea.  Now that the idea has steeped and there is a picture in progress to lead the way, the next step is the looking and learning what it may be about and where it will go.  One more class on this piece, then a new exercise for the New Year.

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