Friday, January 21, 2011

Tools, Not Rules

Next Friday, the 28th, I am teaching my Art Basics workshop for the first time. It will be at Studio Place Arts in Barre, VT, and I am way excited about it. We're calling it "Creative Beginnings: Unlocking the Secrets of Color", just to have a fun title, but it is really about the basic building blocks of painting/collage: color, composition, and I'll cover materials as well - paper, paint, mediums. The class is almost full, but we may be able to squeeze in a couple more students, so if you are interested and can get there next Friday, call Studio Place Arts.

Yes, we will begin by making color wheels, and then various sorts of color gradations, just to see what to paints do, and to anchor the rest of the discussion and establish a vocabulary for the composition studies. My theme here is "Tools, Not Rules"; the color wheel and gradations, and the elements of composition are tools, just as your brushes, your eyes, and your palette are tools. They do not constitute a set of rules that must be followed in order to make good art.

Here are a couple of composition samples:
We'll be working "off the grid", doing lots of sketches and playing with variations.

OK, on to the next topic: the Sketchbook Challenge! I have found that I am reluctant to draw in my sketchbook because I don't want to "waste" the fine printmaking paper I used to make the book. Plus, I am just starting to draw, so my drawings are pretty basic. "Not worthy" of the fine paper or putting in a hand-bound book. See? So why not paint in my sketchbook? BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE TO PAINT IN A BOOK! Who knew? I prefer to paint on a sheet of paper. But today I seem to have broken through this little self-made obstacle. I just started doing color study/painting/collages in the book, and guess what: I feel freer doing these as "studies" in the sketchbook than I do when working on paper. Here are a couple of pages, and I'll do a post on the Sketchbook blog in the next couple of days.
Thanks for visiting!


  1. Jane - your painting in your sketch is inspiring! Hopefully I will someday be able to do the same thing. Grrrrr - someday! It is so weird how I seem to "save" these books. Thank you for your inspiration.

  2. Yowza.. beee.. uuuu.. teee... ful

  3. Jane these are great. I hope you come back to MA and teach this class!


  4. Jane I agree. This color theory class at Ink About It, along with a book making class. (Maybe we could make several sizes & types).

    I love my foam core creation!
    Pat q

  5. OMG Jane Once again you have blown my mind! (to use an outmoded expression!)
    The above collage is so gorgeous,purples never disappoint me!!!

    I am going to write you about the grid.
    thanks for visiting my blog.


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