Taking our inspiration from Braque, who turned away from the model to get closer to reality, we will look but we will not copy. No more boring still lifes of castoff objects sitting on a shelf. No more trying to breathe life into dead objects. Creating our own still lifes with corrugated cardboard we are going to see how many ways we can take them apart and reassemble them in the search for the most exciting composition. Placing objects together to paint is working abstractly. Somewhere between observation and invention we will draw, paint, collage and sculpt, on a path away from copying or rendering, towards composing and towards a still life that is alive.
We will explore abstraction; the pure abstract work and the abstraction in the still life. A very structured workshop of looking and abstracting through drawing, painting, collage and sculpture to get at a balance between the two. Between looking at something out there and looking at our work a balance must be found to say something and to say it in an interesting way. The statements, ‘You cannot make it up’ and ‘You must make it up’ are both true. We must let both guide us. What we put down on our paper or canvas are real things that we can adjust just as we adjust objects in a still life. It is this abstraction that we must adjust if we are working purely abstractly or if we are working from life. We will make abstract drawings, paintings, collages and sculptures that we will transform into still lifes and then turn back into abstractions, all to explore the balance between the two. The nonrepresentational work and the representational work both need to work abstractly to fully satisfy ourselves and then others.
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