Abstract Workshop



If you are up for exploring the unknown in abstract and want a guided tour, this workshop is for you. Led from the explorers mindset – well said by master abstract painter Helen Frankenthaler.

"I'd rather risk an ugly surprise than rely on things I know I can do...Art has a will of its own...You have to know how to use the accident, how to recognise it, how to control it, and ways to eliminate it so that the whole surface looks felt and born all at once."

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  • Workshop Scenes
  • Why this workshop
  • Workshop Details
  • What to Bring
  • Supplies
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Most people say “Awe, abstract is easy! My kid can do that with their eyes closed!” And I say, "yeah, but they didn’t". All jokes aside, developing meaningful abstract work is not as easy as it looks. Whether you want to create an abstract work from form (landscape or still life) or you want to create intuitive abstract (painting from intuition and the heart) you have to understand how to abstract from something. You have to simplify form or feelings into expressions with paint and colour. It begins with internalizing skills and techniques so you can stay in flow and focus on expression.This small group workshop format is invaluable to my process. It encompasses what I’ve learned during fine art school and working as an artist over the past 20 years. These very techniques have guided me as a designer and painter, and clarifies my work to this day. This is a look at my studio practice and what really happens behind the closed doors of an art studio, while dispelling the myths of an artist’s highlight reel often seen on Instagram. It includes an in-depth look at work flow and most importantly developing your own unique style fostering individuality and creativity. It breaks downs fears and what’s holding you back from creating YOUR work, and assists you in learning how to stand out from the crowd to create meaningful work that connects with the soul.

In this 5 hour intensive workshop you will learn how to:

express ideas freely, experiment without rules, paint abstract using layering, learning to simplify what’s important, understanding composition, working with values to create depth, specific painting techniques, and learn to custom mix colours. If you have painted before or are a returning student your focus will be to further develop your ideas and techniques from a new perspective compressing my decades into a day.You will also learn techniques that will quiet your inner self critic that often inhibits artists from creating their best work. This skill will give you an introduction to intuitive painting where you paint from the heart and not reference form.This workshop is appropriate for all levels. All of these techniques can be applied to further enhance your skills as a painter, whether you‘re a beginner or more accomplished painter. Participants will have an opportunity for personal Q & A during the break. Light refreshments and snacks will be provided. The workshop will be held in Michele’s Moorabbin light filled studio limited to 4 spots.Materials and supplies will be provided.

FOOD: There will be light snack and beverages provided, but you're welcome to bring something if you like.

SUPPLIES: No supplies required, but feel free to bring in any art supplies you currently enjoy working with. Limited art supplies can also be purchased on day!

HOMEWORK: Look at the PRO TIP section to see what homework I recommend bringing to the workshop. It's not compulsory, but will give you a slight edge. ;-)

HEADPHONES & MUSIC: optional! If you love to paint to music, you will have opportunity to use headphones and beat to your own drum. ;-)

SUPPLIES included: 

> Charcoal, brushes, my toolbox 

> Sketchbook > Paint (acrylic based) & medium 

> Paper (A4 or A3 size in 320 gsm) *my favorite is Canson Cotton Mixed Media | Dual Surface 

> Ink (optional) 

> Stretched canvas (optional)

PRO TIP: You’ll get more out of the workshop if you can bring existing painting work you want to develop further, or do the homework below.

HOMEWORK TO BRING: Gather inspiration that interests you. Photos, tears from magazines, references to favourite artists, colour chips from bunnings, sketches from your own work, anything that you are already inspired by that you can show on the day. If you love to be organised, you're encouraged to paste your inspiration into scrapbooks/sketchbooks. Its a great source of inspiration! I use mine all the time. 

Workshop images courtesy of Gaelle La Berre Photograghy, Melbourne based photographer. ©️

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