I was in a cave last weekend. I spent 3 full days at the Old Foundry building in an intense abstract painting on panel workshop. We didn’t come up for air but that was probably a good thing considering the air was full of pouring mediums, alcohols and varnishes. Fun!
The workshop was taught by two very talented abstract artists: Deb Chaney and Rojia Dadashzadeh. Their skill sets complimented one another so perfectly. Deb’s painting techniques encompass layers and glazes of mixed mediums while Rojia coats her panels in thick and rich acrylics to create a “butter” effect.
Taking this workshop was of interest to me because I wanted to experience something I’ve never done… painting on panel and building up many thick layers of paint. As I’ve said before – I love trying new things and I’m a creature of variety. I wanted to dive deeper into abstract painting and come out of it with some interesting effects that I may want to incorporate into my female pop portraits.
There were numerous techniques taught and it would be impossible for me to share all of them in this post but I would like to give you an idea of some highlights…
• Mixing and tinting colours. Learning how to desaturate a colour and working with complimentary colours effectively through layering. We created beautiful turquoise shades made with Phthalo blue and greens.
• Mark making. Using different tools to make your personal mark. I loved scratching through layers of paint with wooden sticks to reveal older layers below.
• The final coat. Varnishing finished work with a pouring medium to create a thick, resin-like effect.
I’ve included pics of my wood panel abstracts. I call them Lapis Lazuli because the turquoise we were mixing triggered a memory for me. When I was in Egypt, I saw this semi-precious gemstone everywhere… from the treasures of the Cairo museum to the vendors on the street selling ornate jewelry. In ancient Egypt lapis lazuli was a favourite stone for scarab ornaments and has been found at excavations of Predynastic Egyptian sites. Powdered lapis lazuli was used as eyeshadow by Cleopatra. Awesome.
Would love to hear your feedback on this new abstract work!