Considering Abstraction


Wednesday marked week three of five weeks of my collage class at Fort Mason. As the first Wednesday since the time change, I was struck by how wonderful the view is from outside of the class.


Having also managed to head up to the class 15 to 20 minutes earlier and with traffic being surprisingly light, I decided to stroll around the campus instead of just rushing to pay parking and get to class.


It was a reminder that in the busy routines of life and work, it is easy to take for granted the remarkable views here in the city where I live.


Our theme this week was: Considering Abstraction.  Guest artist Kirk Stoller shared some of his work and approach.  Hi bio billed him as being “interested in the narratives that are created when things are placed on or near one another in his precariously perched forms. ”  Kirk shared that he often uses the color yellow that evokes memories of the house he grew up in in rural Oregon.  I latched onto that idea and tapped into childhood sensations and textures.  It was the first week I felt reasonably comfortable with the process, and I was pleased that my first work produced was less busy and more abstract than usual.


I quickly finished it and moved on to a second work.  Then Kirk returned to offer critique.  He gave positive feedback to the above work, especially the surprised or emerging red, a color I did not embrace or allow until I was an adult.  He was less positive about the second piece (as was I) which felt like a quick knock off, and too static.  I described it as having the feel of being in an over air-conditioned doctor’s office in the summer while basso nova Muzak played against murals of Alpine meadows with frolicking fawns.  The process felt more organic to me, and channeling aspects of Kurt Schwitters as well as Kirk.


Before going home I did a quick collage “doodle” more typical of ones I have done in the past.


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