Art Meets Life by Bernice Koff

Floral Triptych I MM on Paper

Floral Triptych I MM on Paper

My art life and previous life are coming together in a delightful way.  I have been asked to teach classes on painting and collage through the OLLI program at Duke.  Long before I picked up a paintbrush to make art, I trained and taught high school English (my first job was in Cary, a town barely on the map in 1966).  Many years later, at the time I began to paint, I worked as a Docent at the Columbus, Ohio Museum of Art.  The word docent translates as unpaid teacher!  My teaching goals are many: to have fun, try something new, and learn to judge art objectively (my own in particular.) Another goal is to learn when and how to use collage techniques to give dynamism and intrigue to a painting that lacks it, or how not to use it when a painting works well without it.

Floral Triptych III MM on Yupo

Floral Triptych III MM on Yupo

I have a fun way to jump start my class which may contain skilled painters as well as beginners. I bring in a variety of painted squares and rectangles from previous paintings of mine. Students are allowed to use any that speak to them (color is often the draw,) and also collect torn bits of collage papers, letters, raffia, etc. to create their own works of art. It’s amazing how easy it is to get started painting when not confronted by a clean piece of white paper!  In my environment of encouragement and guidance, mixed media and collage elements come together to create new and charming small gems. An example of this technique can be seen in the following image  (Love Locks Paris) which was created on top of a torn earlier painting.

Love Locks Paris II MM on Yupo

Love Locks Paris II MM on Yupo

I am also in the process of taking a favorite new series called “Floral Triptychs” in which I create three small images that I stop at three stages.  The first stage is when the paint goes on in primary colors, each on a third of the same paper.  Next, I create a better definition of the flowers in each area and I start incorporating the collage elements.  Finally, I bring into my class a piece that is nearly complete but unresolved, and I encourage the class to critique it with me to find solutions.  The first two images included in this blog are two finished pieces from this series that I completed for this year’s Studio Tour.

Posted by: Trudy Thomson at 4:18 pm 1 Comment

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Posted in: Mixed MediaProcess

Evolution of an Idea by Luna Lee Ray

  Every winter, my thoughts shift from the skies to what lurks underground.  Dormant seeds and water channels were on my mind this past winter and I began a series of small pieces inspired by these thoughts.  In this series, I focused on the idea of a seed, or a cell, and its micro-environment. Soon […]

Posted by: Trudy Thomson at 6:44 am 3 Comments

The Ongoing Sketchbooks by Steven Silverleaf

I work in a variety of sketchbooks of varying sizes in my art making. A few years ago I realized that hundreds of books were headed for the landfill, so I began reclaiming some of them as sketchbooks to work in. In the first photo I have arranged a number of them on a table […]

Posted by: Trudy Thomson at 10:50 am 1 Comment