Friday, October 29, 2010

Sue Benner Workshop

Where has October gone? I have been on the road much of the month, and it feels as though time evaporates when that happens. But they have been happy days. First I drove down to Sisters, Oregon with my friend Joan Darling, to attend a five-day workshop with Sue Benner. The class was called Driven to Abstraction, and working from our own images, we were encouraged to interpret it abstractly, using a variety of techniques. The class was rich in information - enough to work with for months to come. I especially liked the notion of doint "studies' - something like journal quilts - to see how various ideas work out. Here are some photos of some of my work, and that of other workshop participants:

I worked from a photo I'd taken when on Saltspring Island last summer - two trees leaning against one another. First I interpreted the photo using unrealistic colours, and simplified lines. Then I looked at the lines alone - a graphic interpretation of the photo. The third study was more realistic in colour, but simplified in line - almost a combination of the first and the second studies. Next was a study broken up into sections by a single tree shape. Then a close-up of one element of the design. I fell most compelled by the third of these, but would like to push these ideas further, before committing to a larger piece

A study of poppies, by another student, Sara.

Karen's studies.

And one of a tropical flowers by Laura.
And lastly, Debra's studies.
If you ever have the opportunity to take a workshop with Sue Benner, I would highly recommend it. She was incredibly generous with her knowledge and experience. And as with many workshops, the things you learn are so often above and beyond the specified subject matter. And to have five days to work on this, uninterupted, was heavenly.