Envisioning Critique: Visual Obsessions Workshop, Day 5

July 24th, 2012

Visual Obsession, Pivotal Moments and the Passage of Time, Workshop day 5

A wonderful brunch was enjoyed together at the Hands On Cafe on campus. Then we had until 2 pm to work. Here are some of the images from day 5 including our final critique.

Some of the questions Andrea asked us to think about were: Why am I attracted to this? What’s working. She asked us to refrain from saying: “I Like this or that.” She asked us to talk about formal elements like composition, contrast, opaque/transparent.

Inspiration and Time Constraints: Visual Obsessions Workshop, Day 4

July 24th, 2012

Visual Obsession, Pivotal Moments and the Passage of Time, Workshop Day 4

Day 4 was that part in a workshop when you can feel like you have so many ideas you dont know where  to begin. I felt like there were so many things I wanted to try and only 2 days left! People were engaged with their work and wonderful stories stated emerging.

Here I am with 3 finished pieces. More work by other students below.




At the end of day 4 I decided to go home at 4 and get some rest. I had only one more day and so many ideas.

Composition and Visual Themes: Visual Obsessions Workshop, Day 3

July 24th, 2012

Visual Obsession, Pivotal Moments and the Passage of Time, Workshop, Day 3

Andrea began with a demonstration about making choices using different compositional formatting devices.  Some of the ones discussed were; organize on the grid, create a window, icon, radiating, random, narrative, or cruciform. We were also asked to include our memory, icon or visual obsession.

Making Choices

Some of the artists we looked at to see these different kinds of formats were; Robert Motherwell, Michael Cutlip, Holly Roberts, Ivey Storer, & Hanna Hoch.

Her visual obsession is her family. One of the elements she wants to incorporate into the finished piece.

sorting materials into piles.

This student incorporated some knitted wire into to her collage.

My visual obsession is the poodle.

Gel medium transfer using images copied from a xerox or laser printer. A device to allow us to include photos or memorabilia.

apply gel medium four coats to the image

remove the paper backing by soaking in water and gently rubbing the paper away

Image transfer was an interesting way to work. I was not sure if it would have been just as easy to cut out the image and glue it onto the page?

End of Day 3

I finished 2 small paintings that day and felt really satisfied that the pieces were coming together.


Subtractive Exploration and Textural Additions: Visual Obsessions Workshop, Day 2

July 24th, 2012

Visual Obsession, Pivotal Moments and the Passage of Time, Workshop Day 2

Thursday began with a discussion about altering an existing book. the idea is to scratch for ideas and respond to words phrases or images in an existing book . The process involves editing with gesso allowing us to focus on a single word or phrase, and to add our own ideas to the “sketchbook” The beauty of this exercise is that you never have to face the dreaded blank page.

a striking page in the altered book

I had to overcome my reticence to mark in a printed book. I was taught never mark or color in any book.

Possible actions are; scratching for ideas,gluing stuff in, conceal/reveal,gesso


Thursday afternoon

Andrea began a demonstration of creating grounds by putting acrylic paint on wet Bristol paper. We explored using brushes and other tools such as grout spreaders to give different visual texture.

Tools: Bristol paper, matt medium, foam brush, acrylic paint in at least 2 colors,water.


mixing color for ground exercise


creating her background with acrylics

having fun

Thursday afternoon came and it was time to go. Already, we had 3 element we had created; the small process paintings with lines and circles, the altered book, and the large acrylic grounds.I had no idea where we might be going with this exercise or how it might relate to what we did yesterday. I was intrigued and it got me thinking about these elements and how they might all relate. Couldn’t wait for day 3.


How Do We Approach Play?: Visual Obsessions Workshop, Day 1

July 24th, 2012

Visual Obsession, Pivotal Moments and the Passage of Time, workshop July 11-15 2012 at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland Oregon.

Last week I was fortunate enough to participate in a workshop with artist Andrea Borsuk and nine other talented women, at the Oregon College of Art and Craft. I will be sharing my impressions of the workshop covering the highlight of each day.

Ready for the journey

July 11 Day 1

The workshop was held in the new drawing and photography building on the OCAC campus. The morning was richly filled with introductions about shared fears, excitement, past artistic repressions and workshop expectations. Andrea set the stage for the week by offering the possibility of going beyond the evaluations and expectations judgments of others as well as our own fears and perceived inadequacies.

Andrea explained that the theme of this workshop is play, How do we approach play? “Visual Obsession” relates to what we are attracted to and what has meaning to us.

Andrea introducing new process

We began with slides about processes or systems that give us access to play.  Some of the artists we looked at were: Jackson Pollock, Agnes Martin,Cy Twombly, Mark Tobey, Melissa Meyer, Lisa Buchanan Marc Katano to name a few.

Here are some of the process pieces we created.

This student worked with curved lines and explored different media.

This student was working with circles as her process

I created a stencil and used mixed media to create this little texture

I was amazed at how much we accomplished this first day. I left tired and excited for day 2.