Abstract Composition with Watercolor w/Linda James

Friday | 5/17-6/14 | 9:30 A.M.-12:30 P.M.

Linda James grew up in the midwest and received a BFA in Painting from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1971.
Her path in life has always included a range of overlapping interests. For over 40 years, Linda has been a freelance graphic designer. In addition, she operated a fiber arts studio in the 70s, raised a family in the 80s, became an herbalist in the 90s, and had an herbal health care practice in the early 2000s. Indigenous art forms have always intrigued her – including Indonesian ikat and shibori, aboriginal dot paintings, Native American carving and basketry, and African and Central American textiles. There is a spiritual content in all of these art forms that unifies them. It is that focused intent that influences her present work in watercolor. In 2010, she began creating one-of-a-kind handpainted artist books. Creating visual narratives is of particular interest as well as exploring the emotional and spiritual vibration of color. Her paintings continue to be exhibited regionally and are in private collections around the country.
9:30 A.M.-12:30 P.M.
Gage Capitol Hill
  • Tube watercolors, professional grade. Good brands are Daniel Smith, Winsor & Newton, Holbein, DaVinci, American Journey, M. Graham. Tubes are usually 14 or 15 ml. Since this is a composition class and not a color class, I am not requiring these specific colors. However, this list gives you an idea of the range of color I would like you to have. It includes warm and cool colors, transparents, opaques and stains. Basic colors:
    • Aureolin or Winsor Lemon
    • Cadmium Yellow Medium
    • Quinacridone Gold
    • Rose Madder Genuine (Winsor & Newton)
    • Cadmium Red Medium
    • Permanent Rose (Winsor & Newton)
    • Permanent Alizarin Crimson
    • Dioxazine Violet (Winsor Violet)
    • Cobalt Blue
    • Ultramarine Blue
    • Phthalo Blue – green shade (Winsor Blue)
    • Viridian
    • Phthalo Green – Blue shade (Winsor Green)
    • Burnt Sienna
    • Lamp Black
  • Additional:
    • New Gamboge
    • Permanent Orange
    • Cerulean Blue
    • Cobalt Turquoise Light (Winsor & Newton, Holbein)
    • Hooker’s Green
    • Quinacridone Magenta
    • Quinacridone Burnt Orange
    • Raw Sienna
  • Brushes: I recommend mixed synthetic/natural hair brushes, but it’s always good to have some synthetics on hand for certain applications. Suggested: a #8 round, a small round (#2 or 3), a 3/4″ flat and a 1-1/2″ wash.
  • A painting or drawing board (large enough to hold an 11″ x 15″ sheet of paper)
  • A roll of 3/4” drafting, artist or painter’s tape
  • A white plastic 18 well or larger covered palette
  • A small 2 or 4-oz. plastic spray bottle
  • Two water containers
  • A pencil and eraser

I will supply all watercolor paper, paper towels, handouts, and additional watercolors for experimentation. A $20 supply fee will be collected in class.

Check out the discounted brushes at Artist and Craftsman Supply at 4350 8th Ave NE. They have a variety of decent seconds for $1 to $4 each. Inventory varies from day to day.

There is no hard and fast formula for creating a good abstract composition, but there are guidelines to help you develop critical perception of what works and what doesn’t. In this class, we will create small watercolor studies, exploring concepts of balance and contrast, and using value, scale, color, intensity, and texture as variables. Then, through observation and critique, we will examine ways to solve compositional problems. Using the smaller studies as a guide, students will expand to larger compositions. Examples by noted watercolor artists will be shown throughout the course.
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