C2 Week 4: Abstract Art

First, an announcement!

I will be leading a webinar this weekend to help all my fellow CC tutor and parents learn more about art and how to model it. This webinar can be used with my tutorials, but it doesn’t have to be–the techniques of art can be used in and through many places, subjects (or strands!) and for many reasons, not simply creating a work of “fine art”.

The webinar will be four 1-hour sessions over the weekend, so even those who have already started will be able to receive tips and tricks for the upcoming weeks.

The first webinar will be Friday, August 16, at 8 pm (EDT). It will cover “blocking”, what it is, how to do it, how to do it out of your head, and how to teach various ages. Blocking is a fundamental art skill and therefore, I put it in its own section.

The second will be Saturday, August 17, at 8 pm EDT. It will cover “Mirror Images” (Symmetry), and Upside Down Drawing. I will demonstrate several ways this works, how to demonstrate visual measuring, or encourage different people to work their way through these exercises, and why we do them.

The third is at a DIFFERENT time: Sunday, August 18, at 2 PM (EDT). (My tech support (aka hubby) has an evening event and I am NOT going to run all this on my own!) I’m moving some things around and will tackle PERSPECTIVE on its own. (Week 5). Perspective drawing can be tricky, and comes in many “styles”, so I wanted to put this one in its own lesson.

The final lesson will be Monday, August 19, at 8 pm (EDT). The final lesson will cover Abstract Art, the “Final Project”, and ways you can use art at home to deepen learning. This one is good for both your class and your home-students. Why do we learn to draw? What can drawing be used for? How can we use it to deepen learning while not sacrificing time?

Cost will be $25 USD and the lessons will be recorded so you can view them at a later date if you want a refresher. Attending live means you can interact with me directly and ask questions. Please bring paper (printer paper will do), pencils, and erasers and draw along with me! I promise, you will learn a lot and grow in confidence in your art skills (They are LEARN-ABLE skills after all!)

And now onto Abstract Art!

Why bother with nonsensical art anyway? (Which is how most people, myself once included) view abstract art.)

While this is a Norman Rockwell piece (not known for his abstract art!) this reminded me of how most of us view abstract art! (Rockwell was actually a fan of abstract art, including Expressionism, and painted “museum piece” himself before painting the museum goer. What is he thinking? That’s up to the viewer!)

First of all, Abstract Art is actually useful. It’s open ended art–there is no “realism” to judge against “success”. All you have to do is ask yourself, “does this work for me?” Different Abstract Artist’s works will impact different people. Personally, I love the work of Sonia Delaunay, Mark Rothko, and Paul Klee. Kasimir Malevich is kind of “eh”, and Pollack is…yeah, “Jack the Dripper”, is just about right. (Seriously, how ARE these works selling for millions?!) But there are some people for whom Pollack rings something true deep within them, so…go for it.

Secondly, after weeks of using different techniques to help make our art more “realistic”, it’s a nice mental break to just break loose and try something more open–and that is partially what art is about. But more importantly, in the real world, “solutions” to “problems” don’t come in the flavors “right” and “wrong”. My father, who is an engineer, tells me that most of what he does all day is solve problems and try to develop a solution that works best within the confines of budget, space, time, and reality. (That last one can be a bit of a problem…). Are there “better” solutions? Often, yes, but if something has to be fixed within an hour, or a new line upgraded within the month, or a machine needs to fit within X square feet on the floor, my dad had to figure out how to solve those problems within those confines, which required out-of-the-box thinking. My mom’s a nurse, and will often talk about the “Creativity” within something as scientific as medicine. Given what she knew about the human body, and an accident or emergency (she worked the ER before I came along) how can we fix this and keep the person alive? (Out-of-the-box thinking often happens here.)

And look! Abstract Art! Practically DEFINED by out-of-the-box thinking!

It also gives us a broader idea of what “art” can look like, and a broader way to express ourselves in our art. When we’re facing difficult feelings or problems, being able to use the non-realistic ideas incorporated in abstract art helps us express these complex things. Being able to do so helps steady our emotional and mental health.

Finally, Abstract Art is really, a definitive style of the 20th century. Centuries to come, to understand the history of art will include understanding how this field was born and spread–and WWI, WWII, Communism, spy rings, and marketing will all play their roles in the proliferation of Abstract Art.

Here’s the two scripts, plus an optional Abstract Artist Packets (I may include two more artists in a week or two). I’ll also be uploading some stories behind abstract art (How Facism and Nazism made Abstract Art a “Western” art form, One of the greatest art pranks of the 20th century, Abstract art styles of the ancient world..) These stories aren’t included in the tutorials, but you could have them out in the classroom, or print them to share with your at-home students!

Will upload Perspective soon! Hope to see you in the webinar!

Abstract Artist Packet 2019

C2 W4 Abstract Art, Journeymen and Masters

C2 W4 Abstract Art, Abecedarians and Apprentices 



3 Comments on “C2 Week 4: Abstract Art

[…] The Online Class starts tonight! ANNOUNCEMENT! I will be leading a web-based class from August 16-20 covering the first six weeks of drawing: showing you how to draw through the techniques CC highlights, how to break down art to simple processes, how to try different techniques for those who get frustrated. The cost is $25 for four 1-hour classes. While the live classes will be August 16-20, the recorded classes will be archived in the same place, allowing you to see how drawing is done in “real life”. Speaking as a student of art, I’ve only had a handful of teachers who drew in front of me, and who showed me, step-by-step, how to do a technique. SEEING how to do art techniques made a major difference in how fast I understood something and could add it to my skill set. I hope to see you there, either August 16-20, or later in the semester! For more information on what each of the four modules will cover, click here, or click over the Abstract Art’s module! […]

September 6, 2019 at 2:16 PM

Hi there! Thank you so much for all of your hard work and love of art. I am so appreciative of you!!

I am wondering if you can help me know what pages you are referring to in the Journeyman and Masters script that you included above? You make mention of several pieces of art to reference as you read through the script and I don’t see that it lines up with either the Abstract Art Packet download or the Discovering Great Artists book. I am lost, so sorry to bother you. Thank you again!!

Rebekah Hughes
September 13, 2019 at 6:42 AM

Good morning Angelene!
The pages I’m referring to in the Journeymen/Master’s scripts are pieces of art attached to the script itself. I know how hard it can be to resource images, or even to find the same image for different people at different stages of familiarity with the art world, so I tried to make the scripts all-inclusive. The point to this script was to tie Abstract art to history and the “Why” of Abstract Art. MY first year, I had a lot of parents say, “What’s the point to studying this? The rest of it makes sense, but this is stupid.” I had no answer, and internally, I agreed with them. So I set out to figure out the “why” of Abstract Art.
This was the best way to explain it to students and their children.

The Abstract Art Packets were something I added on last year so there’s more samples of abstract art for kids and parents to look at, or even print at home. IT also provided a safe, child-friendly resource, since not all art nor artists are child-friendly. I also did it because the new Foundations Guide suggested the tutor simply show samples of abstract art to the class and talk about it. That’s a LOT of work, so I tried to simplify it for anyone who would be intimidated by that. “Here’s a child-friendly resource, complete with artist, short bio and samples of work. DONE!”

We don’t cover Abstract Artists via the Great Artists book, so it doesn’t really line up there at all. There’s some abstract art projects, but that’s all. CC did not choose to cover an abstract artist in their own week.

I hope that clarifies things! If I misunderstood your question, I apologize. Feel free to email me or fb chat at drawing demystified!


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