Abstraction and Narrative in the Landscape

All landscape carries some kind of a story, from the merest hint of one created by our own associations, to paintings that document something very specific about the world around us. In this workshop, we will investigate how formal elements such as color, line, surface, shape, and composition have expressive power in their own right and can coalesce into a landscape painting that has both abstract and narrative depth.

Students will advance their understanding of how painterly concerns interact with subject matter to create mood and story in the depiction of the landscape. Using photographic reference, students will be able to choose elements from one or several photos to paint a landscape that could exist in nature, but probably does not. The emphasis is on what works as a painting.

Students can choose to learn Scheele’s steps for how to prepare a canvas, mix a palette, and apply paint, or explore the principals introduced above using their own technique. All will begin with an analysis of their reference; sketching to establish composition; and then move on to mixing their palette, which will be critiqued before the painting begins.  The narrative intentions of each student, with every new painting initiated, will also be discussed.

Beginners to advanced painters are welcome, and students can work in a range of sizes.