Monday, April 11, 2016

How A Series Begins

As many of you know, I have been recovering from a late March neck surgery (ACDF, Levels C5-7, if it matters.) I'm doing pretty well, well enough, in fact, to move along in a series I began in early March, just before the operation.

For some unfathomable reason, I felt a strong desire to work again in oil. I also had this idea that I'd like to do some figure work, too. It's been a while, and I think all artists come back to the human figure several times over a lifetime, if indeed they ever leave it.

Several sketches and throwaway paintings happened. Here are a couple of them.

During all this, a thought came and wouldn't leave: why is fifty percent of Western art composed of variations, with varying degrees of sophistication and technical excellence, of the shower scene in Porky's? Can't a woman (or a barely pubescent girl, for that matter) take a goddamned bath without an entire hemisphere's worth of men and women leering from the bushes? Jeez, art people, what is up with all the peeping?

So I made this one. The figure has no face; she's just something to look at, like architecture. But she still seems pretty monumental anyway. I don't consider this a finished, exhibit-worthy piece, but there's something about this one that I started to like.

I decided, in the few days before I went to the hospital, that what I liked was the architectural shapes. The interaction of squares and line, the way elements of the painting came and went. So I abandoned the figures entirely.

These are just cruddy phone pics with a quick crop; these paintings may not even really be finished yet. But this has been a new experience for me: I had to abandon my studio and leave a series just as it's starting to evolve.

Interesting. And enlightening.

Monday, January 25, 2016

"World On Fire: Abstract Paintings from the PNW" at Chase Gallery in Spokane

 I'm happy to say that there are five new works from my "Planetary" series showing in Spokane this spring. "World On Fire," hosted by Spokane Arts, is up through March 30, 2016 at the Chase Gallery.

'Violet Planet 3' by Laura Allen, watermedia, 2015

Thursday, December 17, 2015

New Class at Seattle Recreative: Mixed Media in 3D

Starting in January, I'll be leading a new mixed media workshop at Seattle Recreative. 

This funky little Greenwood shop is a hidden treasure trove of (cheap!) second-use art materials: collage papers, assemblage odds and ends, previously unloved art supplies, and more. I'm excited to lead two four-week workshops on basic to intermediate assemblage and three-dimensional collage.

We'll work hands-on with:

  • elements of 3D design
  • theme, mood, and intent/function
  • assemblage techniques
  • textures and finishes
  • and more

Materials will be gleaned from Seattle Recreative's awesome hoard, but you're welcome to bring along some of your own if they're meaningful to you.

Classes will run Wednesdays from 6 to 8, January 6 to 27 and then again from February 3 to 24. Here's a link for more info and registration.

Oh, and Seattle Recreative accepts donations too....