Skip to main content
Ab Rep Art Clinic

Fall – Abstract Representation: Thiebaud and Diebenkorn’s West Coast

By April 10, 2016May 19th, 2024No Comments

Fridays, September 9– November 22, 2024, 1:30 – 4:00pm

10-week Art Clinic with J. Jordan Bruns

Abstract Representation is designed for artists with traditional backgrounds to think abstractly in their work. This class pushes your understanding of composition design, color relationships, and eye movement and promotes using your artistic license. This is an ideal class for artists who want to take their work to a new level. Class Level: intermediate to advanced. Please note there is a $20 model fee paid in class. Minimum age 14. 10 sessions

This fall, the class will take a look at the Bay Area Figurative Movement and the artists who taught at the San Francisco Art Institute during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.  Well, not just the figure artwork.  There was a lot of incredible landscape, still life and abstract paintings being produced in area by incredible artists that we all know and love including Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud, David Park, Elmer Bischoff and others.  Aside from lectures on the history of the Bay Area Movement, we’ll look at WHY their work is so influential event today.

Schedule of Classes:

Class 1) September 13 – Into to the Bay Area Painters: Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud, David Park, Elmer Bischoff

Exercise: Pick a Bay Area artwork, either a landscape, still life or a figure, and reimagine it for the DMV area. If you choose a landscape, how would you paint it in the style of Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park series? Think about how layering and canvas size affect the process.  If you use a still life as your guide, think about the thickness of the paint.  Can you make a still life as thick and dense as a Thiebaud cake?

Class 2) September 20- Continue Working on your Bay Area Inspired Painting

Class 3) September 27 – Continue Working on your Bay Area Inspired Painting

October 4 – NO CLASS DATE

Class 4) October 11 – Lecture: Bay Area Abstraction (West Coast Abstract Expressionists) – Clifford Still and Hassel Smith

Exercise:  Create an abstract painting with a strong focus on surface.  All the Bay Area painters had surface in mind, and it was often the driving force in the painting.  While not involved with the Bay Area Figure Artists directly (he was a diehard Abstract Expressionists) Clifford Still lived and work in the Bay Area so we’re giving him some attention in the class.

Class 5) October 18 Art with Surface in Mind

Exercise: Regardless of the subject matter you want to work with, make surface the driving force.  Think Thiebaud’s Cake or Still’s large color fields.

Class 6) October 25 – Work Day

Exercise: Surface painting continued

Class 7) November 1- Lecture: Diebenkorn and David Park’s Figures

Exercise:  Using photo references of people in the landscape, channel the Bay Area Figure Movement, in particular how the figures are cropped and turned into compositional elements. Layering paint will be key!

Class 8) November 8 – Continue painting from last week with figures and composition

Class 9) November 15– Figure Painting

Exercise:  We’ll take inspiration from the lecture on Bay Area painters David Park and Richard Diebenkorn and see if we can steal some of their techniques and apply them to our two-week figure painting.

Class 10) November 22 – Figure Painting 

Exercise:  Finish Figure Painting inspired by the Bay Area Painters

Supply List

All mediums are welcome, but we will be doing a lot of surface based work this fall term.

Found papers or cloths of varying type

acrylic gesso

acrylic mat medium

12×12 artist panel (or bigger)