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Advanced | Beginner | Classes | Events | Intermediate | Weekly

Abstraction as Discovery, in-studio


Jordan Wolfson’s Studio
4919 North Broadway, Unit 16
Boulder, 80304 United States


Dates & Times

January 3 2024 - February 28 2024
Wednesdays, 6:00pm - 9:00pm




An 8-Week In-Studio Course.  

How do we move from objective skill-based painting to an Expansive, Creative & Playful Engagement?

How do we court and dance with Spontaneity, Risk & Courage in the studio?

This course has been taught for over 20 years – helping scores of students find their own creative core and journey.

The course is geared both for advanced and foundations. Students are exposed to working directly with the formal elements of a painting, such as line, shape, form, color, edge, texture, paint handling, and composition. Because the painting necessarily goes through many transformations during the course, students becomes directly familiar with painting as a flexible and ceaselessly changeable medium.

Jordan will be giving weekly demonstrations of various aspects of the journey into non-representational abstraction, looking at examples from Modern Abstract masters such as de Kooning and Joan Mitchell, and discussing writings from his teacher, Patrick Ahearne, in reference to the exploration.

“A gesture in paint
is not simply a gesture in painting –
it is an event in the world.”
— Paul Goodman

A familiarity with the process of painting in its more physically dense and muscular aspects gives the student a context and experience to draw upon no matter what their future direction, abstract or representational, from observation or imagination or memory.

The Weekly Syllabus:

  • Week One: Introduction to the Painting Journey. Reviewing Patrick Ahearne’s text.  Jumping in and beginning.
  • Week Two: Exploring Paint Handling and Making a Mess. Now what?  Looking at Mondrian and Joan Mitchell: Figure and Ground and the Activation of Space.
  • Week Three: Composition as a Creative Discipline. Understanding Composition through the lens of Cezanne, Analytic Cubism and de Kooning.
  • Week Four: Bringing our Lived Experience to Bear even Amidst the Morphing. Exploring Aspects of Mass, Weight, Space, Light, Movement.  Looking at Late Monet, Philip Guston and Arshile Gorky.
  • Week Five: After the Catharsis. What does Fine Tuning look like? What does it mean to nurture the image?  Looking at Matisse and Diebenkorn.
  • Week Six: The Possibilities of Narrative and Systemic Thinking. Looking at Joan Snyder, Terry Winters and Brice Marden.
  • Week Seven: Now what? Free floating as a Way of Being.
  • Week Eight: The Ineffable Power of Painting.  How to Navigate by the Heart.  Reading the words and looking at the work of Milton Resnick.

Painting, as an open-ended form of discovery, becomes a vehicle for inner exploration and a metaphor for living. In this way, Abstraction as Discovery becomes a foundation course for an understanding of painting as a life practice and a long-term journey.




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