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“Evoke not the flower but the fragrance.” These words, written by Pierre Legrain, were intended to inspire bookbinders to move beyond literal images in their work. But one doesn’t have to be a bookbinder to take his words to heart. This workshop encourages participants to develop images (drawn or photographic) that are more than mere illustration. We will move from “reality” or seeing the world as it appears, to generating abstract images that impact the viewer. Walking the path toward abstraction, we can always find ways to bring the five senses into play as we create stronger visual images.
Participants may arrive with a project in mind, or develop one during the workshop. Bring 8-10 images of your own work, so that we can discuss personal goals and how best to achieve them.
Ideally, participants should work in a medium they have some familiarity with. Options include drawing, collage, water-based paints and inks, printmaking, and photography. Please bring your favorites.
Supplies included in the class fee: Stonehenge paper – an archival paper designed for wet or dry media and printmaking; a basic toolkit with drawing materials, and some options will be provided.
Staff assistance with the press will be available for anyone wishing to do basic monoprinting techniques for printed images.
Participants may also wish to bring a sketchbook, any special papers, and their own drawing and painting media.
Experience Level: All levels.
First Class: We will begin by looking at a variety of artists both contemporary and historical, whose work abstracts from the natural world in varying degrees. Participants should bring 8-10 images of their own work, so that we can discuss personal goals and how best to achieve them. I’ll also show some of my own work. We’ll go over materials and preview the series of prompts that will help participants get started with their own projects. The project prompts will offer a variety of perspectives inspired by our place in the natural world and how we intersect with that space. If time allows, participants can get started right away on projects.
Days Two through Four: Participants work on projects in their medium of choice. The series of prompts will help bring focus to participants’ work. Emphasis will given to thinking ahead toward a loose-leaf portfolio or artist’s book in a form that reflects the subject and style of the work. There will be time for individual and group critiques as well as for down time (meditation, yoga stretches). MMW staff will provide assistance with printing if desired.
Day Five: We’ll devote most of our time on this final day to finishing up and reviewing the week’s work. Participants will take home a simple portfolio or book of images that reflects their engagement with the principles of abstraction and with the natural world. This portfolio will be physical with an optional digital iteration. The final presentation Friday evening is a chance to share portfolios with MMW participants and staff.
All Images by Dudley Zopp
Instructor: Dudley Zopp
Dudley Zopp is a visual artist, writer, and linguist, whose paintings and artist’s books honor the sensory experiences of the natural world. The seasonal activities of keeping multiple journals as she restores habitat on her property in Lincolnville, Maine, feed directly into her paintings of geological and biological phenomena. Her artist’s books examine our responsibilities to the earth. Before moving to Maine, Dudley taught drawing at the University of Louisville and Indiana University Southeast; in Maine she has taught at Waterfall Arts (Belfast) and 26 Split Rock Cove (Thomaston). As an instructor and as private mentor, she is focused on helping students find the hidden potential in their work through an intersection with the richness of the natural world. Dudley’s paintings are included in the collections of 21C Museum Hotels, the Portland Museum of Art, and the Bates College Museum of Art, as well as other university and museum collections nationally. Her books are held in the Special Collections libraries of Bowdoin College, the University of Kentucky, and Yale University. A solo exhibition, Landscapes, Jars and Vessels, at Moremen Gallery (Louisville, Kentucky, 2019) occasioned a conversation about the cities, continents, places, and objects that inform her paintings. In December 2019, she published The Mystery of Five, a limited edition artist’s book. During the 2020 pandemic she has been engaged with the multi-generational group Spliced Connector, and uses Instagram and Artsy as platforms to reach a broader audience. Born in Lexington, Kentucky, Dudley graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.A. and M.A. in Modern Foreign Languages, and went on to continue post-graduate studies in Drawing and Painting at the Hite Art Institute, University of Louisville.