In this class, we will be learning from a selection of the great women pioneers of abstraction, including Hilma af Klint, Agnes Martin, Joan Mitchell, and Alma Thomas. We will experiment with different approaches to abstraction, using color, pattern, and gesture to learn about space and composition. This course is suitable for both beginners and more experienced students.
We will look at the life and work of Agnes Martin and Francoise Sullivan to explore the grid as a simple and powerful compositional tool.
We will look at the life and work of Alma Thomas, and focus on the use of color as a way to fluidly structure an abstract composition.
We will look at the life and work of Hilma af Klint, and explore rhythm and pattern. We will experiment with stream of consciousness drawing, and then use these experiments as the basis for watercolour compositions.
We will look at the life and work of Emily Kame Kngwerreye, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler. We will focus on gestural abstraction by looking at how we move and hold our brushes as we apply paint.
We will look at a variety of contemporary female abstract artists, and combine our learning from weeks one to four, exploring improvisation through use of the grid, colour, pattern, and gesture.
Rachel Crummey is a visual artist working primarily in painting and drawing. Her work incorporates pattern, improvisation, and collage. She has worked with children in a variety of contexts and loves sharing her passion and enthusiasm for art making. She has been an artist in residence with Kulturkontakt Austria and the Salzburger Kunstverein, and was the 2015 winner of the Joseph Plaskett Foundation’s Nancy Petry Award for emerging Canadian painters. She has exhibited in Canada, London UK, Austria, and Italy. She gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. She received her BFA from Concordia University in 2010, and her MFA from the University of Guelph in 2014.
"I loved Rachel’s class and found it to be inspiring and helpful as I try to work through a bit of a creative and personal mind block. There was a good mix of time spent looking at the work of selected women abstract artists followed by well-led practical exercises that could be completed during class or worked on further. Your interest and enthusiasm was clear through all five weeks of the class and I wish there were more!” - Janine
"I thought that the class was the perfect balance—lots of interesting information about fascinating artists (most of whom were new to me), plus plenty of time to try out the new techniques ourselves. Rachel, you were an excellent guide, and your enthusiastic knowledge of art history put things in perspective and encouraged interesting discussion.” - Andie Pilot (Geneva)