Maryland Pastel Society newsletter


Spring Meeting with Alice Laputka

Spring Meeting with Alice Laputka

Alice Laputka demonstrating how to use a grid to begin an abstract painting.

We were so fortunate to have Alice Laputka discuss and demonstrate a variety of ways to find inspiration for creating an abstract work of art. She began by sharing many slide examples of her abstract work in both watercolor and pastel. Alice, shared the allure of the "C" and "S" shapes within the painting composition.  Incorporating these shapes into the design draws viewers to the painting. She shared that she has had a lot of success with the sale of works using this underlying design element.

For inspiration, she creates collages from magazine clippings, strips of colored paper and photographs. She isolates an area of interest within the design then crops specific areas in the collage. The cropped area will become the painting reference. Alice uses rich dark colored paper for her painting surface. The pastels look very strong and vibrate when applied on this type of colored background.

Alice's two abstract demonstrations

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After Alice demonstrated her process for abstracting with pastel, using a grid for one painting and the "C" and "S" design for the other she invited volunteers from the audience to participate. Groups of three artists at a time worked at three different set ups. Alice supplied the materials and a photo at each easel for inspiration. The idea was for each artist to begin an abstract painting. Several minutes later another three artists came forward to take over and then another three artists stepped forward to complete the painting. Most of the artists that participated in this activity had never worked with an abstract mind set like this before and it was fun to watch them have fun with this exercise. You might compare the experience of using this method of painting like taking a journey without a known destination!

Good abstract design is the essence of a successful painting. Alice definitely provided some intriguing information for us to think about. She obviously has terrific teaching skills and made the experience very enjoyable for all who attended.