I was in Woodstock, NY this last and most lovely September weekend. Nine other artists joined for a two-day painting workshop aptly called “Exploring Abstraction” held in a multi-windowed cavernous barn at the Woodstock School of Art. Jenny Nelson who is a wonderful abstract painter, is a phenomenal instructor as well. Many, many artists are great in their selected fields, but fall short when it comes to teaching skills. Jenny, on the other hand is able to bridge her love of color, line and shape with a deft, down-to-earth and humorous ability to impart that information to practiced and budding abstract painters. Abstract works of art that are executed to a beautiful and/or emotional level are one of the most difficult and rare achievements in a painter’s process. Aside from whether or not this genre appeals to one’s aesthetic, it takes classical training and skills to execute at a high level. Jenny is one of those artists who works diligently at her craft and for those lucky enough to study with her, shares her hard-won knowledge and love of the process to create and grow abstract art.
It was also a fun weekend for five of us women-who-paint to get together in Woodstock and enjoy ourselves. Woodstock is like no other place at least on this coast. Unabashed and consistently willing to proclaim its quirky – artsy – hippie – counter-culture spirit, this town is unique. It is simply a fun place to visit. There are many galleries, an independent bookstore and art store, theatre, film festivals and of course the majestic Catskill mountains. Worth a visit!
P.S. The last photo is my own painting and humorous attempt to have the work “speak to me” and is no way a reflection on Jenny’s work. I tend to get carried away sometimes and just goof off. I love to laugh at and with myself.