The Hidden Order, 2

The Live Master Class was essentially an abstract art class that focused on elements of design with instructed assignments based on information given during class presentations.  We spent some time examining the structure of art composition and various forms of design – “ the bones of the design, like the skeleton supports the human body” as Elizabeth put it, which she calls The Hidden Order.

In some power point presentations we reviewed the art of many master painters from Lalevich Gris to Bill Scott, with Evie Hone in between, analyzing their many abstraction processes.

Afterward, Elizabeth distributed a photo, one that had a lot of visual information in it for us to break down into small sections of our choice and were instructed to abstract it out to develop as a piece of textile art. It was a very busy picture so we would not be likely to do anything alike between the 17 of us.

Indeed she covered a lot in a short span of time, much more than we can act on in five days.  So this class continues in the weeks ahead as we work in our studios for all of us as we put into play all that we derived from her lessons.

Here are some drawings from the first day or so.

Karen Gilligan’s trees are pretty vertical as  they reach for the sky but in this arrangement they take on a horizontal orientation much like the Motherwell above. And the one on the right takes on the most iconic structure for modern art.

Karen Gilligan's drawings 1.



The grid is a visual structure that lies at the heart of contemporary art. As a graphic component in painting, it came to prominence in the early 20th century in the abstractions of the Russian painter Kazimir Malevich and the Dutch-born Piet Mondrian, who was widely considered the “most modern” artist of his time. In 1912, Mondrian began to create his “compositions,” paintings constituted by grids of horizontal and vertical black lines in three primary colors. “These basic forms of beauty,” he wrote, “supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves, can become a work of art, as strong as it is true.”  [ Nessia Pope]


Mine, Janis Doucette’s  also have a grid structure and is concerned with line, shape and balance. In the manner of Paul Klee, I focused here on balance, tonality and the graphic quailty of imagery.



In 1949 Marcel Duchamp commented on Paul Klee: “The first reaction in front of a Klee painting is the very pleasant discovery, what everyone of us could or could have done, to try drawing like in our childhood. Most of his compositions show at the first glance a plain, naive expression, found in children’s drawings. […] At a second analyse one can discover a technique, which takes as a basis a large maturity in thinking. A deep understanding of dealing with watercolors to paint a personal method in oil, structured in decorative shapes, let Klee stand out in the contemporary art and make him incomparable.

“In music, texture is how the melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic materials are combined in a composition, thus determining the overall quality of the sound in a piece. Texture is often described in regard to the density, or thickness, and range, or width, between lowest and highest pitches,

In 1968, a jazz group called The National Gallery featuring composer Chuck Mangione released the album Performing Musical Interpretations of the Paintings of Paul Klee.[93] In 1995 the Greek experimental filmmaker, Kostas Sfikas, created a film based entirely on Paul Klee’s paintings. The film is entitled “Paul Klee’s Prophetic Bird of Sorrows“, and draws its title from Klee’s Landscape with Yellow Birds. It was made using portions and cutouts from Paul Klee’s paintings.[94]

Elizabeth, however, saw Joan Miro in these pieces. “In 1922, Miró explored abstracted, strongly coloured surrealism in at least one painting.[28] From the summer of 1923 in Mont-roig, Miró began a key set of paintings where abstracted pictorial signs, rather than the realistic representations used in The Farm, are predominant. In The Tilled Field, Catalan Landscape (The Hunter) and Pastoral (1923–24), these flat shapes and lines (mostly black or strongly coloured) suggest the subjects, sometimes quite cryptically.”

Both Klee and Miro have a lyrical quality in their work.

Joan Miro, Illustration for Cavall Fort, a children’s magazine in Catalan Public Domain


Liz Devlin worked up the first drawing in the style of Robert Motherwell in an organic,and horizontal mode. Motherwell often expressed the monumental. His work was extremely experimental especially in his later years.

Her second drawing, in a horizontal and a triangular configuration,  is more in the fashion of Arthur Dove, who was most interested in nature and its essential elements.


Liz' Drawing
Liz’ Drawing 1
Liz' Drawing Bottom 1
Liz’ Drawing 2


220px-Robert_Motherwell's_'Elegy_to_the_Spanish_Republic_No._110' (1)
Robert Motherwell
Arthur Dove

More To Come! And linking up to Off The Wall Friday!

10 thoughts on “The Hidden Order, 2

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this. It is very inspirational and so interesting to see the different foci and works that develop. I love it all!


  2. I really enjoyed your post about the class. As a participant, it was fun reading your excellent interpretation of the material that was presented. I loved being reminded of the artists and how our work was interpreted. Great photos and explanations. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for all the comments and pictures you shared about the class. Abstract art is always interesting to me. And, although I’m drawn to it, I’m also puzzled about what makes some of it good and some of it not.


    1. I think this is true for a lot of us. As in other genres, I think, to a certain extent, it’s in the eyes of the beholder; yet, I think it needs to contain the very same elements of art that any work does. Perhaps some of my readers can comment about this.


Something to say? Jump in!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.