Students Explore Action Painting

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

On Thursday, October 7, 2021, Professor of English Anthony Baker’s 20th and 21st-century humanities classes took their artistic skills to the Winter Park Campus’ parking lot to explore “action painting,” a popular style of abstract expressionism made famous by artists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning in the mid-20th century.

Before the activity, the class studied various components of painting: color, tone, line, shape, space and texture. They also familiarized themselves with many of the philosophies behind abstract expressionism. Students were then asked to free their emotions and express themselves spontaneously on the canvas at their feet.

With canvases laid and ideas flowing, in the true spirit of abstract expressionism, students took to task using old house paints, sticks, pallet knives and small brushes to compose their masterpieces. They experimented with flow and line, even using the height at which they stood and the wind to achieve various textures and outcomes. Falling leaves and sticks simply added to the texture of the works and the spontaneity of the experience.

After a week of drying, the students’ works were returned to the class for viewing. Many students appreciated the artistic process and were surprised and pleased by the quality of their paintings.

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