4X4 Master Class With Jean Pederson

Why I decided to take Jean’s Masterclass?

By the time I signed up for Jean’s Masterclass I had been painting since 2009. I was a good painter but I wanted to be a great painter and I had no idea how to get there.  Watching Jean’s videos and reading her books inspired me to take this leap of faith and sign up for her Masterclass. Fast forward to 2019, 5 years later and I was ready to put my big girl panties on and go out into the world. 

What I learned in Jean’s Masterclass.

Be Fearless! Nothing is Precious! The Layers of paint only add to the integrity of the surface. Boy did I learn this the hard way.  A common issue with artists is that we think every painting is going to be a masterpiece. I PLEAD GUILTY!  Jean knew this and so when she walked up to me and said “ok, now flip it and start again” I actually had a panic attack! I couldn’t believe that she wanted me to ruin my painting. I knew that I was in her Masterclass for a reason so I bravely flipped the canvas and started another painting. The next attempt was even better than the first one, so when she came to me again and said “ok, now flip it and start again.” I almost cried.  I learned a very important lesson that day, nothing is precious and I can always paint it again. This really changed how I approach all of my work, no hesitation just freedom to explore with the paint.

One of my biggest struggles over the years has been disrupted studio time and a commitment to my work. I can’t believe how 5 years in Jean’s masterclass has changed all of that. Jean introduced me to the art world. Having no formal education in art,  I was intimidated at first to be working with Jean. I worried I didn’t have the knowledge to really move my work and myself forward as a professional artist. That was not the case. Jean’s Masterclass is just that, a Masterclass. She wants you to broaden your mind as well as your skills. She forces you to ask hard questions about what you want from yourself and your art. What your goals are? Where do you see yourself in 1 year? 5 years? I spent more time thinking about my work and experimenting than making finished work. The payoff was huge.  I am using collage now,  I can’t believe how it has become such an integral part of my work. When I use paper, I can’t really describe how I feel. Excitement, freedom, joy, these are all the things I want in my paintings but had no idea how to express. “Surface integrity” was a term my friend Deborah used and it fits perfectly, a variation of line, colour, texture, shape, value, these all make up surface integrity. Suggestive composition is to not get stuck in the idea of what the name of the subject is!! Being in Jean’s Masterclass broadened my mind, my intuition, and my skills as an artist. I work full time now at my forever job and its amazing!  I am starting to explore nonrepresentational work. There is such freedom in working intuitively. Allowing myself to respond to what is occurring on the surface of the canvas and with the paint is a new way of expressing myself. I would not even have been able to articulate this 5 years ago. Thank you Jean!

“Internal Sensitivity” what is it?

Our Masterclass would run 4 times a year for 4 days. During each session, Jean would bring a collection of her books in for us to read.  Just being exposed to her books changed the way I view art. I found a love of abstraction, figurative works in line, paper, paint, and monoprints. I started to buy books from artists that I loved. I started to follow the artists that I admired and loved. I would look at work that I wanted to hang in my home and try to figure out how they painted it. I wanted to learn as much about what they were making and as to why they made it. When I started to paint in 2009 my only thought was that I wanted to paint. I had no understanding of what being an artist was or how to get there. It never even occurred to me that I could have gone to art school at the age of 41. Maybe I didn’t really believe the dream was possible. After having completed Jean’s Masterclass I know that’s not the case anymore. I am happy to say that I am an artist and look forward to creating for many years to come. 

Some of the artists that I love!

If your wondering which artists inspire me, here is a shortlist:

Richard Diebenkorn https://www.instagram.com/diebenkornfoundation/
Robert Szot https://www.instagram.com/robszot/
Helen Frankenthaler https://www.instagram.com/helenfrankenthalerfoundation/
Jackie Leishman https://www.instagram.com/jleishmanart/
Veronica Cay https://www.instagram.com/ronniecay/
Brian Atyeo https://www.instagram.com/harbourgallery/
Bobbie Burgers https://www.instagram.com/bobbieburgers/
Emily Filler https://www.instagram.com/emilyfiller/
Karen Stamper https://www.instagram.com/karen_stamper_collage/
Jean Pederson https://www.instagram.com/jeanpederson/

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