Inspiring Demonstration by Gerry Willging


Gerry Willgings abstract                   Gerry and her painting 4

Gerry was as dynamic as ever. Wow, what a teacher! At 70 she is still a powerhouse of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm.

The students were wide-eyed as she  collaged over a painting, one that, we all thought, was finished and perfect just the way it was. However, when she then painted with a 4 inch brush on top of the collage, I thought a few of the gang were going to fall out of their seats. Gerry is an entertainer and an interesting story teller. She is full of humor and loves the element of surprise.  It was a lot of fun for me watching her and the students reactions.

Below are two of her examples. They are both a combination of collage and paint. The one on the left is about an 11×16 and the one on the right is large, maybe 30×40. They were both spectacular! This is the kind of art that you want to see up close because of the many interesting textures. The one on the right has a burlap bag as the dominant shape.

               Gerry's painting 1-1                               Gerry's painting2-1


Below is an example of the many emails and comments I received from the people who came to the demonstration.

“I really enjoyed the demo with Gerry.  It made so much sense about the gallon, quart and cup.  Even though I had heard you tell me that before, for some reason it stuck.  I found what she did very interesting and intriguing.  I am not sure that right now it is for me, but, I loved the freeness of it and the sense of not knowing what it would turn out like…… It was nice to see the process she uses and how much fun she has.  It was inspiring!”                                                                              Tina Kennedy

                                             Gerry's bead necklace

                          Above is an example of one of Gerry’s necklaces.

She is going to be offering a beading class at the studio this fall. Send me an email if you are interested in more information. 

             Linda Morris-1                            Linda Morris abstract

Above is Linda Morris and her recent abstract painting. It is full of life and energy and depending on how you turn it, it sometimes reminds the viewer of water lilies,  a waterfall or a landscape. We have all enjoyed watching this painting evolve.

Even though it was the complete opposite of the stuff Gerry was teaching, Gerry said something like, “see everyone, how fabulous this painting is. It just works! Although this painting is different than the things I have been teaching you, it is absolutely perfect.” She went on to tell everyone that her way is only one way and that there are many ways and the most important thing is that we continue to work on our painting until we like what we have done. Her simple but powerful suggestions to let go, take chances and have fun were terrific!

Below is Samantha Ford. She was with me when she was a young girl and I was “over the top happy” to have her  back for the summer. She is in college and wants to be a teacher. At this time she is thinking of working with very young children. It takes a special kind of person to want to do that. Sam is that kind of a person. Can’t you tell just by looking at her lovely radiant face?

         Sam and her art work (4)   Sam and her art work (3)   Sam and her art work (2)

Her abstracts are created and expressed differently than either Gerry or Linda.  Sam’s focus this summer was to work with color and expression. Her chosen medium was acrylics. These two paintings are small, about 8×10 (left) and 5×7 (right) and they were poured. What fun! One of the best things about abstracts is that no one in the whole world would do a painting that looks exactly like yours. It is unique and original. It doesn’t get much better than this!

Thank you for taking your time to read our blog. Next time we will be talking about our upcoming painting weekend in Ogunquit. 

About Pat

I love painting and teaching and I have owned The Artists Playground, in Newburyport for over 25 years.
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