The Abstractionists of the Cincinnati Art Club

In today’s world, ZOOM seems to be where everyone is meeting these days and it was no different for six of the abstract painters in the Cincinnati Art Club who met for over an hour. It was the first official meeting of this group to explore how to help one another to become better abstract artists and to share their love for abstract art

The first meeting of The Abstractionists, six attendees: top left is Eileen, that’s me in the middle holding camera, then Priya, Martha, Trish and Terri.

Eileen McConkey has served as the “organizer” of this newly established group inside the Cincinnati Art Club. Attending along with Eileen and myself, were Martha Howard, Priya Rama, Terri Schmitt, and Trish Weeks. We liked the name The Abstractionists for the group — as a takeoff of the name of the famous group of French impressionist painters from the 1800s that became known as The Impressionists. The six in attendance were from a larger group of about 30 artists who were unable to attend the first meeting, but all who explore the abstract style in their creations. The only requirement for attending group meetings is to be a member of the Cincinnati Art Club (CAC).

As with most groups in CAC, there was a lot of sharing with one another about what’s going on for us and our work and some of our thinking behind the work we do, the processes along the way and discussions of some resources that were useful to the participants.

All I do is paint! I never see anyone anymore!

Everyone was unanimous. With Covid-19 precautions, we have all essentially boarded up in our homes and studios. Trish and her husband Ron sheltered in their rustic home at Lake Lorelei about an hour from the city, near Fayetteville. Martha works in a small building next to her farmland home and Eileen and I have our studios in our residential homes. Through the summer months, I move my studio onto a covered patio where I try to work each day but as fall approaches I will be back inside.

Sharing Ideas

Priya shared some of her recent works for a commission she installed at the Medpace building at Red Bank and Madison – 42 paintings! She says that Medpace owns the hotel there and wants to do art shows there (taking no commissions from sales). She also shared about her experience in taking a four-day online workshop with Gwen Fox ( where the instruction featured powerful design and sensual edges.

We shared some of the ways we find inspiration for our paintings. Terri drops olive oil in a pan of water and studies the swirling patterns of the oil moving across the water. Priya who suffers frequently from severe migraine headaches has turned this malady into a powerful stimulus, using the explosions of color that she sees during episodes for many of her sparkling colorful works. Other ideas: work from blind contour sketches, look at previous figure paintings that can emerge into totally abstract forms and from the recent Art Club workshop on abstraction led by Patrick Lee.

Lively discussions about various new acrylic paints, cold wax and useful websites. But from all there was the encouragement to get away from pre-conceived ideas and to listen to the conversations in our heads and then go with them.

Next meeting of The Abstractionists

The next meeting will be on October 22, perhaps again on Zoom or perhaps one of the member homes where space is sufficient for social distancing.

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