Pace: Maine Master/Indiana Painter
ABSTRACTING THE REGIONAL LANDSCAPE:
ARTICULATING A SENSE OF PLACE
DESCRIPTION / OBJECTIVES:
Through a study of the local rural and/or urban environment, students
will document and create imagery and compositions that reflect their
personal knowledge of specific places. They will engage in a creative
process that will lead to an original, abstract painting that addresses
the subject with a selected painting medium using bold, symbolic
brushstrokes to develop visual texture and forms.
4”x6” for 5-10 initial sketches,
• 9”x12” for 3 preliminary paintings
• Heavy-weight 18”x24” for final painting
or 18x24” Primed Canvas
• Gesso for priming paper (optional)
• Black India Ink (or paint)
• Variety of Brushes: large bamboo, medium and
large round & flat
• Paint: Tempera or Acrylic
• Acrylic Matt Medium (if using Acrylic paint)
• Masking Tape
• Pace Painting Images (click a number to see
HERE to view a slide show of these paintings
Research and Document (3-5 hours)
Explore and examine the regional environment and
geography: public records, field trips, web sites, and
• Take photographs and/or make sketches
on site (5-10 sketches/photos).
Draw what you saw! (1-1/2 hours)
Return to the Art Studio where they will create
three, quick, 9”x12” sketches from photographs
and on-site sketches. “I don’t paint what
I see. I paint what I saw.” –S. Pace
• Identify and draw a contour line
with a black fine-tip marker, or a bamboo brush and
ink around the major positive and negative shapes
in each of the sketches. Select three drawings that
have harmonious compositions. Look
for repeated or related shapes and lines, rhythm
and balance. Explain your decisions to the
class or smaller group.
| • Abbreviate
the texture with symbolic brushwork: (2-1/2 hours)
Refer to the photographs and examine the major
textures in the selected landscapes.
Identify the patterns or repeated lines and shapes that
create those textures.
• Create several, small contour line drawings
of those shapes. “Recreate” those symbols
with one stroke/mark. Use different size and shape paint
brushes, and black paint (or ink) on a separate piece(s)
of paper. Select the mark that best represents that
symbol and repeat it, creating a “pattern”.
The repeated symbolic marks will represent the essence
of the original texture.
• Repeat the pattern of
brushstrokes in the corresponding major shape(s) in
your selected contour drawings. Create and assign symbolic
marks/brushstrokes (textures) for all major landscape
textures in each selected line drawing.
Create an original painting that reflects
a personal style
“Well the first stroke really says
who you are.” –S. Pace: (3-4 hours)
Select one of the three drawings. This landscape
will be enlarged and “recreated” in color.
Explain your decisions to the class or smaller group.
• Select a limited pallet, 2-4 colors,
from specific color harmonies: Complementary,
Analogous, Triad, Tetrad
or Split-complement. Black and white
may be used and mixed with pure hues to achieve tints
Practice the symbolic brushstrokes that represent
the various textures with specific color(s) on a separate
piece of paper. The larger format may require larger
brushes for making marks.
• Create the landscape painting on an
18”x24” format. The kind of paint may
dictate the surface material (heavy white paper, primed
canvas, gessoed paper). Tape paper to a flat surface
allowing a 1/4”-1/2” border. The paint
will be applied directly. No preliminary drawing on
the canvas/paper (separate sketches only). The paint
should be fluid. If it wants to drip,
let it! Carefully remove the tape from the dry, completed
• Compare the final 18”x24”
painting and three 9”x12” paintings to
the original line drawing and photograph.
• A student many want to create more than
one larger painting of other compositions.
The journal/notebook may be a document of the process
that includes the initial photo or sketch, the contour drawings,
all preliminary paintings, interviews, research, written documentation,
and other writing activities.
WRITING ACTIVITIES: (1/2
- 1 hour each)
Write a two-paragraph description of the landscape that
prompted the painting.
• Write a list of 10-15 adjectives, verbs and
nouns that describe that landscape. Select six words from
the list and write a five-line poem incorporating those six
Field trip to local museum or gallery to see Pace’s
original works. See Sources/
Resources link for listing of museums and galleries.
Students take an active responsibility in the learning
Use time productively
• Be considerate of others in the class
• Participate appropriately in class discussions
and group activities
• Clean up workspace and equipment, and
return materials to their proper place
Exhibit the work:
Display the completed painting with preliminary
photograph/sketch and the journal/notebook
Students should be assessed on the following:
Completion of DVD viewing and post-viewing assignments
• Participation in related discussions
• Completion of research and documentation
• Completion of initial drawing and brushwork
• Level of completion of final painting(s):
Use of project-specific vocabulary
• Craftsmanship & Form
• Demonstrated Understanding of Subject
• Effort & Progress
• Appropriate use of time, materials and