by Beth Samek, Online Education Manager at Artist’s Network University Stepping outside your comfort zone can help you to see your art and painting in a new way. Trying something that seems beyond the “norm” can often lead to exciting work! Artist’s Network University student Jeanine Robb left stress at her studio door, signing up for Painting Abstractions and Abstract Realism with Betsy Dillard Stroud. “I had an absolutely great time with this workshop. Acrylics and abstracts are completely out of my comfort zone; I typically paint in watercolor and favor still life compositions. I found that not really knowing what I was doing initially allowed me the freedom to play and not worry about the outcome. That freedom was wonderful in that it opened me up the creative, almost meditative, very centering zone that brings such tranquility to the process, especially during assignments 2 and 3.” said Jeanine. Here is her completed assignment for Session 3 of the course she took with Artist’s Network University! “This class and Betsy opened up new possibilities of being creative, I wasn’t stressed and I had a blast with it. I think I was so successful with assignment 3 because of my watercolor background and working with the acrylics in a transparent way although the handling of the acrylics is very different. Betsy was very complimentary in her comments on this assignment and also provided some great food for thought for future paintings. I’m really glad I enrolled and had a chance to work with Betsy.” said Jeanine. “Her incorporation of the geometric objects is right on. They become part of the painting without standing out too much. They are beautifully painted.” said Betsy. Betsy encourages all her students to paint freely, using different approaches, including stamping, in their abstract compositions. “I loved the way she incorporated pattern of her own with the stamping pattern. The lovely contrasts she got on the right side through the “taped” area are sensational.” Check out Betsy’s upcoming figure painting course, Go Figure: An Interpretive Class in Painting the Figure Both Nude and Clothed starting on September 17th!