Where to start with Abstract Art

abstract art workshop

Starting with a blank page can be extremely daunting. Creating something wonderfully abstract even more so. So, we’ve invited local artist Jo Hathaway to come and run this wonderful session to help you discover your playful side. In her experience, some of the best abstract work comes from free and positive play – finding a way to disconnect from the instinct to paint something realistic and just use colour and shape for their own sake.




26 Feb 2023


10:00 am - 3:00 pm

What will we cover?

We will look at: what ‘abstract’ means in art; the elements that make it successful/ unsuccessful; how to use shapes to say something different; how to free up your practice and style; how to compose and build an abstract composition.

How will I be taught?

The day is made up of looking at what you like and don’t like in abstract work, some discussion, and straight in with some practical activities – all of which involve a little bit of masking tape and lots of paint.

Do I need any previous experience or skills?

Whether you are a complete beginner or an artist or maker just looking to try something new, the tutor will guide you through some practical activities, tools and techniques.

Are materials provided? Is there anything I need to source myself?

All materials are provided

What will I take home with me?

You will go home with a selection of work you have made yourself, that you can frame, print or send to others.


Drinks and biscuits will be available but we recommend that you bring a packed lunch with you.


During all of our workshops photographs are taken for promotional purposes only. Please make us aware at the time of booking if you would prefer not to be included.


Jo Hathaway
Jo Hathaway

Jo Hathaway is a Brighton-based painter and illustrator. Her work focuses on using colour to express memory and landscape, and is inspired by poetry and prose. Her work is varied, and spans the spectrum of abstract, expressive landscape, balancing imagination and memoir. Increasingly working on a big scale, Jo’s larger paintings express how it feels to experience the landscape, whether that is to be swirled around wild swimming, or breathing in clean bright air in the mountains. Her smaller seascapes are more representational, and sea shapes and imagery are a repeating theme used to convey hope and perseverance. Jo studied art and illustration at Warwickshire College and graduated in 1990. She has worked professionally as an artist, and published as an illustrator ever since, for many years in parallel with her work as a specialist editor and writer in health and social care. In 2023, Jo will be showing in various art fairs, festivals and galleries in Brighton, London and the South East; she will also have her first show in Ireland, 'In My Mother's Place', a selection of more intimate, personal paintings of the landscape of Tipperary and Clare. Her work is shown and sold directly, through fairs, festivals, and independent gallery exhibitions. She also teaches children and adults' workshops, in the UK and in Spain (visit www.granadaculturalholidays.com). Jo has a teaching qualification, an English degree from Bristol University, and a Masters from Kings College London.

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