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Mark Making: Helen Frankenthaler with Melanie Lan

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Saturday, December 16, 11:00am - 12:30pm PST

Mark making describes the different lines, dots, marks, patterns, and textures we create in an artwork. It can be loose and gestural, or controlled and neat. We each have our own unique way of mark making, and discovering their limitless possibility is part of what makes art so immensely fun!

Helen Frankenthaler was an American artist who drew on influences across mid-century abstraction throughout her career. Typically identified as a Color Field painter, Frankenthaler is known best for her pioneering “soak-stain” technique, in which she used thinned paint on unprimed canvas to create flowing dimensions of color.

In this workshop we will explore Frankenthaler's methods of abstract color field painting, focusing on the gestural textures in her artworks. We will observe the rich jewel tones she used for color blocking, and learn how to paint from a place of impulse and spontaneity. Her large-scale paintings embodied a wonderful sense of energy and play, which we too will try to emulate!

"There are no rules. That is how art is born, how breakthroughs happen. Go against the rules or ignore the rules." - Helen Frankenthaler

Join zoom 15 minutes early (10:45am) for an informal meet and greet with the instructor and other class participants! Session instructions will begin promptly at 11:05am PST so that everyone has plenty of time to join!


  • All your favorite watercolor paints!
  • 2 or more pieces of watercolor paper
  • Water
  • Mixing palette
  • Brushes, any that you have! Flat brushes are great for this one
  • Paper towel
  • Optional: tape, for sealing edges
  • Reference photos will be provided


    Melanie Lan is an artist living and working in NYC. She earned her MFA in painting at the Burren College of Art in Ireland and is interested in the intersection of wellness, mental health, and the creative process. In her free time Melanie is a selenophile who loves painting, cooking, hiking, reading, and learning fun animal acts.

    View more of Melanie’s work at and Instagram: @melanie.lan


    All workshops are recorded and the replay will be automatically available the day after class to everyone who paid for a spot! The link to the recording will expire 30 days after the date of the session.

    *Each class is currently capped at 40 people, but we will be offering 5 free spots per class to people with financial need. Email if you would like to request a spot. Free spots are first come, first serve.

    **If you’d like to cancel, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can open up the spot! We are only able to refund if we’re notified at least 48 hours prior to the session.

    ***Links to sessions will be sent via email 24 hours and 15 minutes prior to the session; please check out using the email to which you’d like the link sent. If you have not received the link within 24 hours prior to the session, please check your spam folder first and email


    Thank you so much for taking our workshops. We do ask if you are planning on teaching in the future by using anything you’ve learned from us, to please credit Case for Making + the individual instructor where applicable.

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