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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Visual Arts Video Clips

Painting: Robert Tharsing



Painter Robert Tharsing talks about how he became interested in abstract painting and demonstrates his unique process of layering paint onto the canvas to create the illusion of depth and a sense of energy. He describes his process as a “natural progression to eliminate imagery and focus on abstraction, on the idea.” Created with a squeegee and a vivid palette of pastel tones, the canvases shown in this excerpt avoid definition and the traditional connection viewers make about the artist’s hands and the brush, encouraging a thoughtful interaction with a totally unified vision.

Suggested Uses:

  • Use to spark a discussion about artists’ methods and intentions as well as the creative process in general. Have students create art based on the video and your discussion. (See the “Making Art” section of the binder for activities that use this medium or are based on the artist’s ideas and approaches to art.)
  • Use in conjunction with a discussion of the purposes of art, especially the questions abstract painters encounter concerning their work.
  • Compare and contrast the techniques and methods Tharsing uses with those employed by the five abstract artists featured in the “Abstraction: Ideas/Process” segments on Spectrum of Art.
  • Compare and contrast the techniques and methods different artists use in their approach to the same medium, using painter profiles from Spectrum of Art and Through Artists’ Eyes, especially painters who use techniques and styles different from abstraction.
  • Use as part of a “careers in the arts” unit or as an introductory activity before an artist-in-residence visits your classroom.

For more information:

(These links may leave the Arts Toolkit.)

About Robert Tharsing:


600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951