In his beautiful book, “the Mediation of Ornament” Oleg Grabar suggests four sources for Islamic art: Nature, Writing, Architecture and Geometry. In this class, we will investigate the possibilities of Graeber’s four sources as “jumping off points” for the creation of abstract paintings. I will supplement the activities with examples of contemporary art which reflect these four sources, and with writings on contemporary abstraction. The class will begin with exploratory exercises, executed in charcoal on canvas or heavy paper, and progress to developing at least one complete painting over the course of the weekend. I suggest working on a fairly large format, with comparably large brushes. Students should have some prior experience in painting.