Parking Lot Project: Abstract Art Inspired by Reggie Laurent

ColorWheels’ Parking Lot Projects are designed to bring creative experiences to you when can’t visit ColorWheels at its favorite spots around Philadelphia. The projects are designed for families and artists of all ages and can be completed with minimal art supplies and easily obtained objects. This project was designed by ColorWheels teaching artist Amira Barnes. When you’re done, don’t forget to take a picture of your work and share your work online with #colorwheelsparkinglot! ColorWheels is presented by PNC Arts Alive.

Reggie Laurent is an American painter that creates vibrant abstract pieces with shapes that dance from corner to corner. The shapes in his work effortlessly flow together without ever planning a single detail, allowing for the piece to take on a life of its own. “My art imitates life because it is representative of the diversity and inclusion of every culture, the backbone of what makes the world such an interesting place,” he says of his work.

Getting Started
As you dive into this project, take a few moments to explore Reggie’s work and ask yourself the following questions. We’ve included Amira’s thoughts to help get you started.

Are there any recognizable symbols?
He uses a lot of organic shapes in all of his work and includes symbols, such as “love” and happy faces, in some of his pieces.

How would you describe the energy of his work?
His uses of organic lines and shapes gives his pieces a very high, busy energy.

What do you think his first and final steps are?
He often uses white lines to brings all the shapes together.


Instructions and Materials

You will learn about mark making, applying patterns, and different types of lines to create movement in your work. Learning Reggie’s loose style will also teach you how to surrender control and allow your piece to develop on its own. You’ll need:

    A piece of cardboard
    Acrylic paint
    Paint brushes
    A black marker

Building Your Artistic Vocabulary

    Abstract: art that does not attempt to represent reality.
    Organic shapes: irregular shapes or asymmetrical in appearance and tend to have curves. Nearly all shapes found in nature are organic in appearance.
    Symbol: a mark or character used as a conventional representation of an object, function, or process.
    Mark making: a term used to describe the different lines, patterns, and textures we create in a piece of art.

Step one: decide what shape you want your base to be – circle, square, triangle, etc. – and cut your piece of cardboard down to size. It should be about 8 inches by 8 inches, but feel free to go bigger if you are up for the challenge! Once you have your desired shape, paint the entire surface black.


Step two: while the base dries, take some leftover cardboard and draw organic shapes and symbols with your marker. Once the marker dries, cut out your shapes.


Step three: glue your shapes to the base in any way you see fit. Using different colored paints, fill the shapes with different lines, patterns, and textures.


Step four: for the finishing touches, use a small brush and white paint and outline your shapes. The white lines will tie your shapes together and make them stand out even more!

About the teaching artist:
Amira is a Philadelphia-based painter who works in acrylics and ink. “My primary subject is portraits because I’ve always been drawn to the stories they tell. As I grew as an artist, I steered away from traditional skin colors and took more a colorful route to highlight the vibrancy in each individual I paint,” Amira says of her work. When she is not painting portraits Amira can be found supporting ColorWheels events as a lead teaching artist, inspiring Fleisher’s youth as a faculty member of our Saturday Youth program, and assisting visitors at Fleisher’s front desk.