A short while ago, I took my first class at Leonardo Kunstakademie in Mattsee, near Salzburg.
My first course was about painting informalist pastels. Informalism means the subject is not derived from any objects. Some call it abstract which is not quite correct because abstract comes from abstractae (lat.) which means reducing or subtracting from something, so there has to be an object as the starting point, while the art informal (fr.) means painting something that is not based on an existing object.
The instructor war Elfriede Kotrba, the administrator of the Leonardo Kunstakademie. Just after the first day, I felt that I had learned so much in one day, that the course has already paid off. Even though I had painted with pastels in the past, I now realized that I had used too much pigment and could achieve the same with much less. We also learned several interesting techniques where pastel was combined with other materials.