Cheerful and Colorful Paintings

Cheerful and Colorful Paintings in Oil, Acrylic, Mixed Media and Collage

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Myrna Wacknov Workshop ~ Cedar Hill TX

Watercolor on gesso surface watercolor paper (crooked photo, straight lines) Nancy's 2nd painting
Profile View of Nancy in the HAT * See note below

I decided to take a workshop with Myrna Wacknov after seeing her article, "Face Forward" in the October 2007 issue of Watercolor Magic. I didn't know when or where but I began a writing campaign and this is the week! There are 7 Texas students (some from Lubbock and Houston) taking a 5 day workshop at a new facility in Cedar Hill and Visual Expressions has a gallery and classrooms about 25 miles from Arlington. There is plenty of one on one instruction from 9:30 to 4:30 and more time for art talk when we walk about 50 steps to a restaurant to enjoy a leisurely lunch. On Myrna's blog she issues challenges to her readers about experimenting and learning more about drawing and painting. These past few days have found us doing the same by working on textured grounds of matte medium and gessoed surfaces and watching Myrna paint while discussing some of her concepts. Our workshop challenge has been to paint portraits: a frontal view, a side view, and one of a child with a strong emphasis on drawing. I've never wanted to paint a profile before, always thought they were a little tacky unless the person had a pretty cute nose but her requirement was extreme profile, no hint of the other eye, and a smooth face so I chose to paint my old, smooth face looking sideways with a good view of the snozzle. I painted watercolor on a gesso coated watercolor paper and from this experience I probably will be caught staring at people's profiles for awhile to see the relationships of noses, chins, lips and eyes.
Myrna brought some Tygerrag paper all the way from California for us to use for our child's painting that we may begin on Thursday. She's shown us her method of enlarging and getting the drawing on the paper and demonstrated Dr. Martin's Hydrus liquid watercolors, shared books, articles, and photos. It has been a great Myrna challenge and we are all enjoying this unique opportunity. Betty Taylor, a Canvas by Canvas member, is taking the class also.

Myrna giving a demo:

Myrna's Demo Painting:

Nancy's first portrait (self) using 50/50 Matte Medium and Water coated paper - this is enough to keep the grandkids at bay.... It's a little scary even to me but the advantage of using these textured papers is that the color lifts so easily and you can work and rework or recover with more gesso and try painting your neighbor. There is just something about looking at portraits that is so interesting to me. I will post a slide slow later of some of the work done in the class by the other students.
*I brought my "cowgirl hat" to class yesterday for Betty to take some side views for me to paint and I've had a request to bring it back to class on Thursday for more photos with others wearing the hat so we may have a new series of Myrna students wearing the "Cowgirl Hat".


moneythoughts said...

Hi Nancy,

I was just checking out people that paint and came across your blog. I like your work.

I write and paint. Take a look at my blog, you might find it of interest.


Margie said...

Thanks for sharing the workshop, Nancy. Looks like fun and very productive. I like the gessoed profile.
Look forward to your next blog about the workshop.

Cecelia said...

I'm so jealous! LOL! I know that you are having a wonderful time with Myrna! Thanks so much for taking us along. I read her blog, too, and am fascinated with her work.
I have a full sheet of watercolor paper, staring at me from across the room. I had started a painting on it as a demo for my class a few years ago, and I always thought it was too dark. (The kids liked it, though.) So, now, I'm thinking gesso and texture on it, a la Myrna, and see what I can come up with!
I wonder how you like the synthetic paper.
I have tried to avoid those, ever since I used some of that fiberglass paper back in the '70s. My arms itched and it made little cuts on me, everywhere I touched it! A professor had us use that for a painting, and it was not pleasant. Since then, I've tried to stick with more natural materials.
Love the cowboy hat idea! I've been wanting to do a self portrait in my fuschia straw hat, so this should inspire me to go on and do it!
Tell Myrna I said "Howdy" from down here in Aggieland. I've written to her a few times, left some comments on her blog, too.
Have fun!

Ginny Stiles said...

I got to see Myrna's watercolor in person at the Manatee Art Center in Bradenton, FL last weekend. She was juried into the National Watercolor Society exhibit. I've been following her blog so long that I knew her work from across the room! Great to see it live.

Nancy Standlee said...

Ginny, I know that was a great exhibit.