Saturday, April 30, 2011


Using Sketch Club application, I decided to play around with color and the different brushes using this image.  It is much easier to lift out the light area with a digital program than with paint and paper.  This is a great way to pass the time as I spent the day traveling.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Sunnyvale Art Gallery presents a 3-day workshop with Myrna Wacknov!

Known for her unique creativity, she brings art onto a whole new level combing different elements to create one of a kind artwork

Description of Workshop

"Texture can be an exciting addition to portraiture.  In this workshop we will explore  various methods of creating both visual texture and physical texture.   Combining traditional and non traditional materials is new and adventurous ways we will be making our own stamps and stencils, creating one of a kind collage materials, and exploring multiple ways of texturing gesso as a painting surface.  Add in watercolor, acrylic, ink, crayons,and pencils for a portrait that is more than just a pretty face!" 

When: May 19- May 21 (Thursday-Saturday) 
Time: 9AM-4PM 
Where: Sunnyvale Art Gallery
Fee: $350.00 

Call us at (408) 737-8188 to sign up or stop by our gallery to secure your spot! 

I will be in Bend Oregon the week of July 25th at ART IN THE MOUNTAINS!  This is a fabulous venue.  Check my workshop schedule for the details.  There are spaces still available.  

I just scheduled a workshop for next year in July at a new venue MADELINE ISLAND SCHOOL OF THE ARTS in Wisconsin.  This looks like a very beautiful location that you should check out!

Tomorrow I leave for my much anticipated workshop in Broken Arrow, Oaklahoma (Tulsa area)  This will be a traditional portrait class and I will post everyone's progress while I am there.  Some of these ladies came to my first out of town workshop in Kansas City a few years ago and I am looking forward to renewing my friendship with them.

If you would be interested in having me conduct a workshop in your area next year, I have several dates available.  You can contact me at  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


One of my goals this year was to experiment with YUPO and find interesting ways to work with it.  I had this wonderful backlit photo of my son that I wanted to paint.  So yesterday I took a sheet of YUPO and started playing with paint.  My objective was to create an interesting dark rectangle on the left and a smaller light rectangle on the right and then I would lift out the image from the dark areas.  I was happy playing around putting color down, diluting, spraying stenciling, lifting out, dripping, reapplying color etc.  I was struggling getting the area dark enough on the left and I couldn't leave the light area alone.  By the time I was through messing around, the paint wasn't going to life unless I scrubbed it out.  That would be difficult with the fine lines.  I went to bed and faced the problem fresh this morning.  I started with a white watercolor stick by American Journey but then switched a water soluble oil pastel called Porfolio  (available at Staples office supply)  These are creamy crayons that are really cheap!  Kathy McChesney gave me a set when we worked together in San Diego.  She does amazing work with them.  These crayons work very well on the YUPO.  I was able to lift off with a damp brush and they blended easier that the watercolor stick.  

I'm not sure how well imposing the profile on this background worked but it makes for an interesting image.  In retrospect, it has symbolic significance that I didn't plan but is appropriate.  I think I am going to continue to work with this image in several more paintings.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I have posted the previous incarnation under the finished painting so you can see some of the changes I have made.  Some of the differences are just the difference in adjusting the photograph.  I did not make any changes on the face and neck of the figure on the right, but I did change her hair some.

This is as close as I can come to getting the photo to match the actual painting in color, value and intensity. A good case for viewing paintings in person!  I have made adjustment after adjustment.  It seemed once I changed one thing, something else didn't look right.  I had to "kill" one of my favorite parts for the good of the entire painting.....I hate when that dilemma occurs.  I will bring the painting to critique.  I am thinking I want to do this composition again with some changes in the drawing.  

My husband is getting very good at critiquing.  He spotted some problems I had not noticed.  I appreciate his interest and welcome his comments.  I don't always agree with them, but I never get upset with anything he has to say about the work.  

In the past, I have focused on one face.  Having multiple figures or faces presents a much greater challenge compositionally.  I am having growing pains but I like the challenge.  Now, if I can only get more abstracted.  Onward!

Friday, April 22, 2011


In the beginning, I covered a failed painting with collage papers.  I rather liked the result as an abstract but forged on.  After various studies, I decided on this composition.  It was originally a rectangle but thought it would work in a square format.  I transferred my drawing with a blue watercolor crayon and then applied acrylic ink with a stick for the line drawing.

By photographing the image I was able to put it into my iPad and upload it into a painting program.  Now I can play around with color and value patterns to try some ideas out.  This stage was lots of fun.

This is how far I got today. I am very happy with some parts....the figure on the right is just the balance of line and texture, value and finish that I wanted.  The figure on the left I am not happy with her forehead...too large but the degree of finish, value and color are satisfactory.  The middle figure is where I wanted the focal point.  She is too opaque and more finished than I wanted, although I think she is well painted.  This is the difficult stage.  I have to make a decision whether to try to make some changes that may ruin the painting or let it be even though I am not totally happy with it.

I wanted to check the value pattern, so I put the photo of the painting into Photoshop Elements and changed it to black and white.

                           Not enough contrast, so I pushed it farther.  

I think the middle figure should be lighter to create a stronger focal point.  By selecting that area, I could change the value in the activated area while leaving the rest alone.  Making it lighter did the trick.

 Now the value pattern is working for me.  I have an idea how to make these changes.  What would you do?

Sunday, April 17, 2011


My husband is turning into my dream subject as he grows his hair into a pony tail.  Here are some sketches I worked on yesterday.  I will work them into a composition one of these days.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


These are a couple of the little test pieces I created in preparing for my demo.  Not great but informative in combining materials.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Here is another in the series I am doing, tentatively titled "Evelin's Friends".  Usually the images look better after I photoshop them, but this time, the actual painting color looks better in person.  Duplicating the color exactly is beyond my skill, but you can get the idea.  I will try and rephotograph the image when I get home.  This series is a little different than how I usually work.  I am taking a number of older people and creating "conversations" with each combination.  I have the next one planned out.  Hopefully, I will get  chance to start it on Tuesday.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


This was the final result of my demo for Kanuga.  It went very well and I think I will have a full class when I teach a workshop next year.  I stressed out unnecessarily.  Everyone was very supportive and I  have lots of new friends!!  This is a terrific place with lots of energy, friendly folks and gorgeous scenery.  I call it "art camp" and every creative adult should experience immersing oneself in art surrounded by like minded interesting people and being fed three great meals a day!  The perfect vacation!

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