Sunday, November 4, 2007


The internet is such an amazing invention. I continue to be in awe! I received a lovely e-mail from a gentleman, Sarkis Antikajian, who somehow discovered this blog and he sent me his website info. I fell in love with his figurative work - gorgeous, loose, colorful, expresive etc. I am putting his link on the side for you to discover him for yourself! He has self-published a book of his works and you can find out more information about that on his website, as well. Not an instructional book but just inspiration for your own work. I think he has already had an influence on me. I did my demonstration for the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society this afternoon and the piece that you see above seems much looser than normal. I see some of Sarkis in it!

I was thinking how I might get some of the effects of the Elegant Writer into my painting on Tygrag paper and decided to try drawing with sticks and a sharpened wooden matchstick using full strength Hydrus liquid watercolor (stuck the drawing instrument right in the bottle) and then wetting it with a brush. I decided I love the results. It has some of the Shirley Travena effects I was trying to get before with little success. Now all we have to do is find a new supplier for this wonderful paper. There was a large crowd at the demo and I don't mind people taking photos, so Nava sent me some of her photos for the slide show. It was a lot of fun and a very supportive group of people. I did have some trauma getting there...first I thought it was in San Jose not Los Altos. My class yesterday happily gave me the correct location. I have it on my calendar but you have to actually read things to know things!! I just had it in my head that is was going to be where we usually have workshops. So, I Googled Los Altos Library and got a map, etc. I arrived exactly on time to discover only one car in the parking lot. When I asked the owner of that car about this library, she informed me this was a branch, not the main Los Altos library. I got new instructions and off I went. After parking 2 blocks away and dragging through the library looking for the meeting, everyone breathed a sigh of relief (especially me!) when I showed my face. Nava did a great job of conducting a complicated agenda and then I was "on". Years ago I did charcoal sketches at outdoor art shows which was good training for painting in front of people. The hardest part is continuing to talk while you paint as it is working both sides of your brain at the same time. The good part is that artists don't expect a masterpiece painted at breakneck speed in an hour, so they are very generous if you get anything half way acceptable under the circumstances. I think we all just find it fun to watch other people paint. I know I do. What a joyful existence we artists have!!!

The image is from the Toronto airport 11 hour layover in September. I was roaming around looking for unsuspecting victims. I decided to use this image today because someone (Nava) told me an instructor had said to never paint hands with the fingers laced because they look like sausages. Oh yeah? Just watch me. I love doing fingers laced and so I did. I will probably continue to work on this piece or maybe do it again because I am not totally satisfied with it as it stands.

I heard fabulous comments and rave reviews on Mike Bailey's Color Workshop. This looks like a winner that he can share with others around the country! Lucky SF Bay Area artists have the special opportunity to take the "Beyond the Obvious" 10 week killer class, but we want to share Mike with the rest of the world, so the color workshop may be the way to go. Check his website for more information.

I was checking on a web search that sent someone to my blog as I was curious as to the connection to me. It was a search related to the Van Gogh book. What I found was a very interesting article on the man who made the paintings for the movie "Lust for Life". He describes the inside "scoop" on the making of the movie. I found it fun and interesting and thought you might like to read it, too. Copy and paste the web page in your browser.

Tomorrow I will post a slide show of all the work you have sent me. Come on and get in on the action. Send me your photos tomorrow and I will add them in.


Nava said...
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Nava said...

Ahhh, so much grief could have been saved if people read their newsletter. The library address was, like, y'know, right in there...

Anyhow, yes, there was indeed a roar of relief when you showed up, and THANK YOU for an incredibly fun demo! The result is inspiring, and w'all are gonna go to Michigan to get cedar twigs.

Oh, and Thank You for the wonderful drawing! We now have an original Myrna in our house!

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