Tuesday, November 17, 2009


We have a secret weapon here in the SF Bay Area and his name is Mike Bailey. (to check out his blog, look to the right of my post and scroll down) Mike developed this fantastic 10 week class sponsored by the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society (SCVWS) called Watercolor Beyond The Obvious. I have taken the class 3 times. This is hardly a record. Many have taken it time and time again. It is offered once a year and sometimes twice a year. My schedule has become too busy to have 10 weeks free, otherwise I would take it every time it is offered. The strategy is to take an image and create a series of 20 paintings (2 full sheets a week) changing it each time by manipulating the elements of design. You can view my series on my website www.myrnawacknov.com. The 10th week meeting is when everyone brings their 20 paintings to class and, one person at a time, spreads their paintings out in sequential order on tables that have been set up in a huge "U". Everyone walks around the tables and looks at the development of the series. Mike talks about the artist and the artist has an opportunity to talk about their perspective on the whole experience. This 10th class is what I fondly refer to as "THE BIG REVEAL". Guests are welcome and there is a wonderful pot luck luncheon for all. It is one of the most special days of the year.

This is Stephanie. You can see part of her series which was based on the marvelous shoes she is wearing. Stephanie is new to the group and she just did the most fantastic job. The reason I have this photo of Stephanie is because while everyone is busy walking around and taking photographs of the art work, I am busy looking at the art work and taking photos of everyone who is walking around. You can see why I fixated on Stephanie. The striped hose, boot like canvas shoes, model lythe body and she is a painting waiting to happen! Not only is everyone on to me, now, many are busy photographing the crowd, as well. Stephanie was definitely the star...look for lots of long striped legs in lace up canvas shoes appearing soon!

All the students did phenomenal work but there is one woman who has stayed with her same theme through 5 separate sessions of Watercolor Beyond The Obvious and completed her 100th painting of "Liberty". This is a series with serious content and Laurie Barna has put her heart and soul into it. Check out her website at watercolorsmyway.com and view this exciting and moving expression of love for America.


Kathy said...

Myrna, What a wonderful tribute to Mike's teaching. Can't wait to see what you do with Stephanie!

Cynthia said...

What a wonderful idea and ahhhh it makes me want to move over there for 10 weeks just to be a part of something like that. How exciting.
Thanks for the tip.

jane.w.ferguson@gmail.com said...

That was a very fun morning.Lots of great art emerging from students in Mikes class

Anonymous said...

Hi Myrna, You've inspired me again! Ideas are bubbling over in my head. Speaking of ideas, I can hardly wait to see what you do with your new "model" Stephanie; love the boots, hose and gesture! I took a quick look at Laurie Barna's work and was most impressed.
Thank you!

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