Saturday, November 21, 2009


I created some new self portrait photos the other day using the camera built into my MacBook. The program is called "Photobooth" I used one for the demo yesterday and had fun with the hands, so I decided to start a new series of paintings using some of these photos and focusing on collage and exploring manipulating an underlying grid. I plan to do 20 paintings in 10 weeks but most of them will be half sheet size rather than full sheet. If something really special shows up, I will do one in full sheet. I did this painting in a few hours today, so I think I can meet this 2 a week goal.

I started with a charcoal drawing on hot press 140lb watercolor paper. I wanted a loose spontaneous drawing so I drew directly on the paper keeping my composition in mind and praying that it would land in the right place! I did pretty well with that. I can make some minor adjustments in placement when I put it under a mat. I did this entire painting vertically on an easel. So much better visually than laying flat on the table.

A friend gifted me with some very old sewing patterns. They make fascinating collage material. This is a Vogue pattern from 1950. I was surprised to see only punch holes and punched words on the pattern printed lines! I love all the holes! The tissue had a slight green cast to it. The shapes of the pattern pieces were great to work with. I overlapped some of the pieces to create a grid pattern. I finished up the painting with liquid watercolor, Stabilo watercolor crayons and diluted white gesso.

You can see the influence of the layered pattern pieces through the painting. It is subtle. The hands came out fairly clumsy looking. I will pay more attention to them in the next painting and improve their shapes. This first painting led me to think of 3 more variations to try. I am keeping a list so as not to forget. Thoughts are so fleeting these days!


Kathy said...

A great start, Myrna! Your idea of using Vogue pattern pieces is so imaginative and yields interesting results. I particularly like your initial drawing - it's loose and yet perfectly depicts an attitude. I'll be following your progression in this series. Thank for posting it!

RHCarpenter said...

I love to hear your process, Myrna! And how dedicated you are to your art. Keep 'em coming!! This first one gives me the feeling that I'm back in front of a teacher that is giving me a stern lecture (not that that ever happened to me as a student, no never! haha)

Sue J said...

Great exercise and result. I can fully relate to the last sentence. Mine sometimes do one lap, and disappear!

Anonymous said...

Hi Myrna, I like the expression and I particularly liked the hands. They're simple yet expressive. I look forward to watching your series develop!

Myrna said...

Kathy, thanks for the comment. I didn't think up the idea of pattern tissue but only recently got my hands on some. It turns out to be a wonderful source of shapes.

Rhonda, my days of stern lectures are over. The kids don't pay any attention to me anymore!

Sue, my thoughts don't even do a lap, they just rush through and out in a flash.

Peggy, your series are an inspiration!

Cynthia said...

oh goodie,,,this will be an exciting series for us to feast our eyes on....I am looking forward to your postings.

Ramin said...

Great series, I've enjoyed the others. very inspiring!

Elizabeth Parsons said...

very nice! I will enjoy seeing your series evolve! It is inspiring to see your work!

klreimer said...

I took some really odd self photos on my MAC.. Somehow one got on Facebook thank goodness for only 2 hrs.. A friend called and said WHAT ARE YOU DOING? It was really a bad pic but a great shot to paint.. I really ck where this beautiful self sefl go!!!!

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