Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I do think there is a difference between setting goals and making resolutions for the New Year.  Each day flows into the other in a seamless stream but there is something about a fresh start, a beginning point.  New Years is a good time for that.  Especially, after the crazy rushing around in December, it feels cathartic to be still and think about ideas and goals for the coming year.  Focusing in on a few things helps me to learn, grow and be more creative, and this is actually my true goal which doesn't change from year to year.  Working in a series, each successive painting growing out of an idea from the last helps me to delve deeper into an area of interest.  This year I have decided to work with the figure, explore pattern, and experiment with acrylic materials.  I have exhausted my interest in self portraiture ( I am so sick of my own face) but still am intrigued with collage and the potential of working with a grid.  Lastly, I want to explore color using Robert Burridge's color wheel based on Munsell's color system.  This gives me lots to work with.

I have had very little time to paint since I returned from Israel but I did find a fabulous new way to create
a stamp for my exploration of pattern.  This stamp was created on a sheet of colored foam.  This is a very inexpensive material found in craft stores.  It is usually in the children's craft section.  The beauty of this stuff is how easy it is to cut into shapes and can be incised with a ball point pen to create a pattern. Even better is this nifty tool I bought at Michael's Craft Store.  It is a wood burning set PLUS a soldering iron, all in one.  All you have to do is change the point.  This set has quite a few tips.    The one I have used has a good point on it so you can do precision work.  I not only used it on the foam sheet, but I used it as a stencil cutter on clear contact paper.  Fabulous!!!  I used my 40% off coupon, making it a good value!

Since I am not a doodler, or natural pattern designer, I have found Zentangle to be a wonderful resource for pattern ideas. http://tanglepatterns.com/  has lots of patterns organized alphabetically by name.  Each pattern is shown step by step.  I am keeping my eyes open for other pattern ideas.  They are everywhere when you pay attention.

I hope everyone is off to a good start on their 2011 goals!


Ellen Roles said...

I like this idea!
the best to you in 2011....ellen

Mary Paquet said...

Myrna, I look forward to another fascinating year of your art. I love your goal.

Your posts from Israel were very interesting. Sounds like you had a fabulous trip.

Mark Sheeky said...

I agree that goals are better. I find that I set too many in January and set more each month, which can be a little chaotic! I wonder if you had goals for last year and how they went?

I've got a tool like that. It's useful, but be careful of the fumes. Also stringy sticky plastic can be messy. A damp sponge for wiping might help. I use paper towels and wipe quickly before I set the place alight!

Myrna Wacknov said...

Hi Ellen, The best to you also in 2011. I see you didn't wait till the New Year to put your goals into action! I like how you work.

Hi Mary, I look forward to another year of friendship with you. Another very disciplined person! I wish I had your athletic ability.

Hi Mark, Thanks for the question and the helpful tips. I just checked my post for last year on goals. They were working with a grid, drawing a day, self portraits, collage and quick sketching. I managed to do all except quick sketching out in the field. I still need to work on that one. Having a separate blog for the drawing a day helped a lot to stay on track. I have set up one for this year's figure drawing but plan to post only once a week. Stay tuned! Good luck with your goals this coming year.

Candy said...

Very clever, Myrna!

I also loved your posts from Israel. It sounds like you had a great time. I enjoyed your photos from the preserve and I thought it was cool that you met Carol Feldman.

Dan Kent said...

I am excited about your goals for the year and interested to see what you will do!! Thanks for the stamping tip (with Mark's admonition). I have wondered about making background patterns myself and have seen the reference to foam for making stamps on other blogs. Happy New Year!

Myrna Wacknov said...

Hi Candy, Making new friends via the blog is one of the best experiences. Having the opportunity to meet them in person is a joy! Carol and my sister have become friends. How special is that!!!

Hi Dan, Happy New Year. Patterns are fun. I will keep an eye out for what you do with them. We can trade ideas!

Anonymous said...

Hi Myrna, Fun doodle/pattern/zentangle! I like what you have to say about goals; most timely. I'm feeling a need for a change myself. Setting a goals my get me there! Thanks!

Susanne said...

Interesting to read about your new tool Myrna. I have used foam in a lot of my art work and found the effect very good and easy to do but I like the idea of a hot tool as that would make it much easier to use. You may be interested to see a couple of posts I made about using foam.

Susanne said...

I meant to mention too that I think your comment "Setting goals not making resolutions" is bang on!

Myrna Wacknov said...

Hi Peggy, I think you are a goal setter. I am looking forward to seeing what you develop this year.

Hi Suzanne, Thank you so much for sharing your post. The effect is stunning! Can't wait to get my gold paint out. I absolutely love the painted version.

Linda Farmer said...

Hi Myrna, Thanks so much for the link to TanglePatterns.com and I welcome all your friends to the site.

As you will all discover from checking out the site - especially this page: http://tanglepatterns.com/zentangles - mindfulness is one of the main differences between Zentangles and doodling.

But one thing is for certain, in either case, learning to draw the patterns can be quite an addictive, and creative, pleasure.
Cheers, Linda

Paula K. Cravens said...

Hi Myrna, You have given me many wonderful ideas to explore this last year. I am really excited that you are tackling acrylic. I like setting goals for the year and one of mine is to make 2 paintings a week. I also need to concentrate on life drawing. Let's mush on!

billart@sbcglobal.net said...


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