Saturday, December 31, 2011


Hard to believe, but this is the last day of 2011.  Towards the end of the year, I start thinking about what I want to focus on for the coming year.  Keeping my attention on a few things and exploring them in depth helps me to be more creative and expand my expertise in these areas so that they become ingrained in my thinking and working without conscious thought.  I think of it as directed growth.  One of my focused ideas for 2012 is to have every painting contain an 80/20 ratio of contrasts.  When I look at art work, the ones that capture my attention the most are the ones with the greatest contrast.  To achieve this will require considerable conscious thought and planning on my part and seems like an exciting challenge.  I also plan to work with one image all year and see how many variations I can come up with.   This doesn't mean that it is the only image I will work with for the year but it will be the dominant one.  The last idea that I wish to explore in detail for the year is the integration of a complex and interesting background with the figure/head.  In traditional portraiture, the background is usually just supportive of the head and figure and non-descript.  I want to try some non-traditional ideas.

The last project I have for this year (today!) is to create a book of my work for the past year.  I think this is a great way to have a record of each year and is fairly simple to do with all the wonderful technology available on the internet.  I am going to use Blurb but there are a number of places that you can create these self published books.

Today I wrote out my goals for the coming year on a piece of paper.  I will put it away and check it next Dec. 31st.  A goal is only a dream if it is not written down.  Some of these goals require that I create a strategy to make them happen.  Some of them require that I only show up each day and work.  It is amazing to see at the end of the year how many things came to realization because I just showed up and did my part leaving the Universe to do it's part.

I am excited for the new year to begin!  I will be taking a new workshop from Gerald Brommer using tons and tons of 3-d collage materials, slathering it with gesso and then painting with watercolor or acrylic!  Then, I am taking Mike Bailey's Watercolor Beyond the Obvious class for the 4th time.  Some people have taken it as many as 12 times (I think that is the record).  People sometimes ask me why I am in a workshop when I teach them myself.  I hope I never get to the place where I can't be learning something new.  I love being the teacher and sharing what I know and I love being the student and learning from others, both the instructor and my fellow students.  I also learn new ideas for presenting my material in my workshops by observing different instructors.

In closing, I would like to share with you a quote from Edward Betts which expresses my concept of the kind of art I wish to make.  I am going to make a beautiful sign for my studio so I can be inspired by it each day.

"There is an obligation to go beyond craftsmanship, to push the medium beyond descriptive imitation toward the transformation of nature into solely pictorial terms, to form images that have urgency and communicative power and in which poetry or geometry is of more concern than an unimaginative list of visual facts."

Thank you to all the wonderful people who have followed my blog this year and been so generous with your support of my work and efforts.  May you all have a healthy, happy and creative year full of joy in
the making of art!


Anonymous said...

Hi Myrna, Congratulations on a wonderful 2011 and I hope you have an equally wonderful 2012. I look forward to seeing your work next year! It will be interesting to see your variation work and how you integrate more things in your backgrounds.

Sue J said...

It's been a pleasure visiting your blog, Myrna, and I look forward to watching what you do in 2012. Many thanks for sharing your art and I wish you and yours a very happy and healthy new year.

Sadami said...

Happy New Year with special thanks. I've learned lots from you. Indeed, variations from same subjects, 80/20 ratio of contrasts and eloquent background like subject, yet part of work are amazing and fascinated me. I'm exploring them at the moment(*I wish I could attend your workshops!). The quote from Edward Betts is spot on and I feel so, too. I believe art is a universal launguage. Please keep up your CREATIVE journey in 2012.
Very Best wishes,Sadami

Kay said...

wonderful and specific goals!!! Great quote from Bets too, Happy New Year

Karen Knutson said...

What a great article! I too, believe that we should write down our goals, and really try to work on that one thing all year. My goal is to do more people paintings, and like you, I love mixing abstraction with realism, so we might be working on the same goal this year. I'm so excited, because I just received your book from Blurb in the mail. The one with self portraits. Can't wait to study all of your techniques. You are so inspiring!!!!! Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

May you find success with those goals, Myrna. I suspect you will. I love these two self-portraits. Truly exciting pieces that make me keep coming back to search them all over again. Gorgeous colors!

Bonnie said...

One thing I know about you is you stick to it, and then some. Thanks for the nudge.

Gary L. Everest said...

Happy New Year, Myrna,
A great post; Inspirational and honest.
Have a wonderful New Year, Myrna. I can hardly wait to see what you have in store for us!

Floriana Quaini said...

Ciao Myrna, beatiful and interesting article. I can subscrive most of your words and may be I also will do like your intention (I dot spek english very well so...)
The idea to repeate many time the some subject I have already tried but not enough times...
I love your works and is a great inspiration to see your paints about your face (that I love) and
other faces.
Ciao, ciao, auguri, Floriana

meera said...

wow!what wonderful goals and resolutions,! Much thanks for sharing so much this past year and wishes for every success in2012

debwardart said...

Myrna, I admire your ability, your ambition, your perseverance, your kindness in sharing your knowledge. You ROCK!
I agree, never stop learning and never stop trying. All the best this year in all of your endeavors!
ps - Now I may be kinda depressed after seeing all you have done and will be doing! I'll use you as inspiration this year!

Judy Todd said...

Thank you, Myrna. You've been an inspiration!

Ellen Roles said...

Myrna; I appreciate you creativity and the steady quest for something new. I too read Karen Knutson’s comments on goals too,so it is time to get that job done. It has been a very busy first two weeks of the year, but my thoughts seem to be going down a few paths…. Not in any order.
• Maximize painting/ creative efforts. Minimize other hobbies and distraction.
• Get healthier through exercise and good eating
• Explore acrylics- paint and mediums – new for me.
• Be open to be led by the Spirit more
• Keep my blog up to date.
• Love my family better.
• Explore more teaching opportunities.
Well that seems to be a lot of ideas for just a few minutes of thought.
Myrna, I really like your work- it is extremely creative and your comments too. Very Glad to have time with you last year! Ellen Roles

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