Monday, February 27, 2012

ALEX POWERS, HAVE NO FEAR!

THE CLAN #10

I was straightening up the studio and came across one of my favorite books by Alex Powers.  I decided to use some of his strategies for my next Clan painting.  I drew with charcoal onto watercolor paper  selected parts of face.  I then sprayed the paper with acrylic spray so the charcoal wouldn't smear when I added watercolor over it.  I am happy with the drawing but not satisfied with the painting part.  He has some paintings that were toned paper, then charcoal and then white chalk.  I think I will work on this one a little more and then try the second strategy. 

When trying to work in someone else's style, you realize how futile it is to try and copy someone else.  What were they thinking?  How did they do this or that?  You can't get into someone else's head or process ideas like they do because you are unique in your thought processes just as they are.  I do think you can take an idea or two and work it into your arsenal of working methods.  Over time, combining ideas from lots of different sources into your own personal approach will produce something original and exciting and all your own!  

10 comments:

CrimsonLeaves said...

Absolutely spot on thinking. I one hundred percent agree with you, Myrna. I love these clan paintings. I love the Mt. Rushmore feel to this piece and having them be your guys makes it extra special.

Lisa Graham Art said...

I love the way the paint looks with the charcoal. I have a drawing that I did some time ago and after seeing this I think I would like to paint on it just to add some color.

I also looked at one of your past posts from 2008 "mixed media". What a wonderful outcome you achieved with the watercolor and pastel. And such a handsome subject too.

Meera Rao said...

I love how you experiment! I am sure you have mentioned before --but I was wondering how big are these paintings? -are you using full sheet?

Sadami said...

Hi,Myrna,
I perfectly agree with your post!! Then, we explore our own ways!
Cheers,Sadami

Cory said...

I love the painting and can't wait for strategy two...love the clan. Alex Powers happens to be one of my favorite though I have never had the pleasure of at least one of his workshops.

Kay said...

I always love other painters styles and techniques..finally one of my art teachers told me to go ahead and copy all I wanted because it would lead me to new paths..he was so right..even the first "copy" was my own and not like the artist I wanted to copy. Now I see new techniques or an artist I admire and I try out their style by "copying" but know that I will always take a detour and make it my own..nice idea by the way..thanks to you and Alex..I may have to try this method.

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Myrna, I like the expression of your drawing. Like Alex Powers work, its' exciting! But, the hand of the artist looks like you. It will be fun to continue watching where you go with this!

Myrna Wacknov said...

Thank you all for your fun comments. The paintings are all full sheet watercolor paper 22 x 30.

DawnMcL said...

Hello Myrna- I know this is an old post, but I just got my Alex Powers book back out and have been reading through it and had a question. I love his work and I can see how it has influenced your amazing work. I would like to start working with a watercolor, charcoal, and pastel mixed media approach, but I am wondering how moving back and forth between watercolor, charcoal, pastel and Stabilo water soluble pencil (which he also uses) doesn’t create a muddy mess. I do not see any reference to using fixative in Alex’s book and I don’t see any way of not making mud without periodically fixing. I think you commented that you did fix yours before going in with dry media? Do you find it strange that Alex does not mention that step? I have contacted him in the past with questions, and he has very graciously and thoroughly replied, but I can no longer find contact info for him. Just curious about what you think. Also wondering if you have used white gouache as he does in some of your work. I just began to use white casein paint, which mixes wonderfully with watercolor and other mediums like charcoal, pastel, and ink. Thanks Myrna, ~Dawn

Myrna Wacknov said...

Hi Dawn,
I wouldn't worry about how Alex Powers does his magic. Experiment with every idea you can come up with to implement what you think he did. You will discover new ways to work and combine materials. There are no rules and unlimited possibilities! How exciting is that?!

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