Saturday, February 17, 2018


I started this painting last Sunday as a demo for the Las Gatos Art Association.  It is watercolor over what I like to call reconstructed Tyvek.  I tear up old paintings that didn't go well that were painted on Tyvek and stick them down over other old painting "dogs" thus eliminating storage of two ugly works and salvaging the paper while creating a very intriguing surface to make a new start.   My oldest son was visiting from San Diego and was able to attend.  He always gives me such great feedback.  Sitting in the audience, he has a chance to see and hear what I cannot.  I always like to draw the image in front of the group so they will perhaps have more confidence in direct drawing rather than tracing or projecting an image.  It turns out no one in the audience could actually see what I had drawn so they were looking at what appeared to be a blank piece of paper for 15 minutes!!  I guess I will pre-draw the next one.   It's a shame but I need to keep the color light so I can easily make any necessary corrections.  The other good tip he gave me was to demonstrate the actual creation of reconstructed Tyvek instead of just describing it.   People were confused by my explanation, so my bad! 

I will be giving another demo for the Los Altos Art Club on Monday, March 12th and the Hillview Community Center at 7PM.  I hope some of you can stop by and see the new and improved performance!

I finished up the painting this week.  I normally use a muted neutral background color but red seemed to be calling to me.  Red is a color of emotion and power, perhaps anger and rage.  At the very least it is a color of strength.  Anger and impotent rage was the response I was feeling to the school shootings this past week and the political torture for the past year.  When I am painting. I am in the zone and the world drops away.  My unconscious emotions show up on the page.  Someone asked me to teach how I achieve the emotional content in my portraits.  I can't because it just shows up and there is no formula or technique.  That's why you need to paint what you love and your soul will show up, too.


Meera Rao said...

"That's why you need to paint what you love and your soul will show up, too." So true - and I love that in your paintings! -- Fortunately, I find that happens to me too enough times to keep me going.

But I do remember from attending your workshop that I loved watching you draw --that gives an glimpse to your creativity as you pick and choose which elements to include! - and how you transform the blank page :)
Take care !

Chris Rogers said...

You are amazing. I'm always encouraged by your creativity and skill.

Shelly Sharp said...

Would it be possible for people to come up closer to see your drawing as you do it? a rotating line up close? or a document camera and projection?

Myrna Wacknov said...

Thanks, Meera, Your work absolutely reflects your passion. I think in a workshop setting it is easier to see what the instructor is doing. In a demo, there are so many more people and they are placed farther away.

It was such a pleasure to meet you in person and spend some time during the workshop.' Keep it going1

Myrna Wacknov said...

Thank you Chris. We draw inspiration from each other. Part of the joy of being an artist and what connects us to each other.

Myrna Wacknov said...

Hi Shelly, That is an interesting idea. I am not rattled by others watching me draw or moving around me. However, each group has a different setup and some people are not ambulatory so I can't count on being able to do that. Equipment and sophistication in using it varies tremendously amont art groups. Thanks for trying to come up with a solution. Creative minds!!!

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