Sunday, May 4, 2008


On the morning of the last day in New York, we went to the Hoffman Gallery to see a watercolor painting by Joseph Raffael. It was magnificent and what a treat to be able to stand so close and really study how he created it. Monumental in size and sparkling with drops of color, I was captivated. I have a book on him, so upon my return, I took out the book and reread it as I didn't remember the details of his technique. I also visited his website where there are a number of short videos showing him painting. I decided I wanted to try to achieve something of his look in a portrait. I toyed with the idea of projecting the photo to trace all the small shapes but I just couldn't make myself do it. Drawing is fundamental to my work and my ethic. I decided I could draw the image on by hand and then just paint the drops of color without having to create the shapes on the page first. Besides, I wanted the idea of his but not a carbon copy of his work.

I decided to use the new photos I had taken of one of the housepainters who worked on our house last week. Bill Cook was spattered with paint and a very colorful character. He told my husband that outside of his mother, I was the only other woman who liked his face! I think his face is a treasure. I will be using his image for my demo in the Texas Workshop next week, so I wanted to get started. First I drew in my sketch book to get familiar with this new face. Next I drew with my Cheap Joe's Oiler Boiler with Walnut Ink onto Tyvek and using the Hydrus Liquid Watercolors, I was able to complete the painting in about 4 hours. I was struggling at first with everything running together but I managed to get things under control. Overall, I think I achieved the look I was after. Next I will try it on hot press paper and see what happens.

Below is an excerpt from a speech given by Zelda Fichandler. She is the chair of graduate acting and a master teacher at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

" Numberless demands are made on us even before we're old enough to internalize them. Clean your plate or you can't go out to play. You have seven minutes to finish the test. Big boys don't cry…. It takes time to dissolve the restrictions of an educational system where answers are either right or wrong and where uniqueness can be perceived as disruptive. Be patient as you discover the ways in which you are not replaceable by anyone else. " quote from Zelda Fichandler,


Mike said...

This is a knockout, Myrn!

Anonymous said...

Wow! This simply captured my attention and I salivated at the wonderful colors. Inspired!

Nava said...

I think your drawing-by-hand rater than projecting is part of what makes your work so unique and personal. When a photo is traced, it has a more rigid feel to it.

These are incredible - both the drawings and the painting. And yes, Bill Cook has a great face!

Sandy Maudlin said...

INCREDIBLE. The color and energy dance and dance and dance! I love this.

I've enjoyed reading your blogs about your AWS adventure. I'm sure you'll have many more, too. And thanks for the quotes. Godd info.

RH Carpenter said...

This is a fantastic portrait!! I laughed at his comment - and I bet he is thrilled you are using him as your model :)

Anonymous said...

Great Painting! JR is one of my all time faves. I have had the pleasure of seeing one of his shows and meet him. He is a genuine as they come.

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