VARIATIONS: Myrna Wacknov Workshop, OSA 2011

A week of exploration yielded paintings based on an image that Myrna provided, plus I used reference of the same person, (Mike Henderson — an art instructor, painter and blues musician), captured from on an online video. My goal was to work in different styles, using materials both new and familiar. Value study sketches were used to become familiar with the subject.

A quick sketch with a marker on Strathmore wet media board, was over-painted with a mix of mat media, gesso and Golden’s Absorbent Ground, adding a bit of texture when wet. Then I added watercolor washes of Quinacridone Violet, Phthalocyanine Green, and Vermillion. Used printer stamps to add the letters.

This, on Crescent Watercolor Board, uses India Ink and watercolor washes. I added Golden Crackle Paste painted (when dry) with watercolor and Winsor Newton’s Iridescent Medium.

Sketch was warped in Adobe Photoshop, I then outlined it in resist using a metal tipped squirt bottle. It eventually clogged the tip! Resist was removed after painting to reveal white lines.


This was painted on a background of watercolor on Yupo paper. Since it is not paper at all, but plastic, the paint sits on the surface and is easily removed. I used an angular motif to sketch on the face, then lifted areas to white or pale tones. More darks were added to block in shadows.


Working from one of my image captures, this piece is an attempt to add a feeling of antiquity. I added a halo of gold leaf, and wings! In blue and gold. It’s on an old piece of paper I added mat medium and gesso with paint mixed in, a thin layer of absorbent ground mutes the color and allows for paint to adhere.

This is my personal favorite. 3/4 view. I’m working on Strathmore board again. It is a looser, sketchy rendering, using M.Graham’s Purple Dioxazine paint to block in values and DaVinci Watercolor Encausticks — a new product I have been testing — to add gradations and details.
Use the large “crayons” dry, then soften with water, or dip in water and draw, or draw on wet paper — all for different effects. I’ll call this “I Want To Be Like Mike!”

Golden liquid acrylic, squeezed right from the bottle on a watercolor block outlines this high key image. It is a stylized piece, drawing from the work of Alphonse Mucha for inspiration. Wet watercolor mostly stays within the acrylic lines.

OSA Rose Contest Winner


This illustration took 2nd place in OSA’s Rose Contest last June.

It’s title is “Tucked In”
24×24 inches
watercolor on cradled Aquabord

I’m loving the clay surface of Aquabord… it absorbs water but pigment stays on top of the surface and can be removed as needed. That gives me the confidence to explore, as I can change what I don’t like. It’s easy to soften edges and the colors look so rich after varnishing. Plus, I love the ability to frame without glass. The wood cradles are a good, contemporary look. On this piece I’ve stained the wood to compliment the art, using thinned oil paints.

RECAP 2010


One goal for 2011 is to actually WRITE in my blog at least once a week! Yeah, I know, it’s been three years since I posted last. So for starters, here’s a brief recap on 2010 — a very good year.

After joining a critique group late in 2009, I was accepted into the spring WSO show in Brookings with my painting “Free As A Fish” …

…and the fall show in Salem with “Full of Grace”.

A coincidence? Maybe not! Having regular feedback on my work is a powerful tool. It is the best way for me to grow in my painting right now. I am continually exposed to new ideas and different opinions.

In 2010 I was involved in fund raising at OSA through a gallery event, SMALL TREASURES, that Sandra Wood and I sponsored. Over a hundred artists participated in making over 500 pieces of art, 6 inches square. It was a challenge to hang them all, but a wonderful show for OSA that generated a good amount of gallery sales, too. I coordinated the OSA workshop program, was a member of the board and designed the fundraiser brochure. I also taught regular classes at OSA and led two Art Media workshops there, VIBRANT WATERCOLOR on AQUABORD and PAINT MIXING DEMYSTIFIED.

The wonderful thing about teaching a workshop is that I have to thoroughly know all the material myself. After many days of study, I’m sure I learned more than anyone about color mixing!

I was also able to participate in two workshops.
Myrna Wacknov’s Beginning Portraiture workshop led me into new territory using acrylic mediums and texture.


My self portrait and Caitlin’s Prawn are work inspired by the experience.
I’ve entered them both in the Western Federation Watercolor Society contest.

Karen Vernon’s WSO workshop last fall was my first 5-day workshop. I didn’t actually finish anything in the workshop. The Hibiscus painting was my focus on color. The most challenging piece I started was a painting of salmon, which I have yet to finish.

Sandhill Crane

Here’s an illustration for the 2007 John Scharff Migratory Bird Festival.