Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lisa Faulkner Wright

Vermillion Sunset, 18" x 24"

Speaking of her choice of subject matter, Lisa Faulkner Wright comments, "Having grown up near the shores of Lake Tahoe, I am inspired by the vast pine forests, high mountain lakes, granite peaks and sandstone canyons of our western states. But I am equally inspired by the smaller details of nature. From the stunning vistas to the roadside wildflowers, I have been instilled with a reverence for the land, with its powerful geologic forces and the striking beauty of its flora and fauna."

Lisa primarily paints landscapes in a contemporary realist style, applying the concepts of pictorial geometry to create illusionary worlds that invite her viewers to step into the scenes psychologically. Painting both on location and in her studio, she has chosen watercolor for its luminosity and for its wide range of properties from transparent to opaque. She capitalizes on the special effects of granulating pigments, often flowing several washes down the paper to build up sedimenta-
tion and reticulation patterns which she then incorporates into rock features in the painting. Watercolors are usually applied in a traditional manner with traditional sable/blend brushes, but she also trims synthetic fan brushes to desired shapes and then uses them to apply thick paint to capture the details of grasses, trees, and stratified rock. She finds the Primatek paints from Daniel Smith especially well-suited to depicting the features of the desert southwest and the Colorado Plateau.

Flood of Color, 17" x 12"

Although academically trained in printmaking and ceramic sculpture -- she holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison -- Lisa came to a turning point in her career when she studied with Jack Beal and Sondra Freckelton during summer programs at their home studio. She has taught university classes in printmaking, papermaking, and painting and also maintained a successful studio and gallery displaying ceramic sculpture, porcelain pottery, and watercolors for many years. She has also exhibited widely, winning awards in regional and national shows, and her work is included in the collection of the Elvehjem Museum of Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, among others. Her work has been featured in Watercolor magazine and is included in Daily Life in Still Life, published by American Artist magazine. She now teaches painting and drawing at her private studio.

Blossoms of the Cholla, 17" x 12"

Yellow Blossoms and Raindrops, 12" x 17"

Trail to the Sandstone Bluffs, 18" x 24"

Please visit Lisa's blog to see more of her work.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Myrna Wacknov

Frenchman (muted cool palette), 15" x 22"
watercolor on gesso-textured paper

Myrna Wacknov has had a lifelong passion for painting figures and faces -- doing portrait commissions while she was still in high school and then working as a charcoal sketch artist at outdoor art shows for a number of years. Her focus of interest has changed over the years to capturing an expression and gesture rather than creation of an exact likeness, and recently she has been pushing the design potential of her subjects by working in series, keeping the image constant and changing the combination of elements from painting to painting. Her eagerness to experiment with processes and techniques provides endless opportunities for exploring her creativity.

Sketchbook portrait, 5" x 7"
collage with pen & ink wash

Myrna attended Washington University and the Kansas City Art Institute and later received her degree in Painting and Drawing at San Francisco State University. Her work has been included in many national watercolor competitions and she has won awards in exhibits with the Rocky Mountain Watercolor Society, the San Diego Watercolor Society, and the California Watercolor Association, to name a few. In 2008, she won the CFS Medal at the American Watercolor Society Exhibition. She is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society and the California Watercolor Association. Myrna's work has also been featured in several magazine articles -- a feature on her portrait process in Watercolor Magic (October 2007), an article on 20 artists over 60 in The Artist's Magazine (March 2008), and a 2nd place in the self-portrait competition in American Artist (October 2008). Her work was also featured on the cover of Palette Magazine in January 2009. Myrna teaches several portrait painting workshops from beginning to advanced levels.

Rose, 18" x 24"
watercolor on Tyvek

Advanced portrait class variations, 15" x 21"
watercolor with dilute matte medium

Bill Cook the Housepainter, 18" x 24"

Go to Myrna's blog to see more of her work and to find links to her website and gallery.