My studio class was with Misty Mawn. I got off to a shaky start because I went to the wrong Embassy Suites – I took the MAX to the one downtown, and of course I had planned my trip for just exactly the amount of time I needed to get there. Well… the retreat was being held at the airport Embassy Suites. Back on the MAX I got, lugging all my art supplies, and clenching my fists at how slowly the train moves through town. But I managed to take a deep breath and let it go – there was nothing else I could do. I did, naturally, miss the stop I needed, had to go all the way to the airport and then back again to Mt. Hood drive, which, although the closest stop to the Embassy, is still a good half-mile to the hotel (lugging art supplies!). The kicker was that I’d taken the MAX because I didn’t want to pay $18.00 for parking at the downtown hotel. As it turns out, parking at the airport location is FREE! Next I had a hard time finding the office, and then the classroom, but I finally made it (30 or 40 minutes late) – an urchin in ratty overalls who quietly slunk into an available chair, but it all turned out unbelievably wonderful after that.
Misty Mawn is another amazing role model. The class was called “Ulterior Motif Mural,” two days of painting and mixed media! This was Misty’s sample – so gorgeous…
The first day she taught us techniques for drawing a portrait with a variety of media. In her demonstrations she works very fast (check out the blurry arm in the photo below!) as she explains what she’s doing. I LOVED her teaching style. I had the impression that she didn’t want to take a long time on the demos because she was eager for us to go try it.
She taught facial proportions, painting over your own sketch, painting on top of a magazine image, acrylics, artists’ crayons, oil sticks – wow! Although I was liking my sketches better than my painted faces, I loved playing with all that stuff, and I did get good results by doing a transfer of a da Vinci face and then painting over that. Here are some of Misty’s demo samples:
There was great energy in the class, everyone encouraging and helping each other. I even made friends in class! (Yeah, shy, introverted little me!) This was exactly the kind of experience I had been hoping for when I went to ArtFest – making connections with people who are artsy, feeling like I was part of a community. I am so grateful that I was led to sign up for this class.
I didn’t get around to taking many photos, especially the second day because I jammed my camera, but I did snap one student sample from the truly gifted Shariyah. I hope Shariyah won’t mind, especially if I link to her etsy site! (But let me know if you do mind and I’ll take it off.)
The second day Misty taught us a gazillion techniques for creating interesting backgrounds using stencils, scraping into or pressing all manner of things into the wet paint, adding gel, adding inks. She was using her hands in the demo, so I did, too – what a mess but oh what fun! Everybody chose such different color combinations, and every single canvas was gorgeous. I thought I was totally messing mine up at one point, but I kept going and it turned out fine. After the background came the collaging. That part was actually hard for me, deciding which papers, images, and shapes to use. It’s not really that crucial, I guess, but that’s my hang up. Misty showed us how to integrate all the elements with layers of transparent color and zinc white. Again I was having a hard time, but I kept going with a spirit of experimentation, et voilà, I came up with a glowing pale blue that set the figure off. Happy happy!
It was so much fun walking around and seeing what everyone else was doing – honest to god, every single one was beautiful. And everyone was effusive in their compliments. It was such a good feeling. Misty had taught us well.
Again, I wish I had more photos to show, but several people like Tina and Deirdra were kind enough to take photos for me that I will post when I have them. I have to say how grateful I am for the friendliness of the people in this class. I found myself coming out of my shell, thanks in large part, I think, to my new friend Marilyn, whose outgoing personality may have rubbed off a tiny bit on me. I loved talking with Bonnie, Tina, Abigail and her daughter Shariyah (such a talented family!!!), and so many others – I’m sorry I didn’t get everybody’s name, but I hope to see you again and would LOVE to see your finished murals! I’m adding some embellishments to mine and will post the finished product soon, I hope.
Also… I’m thinking about what somebody said in class: if we all painted a face every day we’d get really good at it. I may pose myself that very challenge – a face a day. Anyone else out there want to play?
Finally, a big hug of gratitude goes out to Misty for her amazing generosity of sharing so much with all of us. Thank you, Misty! (For the chocolates and everything, too!)