Missy H. Dunaway

Welcome! I'm an American painter traveling the US, Turkey, Morocco, and Europe. I paint many things, but this blog largely features my "Book of Paintings."

Anonymous said: I just wanted to say that your art is sooo stunning! Do you use a watercolor moleskine? Thanks for sharing your beautiful art!

Thank you so much!  Believe it or not, I use the regular Moleskine sketchbook.  The paper is so versatile— it can accommodate graphite, ink, and even heavy liquid application.  I’ve been so happy with it I have no desire to switch to the heavier watercolor version.

I had to venture two and a half hours to get here, but I’m finally at a small internet cafe in Rissani, the closest town to Cafe Tissardmine Artist Residency in Morocco.  Tissardmine is a small Berber village comprised of ten mud houses, 20 miles from the Algerian border.  Three other artists and I will spend a month living and working in traditional Berber mud houses and exploring the Sahara desert.  Above are a few photos of the scenery. 

Today I’m queueing several posts to fill the next three weeks of my residency period. 

Hi everyone,
Tonight I depart for my artist residency in the Sahara. I will only have internet access once a week at best. When I do have a signal, I will queue images of my new desert-inspired artwork and travel photos. 
I will return on October 20th. Wish me luck!

Snapshots from Fes. I am struck by similarities between the city’s 9,400 tangled streets and the intricate patterning exhibited in its tile patterns and wood carving.

New Website!

I have a brand new website! You won’t see anything you can’t already find on this blog, but it sure is organized nicely.

Please take note of the new domain: missydunaway.com

Four more days in Paris. Going to miss this place.

All of this talk about Ralph Steadman reminded me of my own Ralph Steadman-esque ink splash stage, back in 2010 and 2011. 

Rhino Delivering Letter on Horn, 22x30 inches, ink on paper
Ravens and Matchsticks, 22x30 inches, ink on paper

I probably shouldn’t be painting in my Airbnb Parisian bedroom, but I’m giving it a (careful) try…

viltefuller said: I have recently got into producing art using ink and pens because I really like the work of Ralph Steadman and Audun Hetland - what would you say are the basic materials you would need to start properly ink drawing/painting? :)

Ralph Steadman helped me to fall in love with ink, too. Both he and Hetland use a lot of line and contour in their work. For this style, you’ll want to start with a dip pen and nib. I prefer bowl pointed nibs and globe nibs.

For the Steadman style, liberally fill the pen with ink by completely submerging the nib in a jar of black sumi ink. Let the ink drip from the pen freely when you draw. Be energetic with it; wave the pen over the drawing to get those great Steadman splashes.

Let the black line drawing dry, then go over it with some washes of colored ink (or you can lay the color down first). I suggest using Daler-Rowney FW Acrylic Artist Inks or Winsor and Newton Drawing Inks.

For paper, start off with an Arches watercolor block. If you want to work larger, you can buy 22x30 inch sheets of Arches watercolor paper or Fabriano watercolor paper in a variety of hot press (smooth) and cold press (rough). I recommend the heaviest weight possible. No less than 140lb. 

It’s also important to take good care of your materials. Purchase some pen cleaner and brush cleaner, and you’re good to go!

So there you have it: pens, nibs, ink, paper, and cleaners. Sounds like a lot, but it’s nothing compared to the expenses of an oil painter. 

Good luck and have fun with it!

Tonight I attended the opening exhibition for Foam Magazine Talent 2014, which featured Jonny Briggs, a very talented photographer and friend. Jonny and I met at Babayan Culture House in Turkey in June, and since then we’ve crossed paths in London and now Paris. 
Foam’s exhibition will be on display at Atelier Néerlandais, 121 rue de Lille in Paris through November 23rd. It’s a beautifully curated show— check it out if you’re in town!
FoamJonny Briggs

My first two days in Paris have been spent people watching and boat watching. 

Tomorrow evening I depart for my second round of globe trotting (Paris, Fes, Sahara, then Paris again). I was supposed to pack up my art supplies, but instead I sat down for a quick color study of my old street in Ibrahimpaşa. I don’t have time to finish it, but it’s a pretty start, I think.

Anonymous said: Can you talk about your experience at the residency stay? Are they financially hard to do?

Residencies are amazing resources for artists. They usually provide you with a studio space, living space, (sometimes) meals, and creative company in an idyllic landscape for a month or more. Some are free, provide a stipend, charge tuition, or offer reduced rates on studio rentals. Not surprisingly, the free residencies are very competitive.

Immediately after graduating from Carnegie Mellon I applied for about twenty residencies. I was rejected from all except one: Vermont Studio Center. VSC is unique in that the application does not require a CV. This was great for me, because I had a very modest resume. But VSC is a non-for-profit organization which charges tuition. For four months preceding my three month residency, I worked as a barista in the mornings, waitress at nights, and babysitter on the weekends to cover the cost. 

I saw VSC as an investment because I knew I could build my portfolio with uninterrupted studio time, meet 50 professional artists a month, and the experience would make me more competitive for other (hopefully free) residencies.

Your resume is equally important as the quality of your art in grant and residency applications. I know that doesn’t seem fair, but the judges just want to ensure they’re awarding artists who will use the opportunity seriously, and not just as a free vacation. They also don’t want to invite someone who could be disruptive, so showing that you have past experience living in an isolated art community is reassuring. 

My next two residencies, Babayan Culture House (BCH) and Cafe Tissardmine, also charged tuition. The fees are about the same as a month’s rent (although take that with a grain of salt because I’ve lived in NYC). I was a resident at BCH while I was still a Fulbrighter, and my monthly Fulbright stipend covered those fees. I was awarded a grant from the John Anson Kittredge Educational Fund, which allowed me to extend my Fulbright research in Turkey. I had a little left over, so that is covering Cafe Tissardmine. 

So now I have a rule: every time I apply for a residency with fees, I apply for a grant that could fund it. Oh, and you probably want to know where I find all this stuff. Knock yourself out at TransArtists.org and ResArtis.org

Good luck!

As I prepare for my artist residency at Cafe Tissardmine, I’m reminded of my old bedroom at Vermont Studio Center, my first residency experience.
"My old room. It had my bed, my letters, my books, and that beautiful carved leather satchel I never once used. I miss it, I miss it, I miss it."
Cafe TissardmineVermont Studio Center