Saturday, January 28, 2012

Is Beauty Important in Art?

There is a discussion going on in an online art group, as to whether beauty should be important in art.
My opinion is: yes. Very much so!
Of course one can be divided over what is beautiful and what is not, just as much as over what is art and what isn´t, but in my opinion, beauty in art has a purpose, now more than ever: To show that life is worth while, that there is a value higher than wealth, and a happiness which is not based on material possessions.
Beauty satisfies our human need for harmony and spirituality. Creativity and mastery of the craft are the other two important components art needs to have, in order to qualify as such, but if beauty is missing and replaced by brutal, obscene or outrageous content, the work of art, if it can be called that, will not be a positive force but a negative one.
If you ask me, artists should not endorse the ugliness and alienation that modern life presents us, by creating work that mirrors these negative aspects. Why emphasize what´s depressive and disturbing? The media do that pretty well, why should artists copy them?
After almost a century of ugliness being favored over beauty in the arts, don´t you think it is time to go back to that place where the real and the ideal can exist in harmony, where an artist, through his or her ability, can bring beauty to a place that lacks it?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


There are many kinds of agaves, but for the production of Tequila only the Agave Azul qualifies. And, it has to be grown in Jalisco or a few other surrounding areas to be allowed to be made into the drink that bears the name Tequila.
The Agave Azul grows for approximately 8 years in order to produce a mature core, which is called "piña", or pineapple. The plant is extremely resistant, it can go months without water and then take extreme moisture, which is ideal in a region where it rains almost half a year and the other half is dry.
Agave off shoots are planted one foot apart, in straight rows. The space between rows must be kept weeded so that all the nutrients in the soil will benefit the agave, not other plants.

Volcan de Tequila and the Blue Agave

The Volcan de Tequila commands the view, all the way from Guadalajara to Tequila and beyond. This volcano is no longer active, its height has already eroded a bit, but the core of its chimney, which is made of the hardest rock, will last for a very long time to come. It can be easily seen in the center of the crater and the locals gave it the nickname "La Tetilla" or "The Nipple".
The last eruption of the Volcan de Tequila was some 200,000 years ago. In an area of about 40 kilometers around the volcano, the rock and ashes expelled during that explosion created the rich soil on which the blue agave grows today, and the blue agave, of course, is the raw ingredient for the famous alcoholic beverage, Tequila.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Water and Boats

In Mexico you can still find those charming, old fishing boats, paint long rubbed off, barely seaworthy, sometimes made of real wood, mixed in together with more modern boats.
I saw this unassuming scene in the harbor of the port town of San Blas, in the State of Nayarit, during a plein air painting trip with a friend and fellow artist.
Glad I finally got around to painting it!

Panamerican Games 2011

In just a few days the Panamerican Games 2011 will be inaugurated and athletes from 42 nations will gather in Guadalajara, Mexico, to compete.

People and water are some of my favorite topics, so it seemed obvious that I should paint a swimmer.

Good luck to all competitors and good luck to the people of Guadalajara, who during almost three weeks will have to endure traffic jams on many city streets, because one lane will be set aside for the exclusive use of participants and vehicles that are officially connected with the games.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Puerto Vallarta

Not long ago I participated in a group art show in the Peter Gray Museum in Puerto Vallarta. During our stay at the Friendly Hola Hotel, we saw this gorgeous sunset, typical and very normal for Puerto Vallarta. The scene was so picture book perfect that I hesitated whether I should paint it or not. I guess, I could not resist after all.
This painting is part of my skies series.

Cumulus Clouds

Again, rain, or almost rain, is the topic of this painting, which is part of my skies series.

During the Rainy Season in the Caribbean, beautiful clouds gather every afternoon, the sky gets dark, almost purple and the contrast between the water, the clouds and the sky is gorgeous. Could not resist, even though nature is the better painter.