Monday, March 31, 2008
Light and shadow are normally my best tools when I am painting. But on this trip to northern California I was hoping for something else: fog.
My daughters were studying in Arcata, at Humboldt University at the time and they had told me that on most days it was either raining or foggy. Well, it looked like it would not be either during my visit. However, as the last day approached, I had my wish granted. My painting buddy and I set out for Trinidad beach early in the morning and put on all the clothes we had - it was cold, the ocean agitated and the fog thick. After hiking north along the beach, looking for the ideal spot, visibility started getting better and we set up our easels and painted two pictures each.
I worked with a very limited palette, just white, cad yellow pale, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue and green. It´s the ideal set up for traveling, less bulk, light and really all you need.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Twice every year, in July, Oaxaca presents it´s internationally famous dance festival, La Guelaguetza, part of the "Lunes del Cerro" (Mondays of the Hill) festivities.
Guelaguetza is a Zapotec word, meaning "to participate and cooperate at the same time". It is a gift that demands reciprocity.
Ethnic groups from all seven regions of the State of Oaxaca gather in the capital to make their offerings to the city. Performers of each group, dressed in their gala outfits, present a regional dance to the rhythm of their music. At the end they offer their "guelaguetza" of products typical of their region, to the public.
This painting is from my series of ethnic Mexican scenes, it shows dancers from the region of Pochutla, performing at the Guelaguetza.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
What an interesting, inspiring landscape Georgia O´Keefe chose to paint! The mountains in Ghost Ranch and near Santa Fe offer a feast for the eye, both in color and in shapes. No wonder that so many artists settle down in New Mexico.
During a trip with like minded artists I did a series of plein air paintings in the area and I can´t wait to go back and paint there again.
Friday, March 28, 2008
The human form might well be the most timeless subject in art. Like many artists before me, I enjoy drawing the nude model as I would enjoy drawing a tree in winter - the beauty of its shape apparent and unobstructed. Every angle revealing another line, another plane, another shape.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
There is nothing that compares to the feeling of creating a drawing or painting.
A fleeting moment becomes permanently saved the way the artist perceived it, capturing the light, the mood of the scene as well as the reaction of the artist to the subject matter.
I painted this picture standing in the hot sun of the Mexcian Pacific coast at one of Michoacan´s most beautiful beaches, Maruata, and I was looking inland towards the small lagoon. While painting, I listened to the water that comes in regular intervals through the nearby blow hole and my feet were periodically cooled by it.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Figure drawing is the best exercise for the painter. The human body offers an inexhaustible variety of form, lines and shapes. I enjoy working from the live model, with poses ranging from one minute to 15 minutes in length. Most of the time I use charcoal or pen and art marker.