Saturday, September 28, 2013

Time for excavation...digging, unearthing and revealing

While I have been waiting for my figurative muse to show up, I literally started digging up older paintings. I seem to be in a place of artistic transformation and many of my paintings are looking ordinary to me. Fortunately, I can see when something doesn't work, so I took several encaustic paintings out in the intense Mexican sun and began scraping down to the board. Something happened. I seemed to be unearthing the history of the layers. This reminded me of my many visits to the Aztec pyramid ruins in the center of Mexico City, where hundreds of years after the conquest, more discoveries are being found. Layer after layer of soil is carefully removed; structures and artifacts are coming to the surface to reveal still more history. As Cortes destroyed the pyramids, trying to destroy the culture, he had slaves use the stones from the pyramids to build the cathedral over some of the ruins.
 As I performed my excavations, much of the debris took on new life and form and was moved, reversed, and reapplied to a new surface, making a new statement.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Back to figurative encaustic painting

I have been working on some abstract paintings over the last 2 weeks, and now I feel pushed to get back to figurative. I love drawing and painting the figure, but I was so out of the zone that I had to pick up my own book, "Painting Portraits in Encaustic" to remind me of how I do it!I know myself well enough that it will probably take a few bad starts and some scraping away to get the natural momentum building again.  
In the meantime here is a painting I did last year. It is not part of a series, but stands alone. It had been another less than satisfactory painting that I scraped down to the board, to find a colorfully stained board with a thin layer of wax still on it. I began drawing with charcoal, hence the very dark blacks. I continued with encaustic paint and oil glazes.
Flirtation, 24" x 32"

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What is your favorite color?

My book will show you how your color choices influence your health and emotions. Learn how color touches you even if you don’t notice it or understand its force. The specific vibrations of each color triggers your personal energy field. It affects your moods, health and general well being. 60% of a person’s reaction to any situation is said to be based on color.
You can learn healing tips, personality insights, color breathing, and color meditations. For instance, what does it mean if red is your favorite color? Or what kind of personality are you if you dislike red? Read about all the colors. Once you know a person's color preferences, you will be able to understand him or her better.
I used this information in my color seminars when I worked for 3 Ethan Allen stores. At first, I asked participants to write their name tags in their favorite color, but had to stop that practice, when they realized how much their color choices told others about their personalities.

This book is available for download on Kindle, smart phones or your computer.

Color influences how we feel and look even if we are not aware of its potency. It is around us and touches us even if we don’t understand its force. The specific vibrations of each color trigger our personal energy field even if we can’t see them. The colorblind person is affected, as are the totally blind. In controlled studies, colored paper samples were offered to the blind volunteers and they could feel the variation between the different colors. A colorblind friend told me that he could sense the colors in paintings that he collects.
Color is powerful. It affects our moods, health and general well being. 60% of a person’s reaction to any situation is often based on color.
Color can raise or lower blood pressure, create passion or tranquilize our aggressive action, stimulate our appetites and manipulate our behavior. Studies have proven that color triggers a response both psychologically and physically. It affects our emotions and attitudes more than most of us realize.

What if red is your favorite color?

Personality Traits of Red.

The person who chooses red as a favorite color is strong and dominant; someone who will try to make things happen. There is tremendous drive, energy, and enthusiasm. They make quick judgments and want to lead, and may blame others if the red personality is not successful.
The darker the red favored, the more sensual, dominant and demanding the person is likely to be. The clear, bright reds indicate self confidence, drive, and warm generosity. Red lovers are the “look at me” types, extroverted but practical and desirous of an active love life.
Children who prefer red are uncomplicated and uninhibited and have a love of like. Red used defiantly means hostility or a desire for affection.
I describe all the healing qualities of each color and the personality types that are attracted   to each.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Life drawings

I have been drawing from live models once a week for about a year now. I love drawing and am now am accumulating piles of nude sketches. I don't like keeping extra stuff, so I photographed some of them and put the images in a flip book. Now I can get rid of some of them:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Almost ready to get back in the studio

I am catching up with all the work on the computer that I need to do before I get back into the studio. Perhaps, I am avoiding starting a new series, because I know how hard it is to get into the creative zone that will inspire and guide me to make new work.

I updated my website and just finished editing my article for the Encaustic Art Institutes's winter edition of their online magazine. I felt honored to be asked to contribute. When it is published, I will share it with you.

I added 10 images of my work to the article and it was interesting to peruse some older work. Here are some of my favorites.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My alchemist daughter

My daughter, Renee Duval came to San Miguel for a short visit. She is the owner and creator of her line of healing products, Buddha Blends and Satsoma skin care. A few of my friends here already have used some of her great products.

Last evening I invited some close friends to meet her. She shared the story of Buddha Blends and her creative journey in personally fabricating these amazing, pure, energy changing and skin improving products.

I have been blessed by using her fantastic products for years. I'm proud of you Renee.

Check out her website to discover why luxury spas in the U.S. order from Renee and why she ships  internationally.

A personal consultation with Agnes
Patton, Dawn,Agnes, Lena, Victoria, Judy and Renee. The evening wasn't serious

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mexico City, a daughter's visit, and the teachers' strike

I made a quick trip to D.F. to meet my daughter, Renee at the airport. She hasn't made a trip here in about 8 years and never experienced Mexico City. Since it is a city I love, I wanted to show her a bit of the place. We only had a day and we covered as much as possible.

Thousands of teachers and their tents filled the Zocolo, the huge plaza in front of the government offices. The feeling of the center was completely different. Many central streets were closed. It was quiet. No dancers, drums, healers. We moved through the tangled of ropes that were holding up the tents to get to the ruins of the pyramids and Templo Mayor museum. Although I have been there many times, I always find it interesting. We visited the Spanish Cultural Center that always provides an experience in art and installation that is cutting edge in a contemporary setting. On the lower floor, the ancient stone steps and ceramics are displayed that were found when the old building was demolished to build the cultural center.

By afternoon the striking teachers had blocked the road to the airport, making  traffic diversions. Our cab to the bus station crawled through bumper to bumper traffic, getting us to our bus about 60 seconds before it left for San Miguel.

Ahh, it is good to be home.
Renee's first glimpse of the Zocolo. Not exactly what I had planned

A view from the terrace of a restaurant. Below the pyramid ruins and beyond the tents in the plaza

Renee has traveled in many countries, but she said she had never seen anything like D.F.
Lunch on a roof top

A cake ... really it is.

another engineering feat. A monumental cake.
Renee on the top floor of the Spanish Cultural Center. The cathedral in the background.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Puebla #3

This will be the last post with photos of Puebla.
Obviously, I enjoyed my visit.

I actually got into the studio yesterday and started several paintings. I know that after a time of not creating, it will take some duds to work through. Of course I made demos for my online classes, but that is not the same as starting a new series.

View from my hotel window

Lots of iron work through out the city

Ceiling in my hotel room. centuries old, plaster and vegetable dyes

a street of artists' studios

art students
individual studios are smaller than my bathroom
Artists' union, and cafe
Installation in the jardin

no more to say

Monday, September 2, 2013

Encaustic Art Institute in New Mexico, posted this on their Facebook page this morning.
Cool quickie drawings, then encaustic on rice paper demo. Thanks Ezshwan for sharing!

Puebla visit #2

Inside the Museo de Arte Contemporaño
 Today I continue to share photos of my visit to Puebla.

The city impressed me as an oasis from the cacophony of big cities.

Like most cities and towns in Mexico, the parks welcomed both young lovers, families and elderly adults. I can learn how to slow down from this culture.
A one person show
The combination of the ancient and contemporary in front of the museum
The park in front of the museum. Again the ancient ruins are incorporated into the setting

The side street entrance to the museum
Another example

The tranquil park is the setting for the contemporary art museum.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Great days in Puebla

I had a brief, but delightful vacation in Pubela. I went with a tour group, but after getting settled I went out on my own to explore this beautiful city.

Puebla is about 80 miles south of Mexico City.

Many people in the States think that Cinco de Mayo is a celebration like Independence Day in the U.S. Not so. Mexican Independence day is in September.

The Battle of Puebla took place on 5 May 1862 near the city of Puebla during the French intervention in Mexico. The battle ended in a victory for the Mexican Army over the occupying French forces. The French eventually overran the Mexicans in subsequent battles, but the Mexican victory at Puebla against a much better equipped and larger French army provided a significant morale boost to the Mexican army and also helped slow the French army's advance towards Mexico City.
The Mexican victory is celebrated yearly on the fifth of May. Its celebration is regional in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla, where the holiday is celebrated as El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (English: The Day of the Battle of Puebla). There is some limited recognition of the holiday in other parts of the country. This holiday remains very popular in the United States where it is celebrated annually as Cinco de Mayo.

Here is a link with detail about this city:

The Amparo art museum was the first place I visited. I had been there a few years ago and was impressed, but since then there has been extensive remodeling. I was very impressed how the ancient structure moved smoothly into the contemporary additions.

The altar of the main church - I lost count of how many churches I explored.
I wandered for hours, enjoying the colors of the buildings, the trees, the tranquility of a big city and the energy of Puebla.

I will be posting more photos for the next few days
Early morning in the Zocolo - the plaza in the center of town

Bronze sculptures outside of a church

The cool of early morning

The view from the roof of the Amparo art museum. I loved how the glass fractured the view

outside seating on the roof

even the ventilation ducts added to the composition

stainless steel sculptures outside the cathedral

a long  pedestrian street

The city is famous for Talavera ceramics - and mole

This background reminded me of a lacy valentine