Thursday, July 30, 2015

Missing the beautiful blue eyes

People have told me that they really enjoyed my posting of the process of the 50 Faces project, so I am again sharing the changes in this face that recently went to live in its new home.

This is the only exception I made about dark glasses and now I wish I could paint the beautiful blue eyes behind those glasses.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Catching Up and Weeding Out

After almost 5 days without an Internet connection at home, I have a lot of online things to catch up with. With the down time I had, I have been going through older paintings in the stacks and photos on the computer. Time to weed out what is not worth keeping and re-visit the paintings that I am pleased with.

Here are some paintings that I pulled out of the stacks:
My first encaustic portrait, done about 10 years ago

The above painting was made over an older abstract one from my color and surface work. I did it quickly and I still like it, Perhaps I should use older abstracts as the under painting of more figurative work. What do you think?

This is from a series I made about 10 years ago also. I collaged photos of San Miguel with ancient Mexican symbols that I carved into the encaustic. 

I have several paintings left from the above series. All that carving left my fingers hurting.

These 2 are a diptych, "The Magnet" I was surprised that they didn't sell. I can't guess what will appeal to collectors.

"The Mask", encaustic on board, about 2009, 100 x 80 cm

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hard work and a talented eye

I have been working with a man for 10 weeks. He had other teachers and could handle acrylic paint well, while creating geometric abstracts, but he wanted to learn how to draw and draw portraits in particular.

Luis is married with a wife and 2 daughters and he works most days of the week. Still he make time to draw at home after our weekly one hour lessons. I am so proud of him. Look at what he has accomplished in a short, but concentrated time.

this is where Luis started

keep scrolling down...

notice the improvement; keep scrolling down...

Luis is really starting to see...
from this to....
I am really impressed with the progess

impressive, isn't it?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Best of Two Worlds

I feel so blessed to be living on the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende. I am sure none of my friends would consider living 10 minutes out of the center, but my daughter and I share a wonderful large house surrounded by gentle, rolling, green hills and a 360 degree view from our mirador room upstairs.

I drive into town often, (there is a bus), but I usually have a list of things to do and want to get home as soon as possible, where the air is fresh and sweet, vs the heavy exhaust fumes, noise and crowds of town,  gang graffiti, or poisonous mosquito spraying.

Don't get me wrong, I love living in San Miguel and in August, I will have been here 11 years and can't image living anywhere else. Also, in August, I will celebrate my 81st birthday and do not need to be always in the midst of activity.

Yesterday, Cynthia and I decided to go to town, just to experience it with no agenda; like tourists. It was fantastic! We started out by going to an estate sale of art, then experienced a minor miracle by finding a parking place in town and walked to the liquor store to find our favorite wine; Casa Madera Rosado. ( A few months ago, I would have turned up my nose at the mention of a rosé wine). We walked by the extensive red carpet and outdoor crystal chandelier in front of the performing art's theater, then on to the first art, poetry, food and drink event. This was delightful. We met many friends there and were impressed by what this gallery, B & B was presenting. Next, we walked through the crowds that were in town for the opening of the International Film Festival, through the jardin, (the outdoor living room of San Miguel) to the next gallery opening, featuring a few of our friends' new work. It was crowded with enthusiastic viewers.

We had worked up an appetite  and decided to go to our favorite restaurant for the 2 for 1 wine offer and the best pizza I have had outside of Italy; a combo of Gorgonzola, pear and vegetarian.

Fully inspired by the fantastic offerings of this amazing town, we headed home to breathe the sweet, flower scented air and offer thanks for our blessings.

The first art opening - fried cheese balls

A mouth watering offering of dips from Victoria Challancin, see her blog postings, "Flavor of the Sun"

The festivities were beginning

Just your usual golden revolutionary soldier

Patiently waiting

The Jardin

It's not only a meeting place for people

The stage is set for the concert, celebrating the opening of the Film Festival

texting mariachis

street are crowded

Inside the restaurant :Cent'anni

Our pizza

sun rise this morning from the mirador in our house

My time for meditation, yoga and gratitude

Friday, July 17, 2015

Now, I am really finished!

Here is where it started

stage 2

didn't like the face of the model, so changed it.

couldn't leave this alone. I need someone in the studio to grab the brush out of my hand
I had this painting staring at me every time I walked int the studio and I just couldn't leave it alone.The eyes weren't right; it was ordinary... I wasn't satisfied, so I kept working. More time on a painting isn't necessarily going to make it better. I added encaustic around the head; oil glaze; carved into it and rubbed on copper leaf. O.K. Now it is looking decorative. Time to put it out of sight.

I had told myself that I needed a break from the studio - except for teaching, of course, and I didn't follow my own advise.

Another painting I have been re-working is calling to me. Maybe I can ignore that call for another day.
"Long Ago and Far Away" no more work on this painting!!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Changing faces

Perhaps I didn't take a long enough break from the studio. I want to break out of past painting habits and create something new. I'm not there yet. I will keep at it.
Here is the older painting that I thought was boring and the one I painted over it. I have included the video of the process. Seeing my work in photographs, I can more easily see the weaknesses.

oil and cold wax

oil on canvas - better, but still not right

Friday, July 10, 2015

From Boring to Bad Painting

I wasn't quite satisfied with one of the cold wax and oil painting I had made, so I decided to work over it. Well, it kept getting worse and worse. I am tired of seeing meaningless paintings, whether figurative or abstract and I want to make work that is more edgy and interesting. I did not succeed, but I sure used a lot of paint, before I scraped out the mess this morning.

Today is another day and I will choose a face that isn't so sweet, and start over.

This is the one I decided to improve

Good bye. There is no hope for this