Friday, December 21, 2012
How do you get a style? It is the total sum of all the workshops you've taken, shows and museum visits, art books, art magazine articles you've read, comments from instructors, friends, and your own observation and practice over time. Paint often, read a lot, visit museums, art galleries, share. Joaquin Sorolla used to say: "keep the hand warm" (by practice).
Thursday, December 20, 2012
When I was in Budapest, Hungary, this past July, doing an artist residency, I visited Saint Stephen Basilica. It is named so, in honor of the first king of Hungary, Stephen. In this beautiful basilica is the mummified hand of the very own Saint Stephen! Imagine that! The basilica has excellent acoustics, and I was able to attend and enjoy an evening concert there.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
A few years ago, I asked my grand-daughter Emily to play with different hats and scarfs in front of the mirror, while I was taking pictures of her for future portraits. This is one of them. It is now on exhibition at La Jolla Art Association gallery, at 8100 Paseo del Ocaso, La Jolla, California. Come to the reception on Friday evening, from 6:30-8:00pm. There are other artists exhibiting, it is a beautiful show!
Today I painted several hours at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park, San Diego. I did three watercolors. After I photograph them, I will share them in the blog. This garden is beautiful, they are in the process of expanding it, so in the Spring 2013 it will be bigger, at different levels.
I read something quite interesting in the Pratique des Arts magazine, a French magazine similar to our Artist's magazine. It said: "What makes a painter different from another one is less her technique, and much more her personal vision of the world. That's what makes her unique." Milerid Mulick.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
This is one of three oil paintings in exhibition now at La Jolla Art Association Gallery, La Jolla, California. The Opening Reception is Friday 21st, from 6:30-8:00 pm. You are all invited! I hope to see you there!
I love to walk in Paris and find hidden, interesting views of the Eiffel Tower. I have sketched that tower at all times of the day, from a hundred different places. Here is another view! Enjoy! I usually sketch in pencil, pens, and watercolors, filling up many travel journals with my value sketches and watercolors. Then sometimes I do a larger painting in my studio.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Riding with my friend Jacqueline Peyrot from Argeles-Gazost in the French Pyrenees, I painted this watercolor of her. Later, another good friend of ours, Jean-Claude de Grissard, from Toulouse, France, shared his admiration of the lady. I then gave Jean-Claude this small portrait of Jacqueline with a thank you card, and he had them especially framed.
Days are getting shorter, the year is about to end, in perfect parallel with our lives. There is very little time left, enjoy every minute! Whatever you dream to become, do it now! The future is now.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Travelling in the South of France this Fall, I paint. Actually, everywhere I go I paint. Nice is a lovely city, where I've enjoyed its gardens, fountains, seaside walks, and the colorful candy!
Arthur Melville, a Scottish watercolorist, used opaque white to cover the entire paper before he started painting. He juxtaposed transparence and opacity, loose and tight passages. He worked in the 1800s doing contemporary work almost like watercolors today!
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Like "Nick K. ", one of my old portraits I found a few days ago, while re-organizing my art-work: my friend Regina. I have painted my family and friends for years! Even in high school, in Argentina, whenever we had a free period because the teacher was absent, I would do portraits of my friends.
Visiting Los Angeles recently, I re-"discovered" the downtown area, how beautiful it is now! I used to work there some years ago, but have not been living the constant renovation of the downtown area for ten or so years, so it came as a surprise. The Staples Center, the ice-skating rink, the lights, the screens, and the number of people braving the cold, just walking around and enjoying the views. Magnificent!
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
I have been having fun re-organizing my artwork. I found this old portrait I did of my friend Nick in 1996.
Reading the latest Artist's Magazine, I found a comment about Urban Sketchers (www.urbansketchers.org) a non-profit organization devoted to fostering the art of on-location drawing. Check it out and get inspired. Sketching everywhere you go helps you remember the location so much better than just taking a picture of it!
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I have been cleaning and organizing my old drawings and paintings. I have found some old drawings I didn't even remember I had. This is one of them: my feet, as they were in 1994, soon after left foot surgery. You can almost see the shadow of a scar. Almost 20 years ago, time flies.
When I was in Budapest last July, I saw a short art film at the Ludwig Museum: "The Hero, The Heroine, and the Author", by Nemeth Ilona (for us, Ilona Nemeth, they use the last name first). It was about a common woman, having breakfast at home, reading the paper, going to the market....while constantly supervised by two armed men, body-builders dressed to kill, really! A comment on society today?
Monday, December 10, 2012
When I was in Budapest, Hungary, this past July, as a resident artist, I was able to visit Sabi Silagi's exhibit: "From Zero to Zero and Back", at the Budapest Galeria Lajos Utca. Some of his work was good, very conceptual. Some was political, like this one: a big frame with two small flags, one of Israel, one of Palestine, the names of the countries written underneath, then at the bottom it said "Buy One, Get One Free".
Carcassonne is a beautiful castle town, in the South of France, near Toulouse. It is beautifully maintained, very popular with tourists in the area, full of gift shops and restaurants lining its narrow streets.
I recently read THE FORGER'S SPELL, by Edward Dolnick. The story of a famous forger, who even fooled Goering, with his "Vermeer", "Rembrandt", and "Franz Hals". The true story, takes place before, during and after the 2nd World War. Riveting, a passionate, great book! According to the author, Goering is quoted as saying: "The people don't want war, but they can be brought to desire it by their leaders. It's easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
And I say: And the idiots believe it... My only enemy is war itself. Make art, not war.
Sunday, December 9, 2012
The famous pub/bar/cafe, where Picasso and the Impressionists met for drinks, and discussions about art and women at the beginning of the 20th C. is still there, walking down, (or up) from the Sacre Coeur Basilique, in Paris, France.
Manet was the inventor of Modern Art. He demonstrated boldness and flexibility, rising to every challenge. Politics was also a main concern of his, and central to his works of the last years of his life. Manet has been called the Parisian Goya.
I have been painting small watercolors of France, from my pictures, to complete a series of plein-air watercolors I started this summer when I was there. So much beauty! I never have time to paint as many views as I see! So I decided to complete my series. How do you "complete" a series? You paint many, you paint fast and every day as when you are there, until you are tired and decide to start painting something else.
I enjoy painting these small watercolors very much, I hope you enjoy looking at them. And if you want to buy one, send me an email! I ship matted, almost everywhere in the world, after payment is received, in Euros or US dollars.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
I've just finished reading The Gargoyle, a book by Andrew Davidson, it is a very interesting story of one man's descent into personal hell and his quest for salvation. Literature, art, philosophy, love, sex, war, life and death. Great novel! It was a gift from my friend Brigitte Manegrier.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
The Hungarian National Museum, in Budapest, Hungary, was founded in 1802. Among its treasures, they have Francisco de Goya's "La Aguadora", oil on canvas, painted around 1812, Velazquez "El Almuerzo", Monet's "Fishing Boats", Manet's "Lady with Fan", plus Van Gogh, Toulouse Loutrec, Kokoshka, Picasso, etc. What surprised me the most, was to learn that they have the largest collection of Goya paintings outside Madrid. This beautiful museum is in front of Hero's Square, right where the big city park starts. Highly recommended visit.
Monday, December 3, 2012
The word "Mandala" is from Sanskrit, and is translated as "magic circle". Mandalas appear in many cultures, as a symbol of wholeness. It is a pattern that appears in nature. Mandalas became a central theme in Carl Jung's work as a healing tool to aid in the process of individuation= becoming a whole person. Carl Jung also said: "The soul speaks in image".
Sunday, December 2, 2012
When I don't know what else to paint, I paint my paintbox! Alizarin Crimson is that pretty red you see there, the others are his friends...
Today I did a presentation at the Pastel Society of San Diego. I talked about doing sketchbooks, and showed them some of my sketchbooks from 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Second, I talked about my artist residency in Budapest, Hungary, this past July: my work, museum visits, and visits to some specific artists' studios in Budapest, like Nora Gergely. Nora is a conceptual artist I greatly admire, who works in Budapest.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
"The artist must have something to say. Her work is not to master the forms, but to adapt the forms to its content, to what she's trying to say." ---- Vassily Kandinsky
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Painting with light: For shadows, always go to the light source, but reflections are always vertical. They follow different set of rules. Don't ever forget that we paint the ILLUSION of realism. We strengthen this illusion by the way we handle value, the way we create contrast. "You can see a lot by observing" said Yogi Bear.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Marco's mother commissioned a portrait of her young son, killed in an automobile accident. I looked at several pictures of him, and decided to paint his portrait surrounded by smaller pictures depicting his hobbies, to celebrate the life he had lived. Marco loved the mountains, and speed sports.
YOU ARE INVITED: Next Sunday, December 2nd, I will be doing a demonstration at the San Diego Pastel Society meeting in the Point Loma Library, San Diego, California. The theme is: "Sketchbooking, painting in Hungary and France in the Summer of 2012". It will start at 2:00pm, free.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
These bottles are full of water from Lourdes, for my "consuegra" (my daughter's mother in law) Rosario. I filled them up in Lourdes, France, and took them to Spain for her. She appreciates this "holy water". I don't believe in it, but I do it for her because she does.
Painting every day keeps the hand warm, Sorolla used to say. I paint every day for several reasons: a) it does keep the hand warm, b) it gives me sanity, c) I love painting, d) it's an addiction. Don't forget to come to the San Diego Pastel Society's meeting Sunday December 2nd, at the Point Loma Library, San Diego, California, at 2:00pm. I'll be doing a demo and talking about my month as Artist in Residence in Budapest this past July.
When I don't know what to paint, my left hand, my feet, or my watercolor box are all good subjects. This was done on a lonely night in France a month ago. Alizarin and friends are always with me.
Sorry I have not been writing on my blog lately. I've been traveling and teaching workshops a lot. I will be doing a demo at the Pastel Society of San Diego meeting next December 2nd, at the Point Loma Library, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. The topic will be sketchbooking, and I will also be talking about my experience as Resident Artist in Budapest, Hungary, this past July.
Hope to see you there!
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Felix Ziem (1821-1911) was one of the first artists to make the notion of "series" systematic, an idea prevalent in modern art. Ziem learned the representation of light from the Venitian artists Guardi and Canaleto.
Monday, October 22, 2012
Foolish Desires, watercolor and hungarian hand-made lace, view of a house with garden in Cauterets, France. The mood is joyful, playful, and full of hope.
Cauterets is a small town in the French Pyrénées, near the border with Spain. The town is enclosed by mountains, and perched on a mountain, making it a wonderful place to go hiking in the Spring, Summer and Fall, and to ski in Winter. There are hot water springs all year long, a huge hotelerie industry, and good restaurants. You can arrive by train to Lourdes, then bus, taxi or drive up 30 km. to Cauterets. You can also arrive by plane to the Lourdes airport, or to the bigger airports in Pau or Toulouse, then on to Lourdes and Cauterets.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Smooth Sounds, (Sonidos Suaves) acrylic on canvas, 36x24 inches, (92x61cm.) currently at the Law Library in San Diego, California.
Esta pintura es en honor a Heraldo Serrano, cuñado y amigo, quien falleció hoy en La Madrid, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Que suaves sonidos te acompañen en este último viaje, querido Heraldo!
This paintings is in honor of Heraldo Serrano, brother in law and friend, who passed away today in LaMadrid, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Soir d'Eté à Cauterets, watercolor painted plein-air, 12x17 cm., available. This watercolor was used by the Office de Tourisme in Cauterets, France, for the poster advertising the Painting Contest that took place last Sunday, October 7. I was member of the jury. I have also been teaching five workshops, watercolor, pastel, and acrilic, in France, and traveling in the Pyrénées and Atlantic regions. All this while moving from one apartment to another, and painting for my own pleasure, entertainment, and sanity! Painting makes me happy! Painting keeps me sane! Painting gives me life, energy, and sustenance!
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Balcony III, watercolor, 23x31 cm. available. On exhibition at the Bibliotheque Municipal de Cauterets, France, till the end of the month. PORTES, FENETRES, BALCONS: ouverts, fermes.
Voltaire again: "to think of virginity as a virtue--and not a barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge-- is an infantile superstition."
Monday, September 10, 2012
Balcony II, Cauterets, France. Watercolor, 23x31 cm, available. This painting is part of the solo show: Portes, Fenetres, Balcons, running till the end of the month at the Bibliothéque Municipal de Cauterets, France.
" The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost their power of reasoning." Voltaire.
Balcony I, Cauterets, France. Watercolor, 23x31 cm. available. This painting is part of the Solo Exhibition at the Bibliothéque Municipal de Cauterets, which started August 15, and runs till the end of this month: Portes, Fenetres, Balcons, ouverts, fermées. . ( Doors, Windows, Balconies, open, and closed)
I just found a perfect quote by Voltaire: "nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense."
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Porte de l'Eternite, watercolor and lace.
If you think that watercolor and lace doesn't make sense, look at the picture more carefully. I spent a month in Budapest, painting watercolors on a studio next to a Swedish artist who worked with wood, old chairs, wax, ancient books, a lace umbrella, wire, etc. One day, inspired by her mixed media, I decided to try this: I painted a series of watercolors of balconies, gates, and I used lace and other media to depict part of the picture. These are the gates of the cemetery in Gavarnie, France, painted with Winsor and Newton watercolors over a Hungarian hand- made paper. Hand made lace has been glued to parts of the gate.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Karoly Marko is one of Hungary's best known painters. Marko spent most of his life working abroad in Vienna and Italy, but he never really lost contact with Hungary. From the 1840s almost every Hungarian painter who visited Italy spent some time in his studio. His visit back for a few days was celebrated raptourously, culminating with the opening of the Marko Hall in the Hungarian National Museum, in Budapest.
Monday, July 30, 2012
New York Palace is a luxurius 5-star hotel in Budpest, on the ground floor is the New York Cafe, popular with writers and artists in a previous time, now mostly popular with tourists. Marble floors and columns, crystal chandeliers, a piano player at a baby grand piano, lure us inside for a cappuchino, or an ice-cream cake. Built between 1891-1895, this beautiful building still delights its customers today.
I know it doesn't look like a cafe, but it is. It is also an English book-store, they have free wireless internet, and this lovely garden, where you can sit with a drink, read books forever or write your next book. There is another Massolit Cafe in Poland, so I had to identify this one, where I have been going often since I discovered it, near downtown Budapest, and my residence.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
From Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer: " Art is that thing having to do only with itself --the product of a successful attempt to make a work of art. Unfortunately, there are no examples of art, nor good reasons to think that it will ever exist. (Everything that has been made has been made with a purpose: I want to sell this, or I want this to make me famous and loved, or I want this to make me whole, or worse, I want this to make others whole.) And yet, we continue to write, paint, sculpt, and compose. Is this foolish of us?"
I recently finished reading: Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer. He's a master of words, and meaning. One example: "They renovated their house for the wedding, installing a porcelain toilet in the outhouse..." How often do we do foolish things in this venue, without seeing the forest for the tree? A beautiful phrase I'm still delighting in..."Tomorrow was over the horizon and would take an entire day to reach."
Saturday, July 28, 2012
These beautiful baths date from the 16th C. The main part of the baths has an octogonal plunge pool and four small corner pools with water at different temperatures. The baths have been totally modernized in recent years, and now include a swimming pool for mixed bathing. The baths run certain days for women only and most days for men only.
Friday, July 27, 2012
These are ancient baths, with very hot water (burning) if you'd take it naturally, so they cool the waters to different temperatures, you can choose your pool, or go a few minutes to each. Tuesdays is for women only, most other days is for men, and I think there is one day for mixed. So the exclusive one-sex days people have the option of wearing a bathing suit or not. I made several watercolors, and I had to work very fast, because the humidity in the air was such, that spontaneous droplets formed on my glasses, and on the paper!
Good to keep in mind: A shape must be countered by another shape in a reflexive manner. A good painting is not "symmetric" as in a mirror image, but balanced, whether a representative or abstract painting, should be balanced. A shape answers to another shape. A "symmetry" that is never ecstatic, but that it gives the painting rhytm, as in a private dance with each other, and evocates movement and flow...
Thursday, July 26, 2012
I was at the National Gallery in Budapest when I painted this view, from a table in the cafeteria.
Something to think about: "Take your practiced powers and stretch them out until they spam the chasm between two contradictions."--- Reine Maria Rilke.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Asa Bostrom is the artist with whom I am sharing this Residency in Budapest. She is from Sweden, she is a profoundly serious artist, writer, poet. She modeled for me to do this pastel portrait. I did not have proper materials, so I painted Arches watercolor paper with a layer of raw sienna watercolor, then used some old pastels, and colored pencils from the corner store. Not the right material, but definitely the right model. Asa is a wonderful artist and a beautiful person. You can see her work at her website: www.asabostrom.se
I was sitting on the Parliament side, waiting for the #2 Tramway, when I saw this small park, with beautiful trees, around some kind of bridge with a statue of a person standing on it. It looked quite appealing from the distance, so I made this watercolor sketch in my sketchbook without knowing what or who it was. Later I found out, this is a statue of Imre Nagy, ex- Prime Minister of Hungary, much loved by his country, who gave his life to support the people of Hungary, literally, he was assassinated. He now stands on the bridge, looking at Parliament.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The other night, I went for a walk in the most touristic downtown area of Budapest. I had a cup of coffee at a bar across the street from the Hard-Rock Cafe, so I painted this watercolor from there.
Carl Jung has said: "The Soul Speaks in Images."
I recently read: THE CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR, by Lisa Sonora Beam. A wonderful book with many ideas for creativity and entrepreneurship about our art. She must have read my mind when she says: "If you have professional -quality art supplies you've been saving to make something IMPORTANT with, then use them. There is satisfaction about using really good art supplies. It also sends a message to the subconscious mind that you are serious about the work you are doing." This is so wonderful! I immediately opened a new watercolor sketchbook I had been saving, and started using it, now that I have her permission!
Monday, July 23, 2012
You can see the Elizabeth Bridge, in Budapest, from this view point. Elizabeth is still a most adored queen in Hungary's past. You remember the story: "Sissi Emperatriz" was the movie I saw in Argentina as a young girl, and everybody knows "Sissy", as a most adorable young woman, playful, falling in love with her cousin, the next King of Hungary. Unfortunately, her life was not all roses after the first few years of marriage, she survived her husband's infidelities, the killing of her son, and was herself killed. The people of Hungary will always remember her as a lover of the common people. This is the beautiful white bridge with her name.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Same afternoon a few days ago, seating in the same place, just looking to the right, to the left, or in front of me, I managed to paint several ink-washes in a few minutes each. I am using the pens "Tombow", which are thin on one end, and brush-like at the other end. The ink bleeds quite well, so the minute you touch the design with a brush with water, it bleeds producing very nice effects.