Thursday, May 31, 2012

Adventure is Worthwhile in Itself

"Adventure is Worthwhile in Itself", said Amelia Earhart, the first woman who conquered many "firsts" in flying. This is the next page of my sketchbook: Travel With Minnie. I related with pictures, and words,  artistic highlights of the year 2011 for me, books read which impressed me, museum visits, travels, people I shared my life with. You can see the original starting tomorrow June 1st, till the 20th of June at THE POP-UP  GALLERY, Oakland, California. After that it will go to Greater Boston from July 6-8, then to Portland, Maine, July 12-14, and Toronto, Canada July 18-22. The sketchbooks are doing their World Tour before returning to the Brooklyn Art Library in Brooklyn, New York, at the end of the year.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery, beautiful book! I couldn't put it down for days after I'd finished reading it. I strongly recommend it. The original is in French. The picture on the right, is my painting: Casablanca Girls, oil on canvas, 12x24" (30x60 cm.)  I painted it after my sketches and photographs of my trip to Casablanca in 2009. What a great city!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Impossible Things

"There is no use trying, one can't believe impossible things..." said Alice in Wonderland, page 6 of my Travel With Minnie Sketchbook 2011. It is now doing the World Tour, it just left Los Angeles, for Oakland.  You can see this one and many other sketchbooks from June 1st to the 20th at the Pop Up Library, Oakland, California. The Sketchbook Project people are extremely well organized, young, fun, responsible, friendly and helpful. You can't miss it!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Good News!

Good News!, ink, pencil and charcoal, March page of my 2011 Sketchbook: "Travel With Minnie", the original will be  in Oakland, CA, from June 1-20...check it out!

My original pencil and pastel portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, is 20x16, then I photographed my painting, and printed and pasted it on that page of my notebook. I visited the exhibition in iami8bit gallery, 2147 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, this past weekend, it was awesome! On Friday, there were long lines of people to get a library card with which you could check out two sketchbooks and read them there, then come back for more. I went with my friend Lily, we each checked out two notebooks, then exchanged them with neighbors sitting up the stairs, had a glass of wine, and enjoyed the energy, good humor, concentration, friendship, and wonderful vibes coming from everybody there! The Sketchbook Project has a fantastic organization, way to go!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Best Painting

My Best Painting is the next one, said Ted De Grazia. Another page in my sketchbook: "Travel With Minnie " This sketchbook, prepared for the Brooklyn Art Libray, in Brooklyn, New York, is doing the World Tour through Chicago, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Oakland, Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Austin, London, Melbourne, then back to the Brooklyn Art Library, in New York, it's permanent home. It will be in Los Angeles this coming weekend, and I'll be there:  iam8bit : 2417 Sunset Boulevard (almost corner with Alvarado), 7:00-11:00pm. Come see the sketchbooks! There are hundreds of them!

The Gift and the Work by Emile Zola

"The Artist is Nothing without the Gift, THE GIFT IS NOTHING WITHOUT THE WORK" quote by Emile Zola. These are the following pages of my TRAVEL WITH MINNIE 2011 sketchbook. Mine and hundreds other sketchbooks are doing a "World Tour", in the USA and Canada, for several months, then they will rest permanently in the Broklyn Art Library, in Brooklyn, New York. This coming weekend, May 25th and 26th, they will be available for checking them out and reading at iam8bit, 2417 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. Come check it out!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Beauty Suspends the Desire to be Elsewhere

"Beauty Suspends the Desire to be Elsewhere", (Ian Roberts)second page of my sketchbook: Travel With Minnie. Written and painted in 2011, it is making the Tour of the USA and Canada during 2012, to return at the end of the year to the Brooklyn Art Library, in Brooklyn, New York, where it will become part of their permanent collection. You can see the original sketchbook, touch it and read it this weekend  at  iam8bit, 2417 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. Come to the Opening Reception Party, Friday May 25th, from 7-10pm. I will be there! See you !

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain, watercolor, 4x6. Available.
Ellen Kullman, Chairman and CEO of Du Pont, recently interviewed in the Fortune 500 magazine, says she learned from her father, at an early age that "if you don't water your plants, they will die." She transforms that advice into her motto: "Invest yourself in what you are building in order for it to grow." I'm taking that advice to our field: art, and say: "Invest yourself in your work, practice and learn, learn and practice, and your work will improve, you will grow and your spirit will soar."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Only You...watercolor on Yupo

ONLY YOU... watercolor on Yupo, 20x26".

Available, being auctioned at the MINNIE VALERO AND MARIKO IRIE 2012 show at Gallery 21, Spanish Village Art Center, Balboa Park, San Diego, California. Minimum bid is $320.-increments of $20.- please.  You need not be present to bid, and win. Send your bid by email at , indicating your name, phone number and email, and amount of bid. Bid starts RIGHT NOW! and it will close at 6:00pm (California time) Sunday, May 20th. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Closing Reception, Auction

PEREGRINO, oil painting on coffee bag, 30x22. Available.

 CLOSING RECEPTION at Gallery 21, Spanish Village Art Center, Balboa Park, San Diego, California, on Sunday May 20th, 3:00-6:00pm. Silent Auction of some pieces of  artwork by Minnie Valero and Mariko Irie. Original and beautiful landscapes and figures. Come for the wine, stay for the art!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Market Day in Cauterets, France

Market Day in Cauterets, France. watercolor, 12x16, available.
Most good design involves the concept of opposites:
light and dark,
big and small,
straight and curved,
smooth and textured,
soft and hard edges,
simple and complex,
warm and cool,
opaque and transparent.
It's good to learn something new every day!

Gaslamp Quarter over Paris

Gaslamp Quarter over Paris, acrylic and collage San Diego, California scene over a map of Paris. 17x23". Available.  This is one of the paintings at Gallery 21, Spanish Village Art Center, Balboa Park, San Diego, California show: Minnie Valero and Mariko Irie 2012.  Open every day from 11:00am to 5:00pm. Come see our show!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Balboa Park III, San Diego, watercolor

Balboa Park III, San Diego, California, watercolor, 6x9, available.
This is one of the small watercolors in exhibition at Gallery 21, in the Spanish Village Art Center, Balboa Park, San Diego, California. This  two women show, "Minnie Valero and Mariko Irie 2012" opened on the 9th of May and it will continue until the 21st. Come to the park, stroll along the beautiful water fountains, enjoy the museums, the gardens and flowers, see our show and buy a painting!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Follow Me, watercolor

Follow Me, watercolor, 9x14, available.
Pliny's One-Man encyclopedia: born in the year 23 of our era,  he read taking notes, because, he said: "no book is so bad as not to contain something good." Pliny wrote a masterpiece of information called Historia Naturalis, around the year 50 A.D. He wrote about "everything known to exist throughout the earth". In the year 79 he was in the Bay of Naples, with his 17 year old nephew, when the Vesubius started erupting. He died, like everybody else in Pompeii. He was 56 years old.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Double Dipping, watercolor

Double Dipping, watercolor, 6x4" (15x10cm.) available.
How do you get a style? It is the SUM TOTAL of all the workshops, all the shows, all the museum visits, all the art books and art magazines you have read, all the paintings you have painted, the good and the bad ones. In the beginning, you want to paint like "so and so", then, as you get more experience in all the areas I have mentioned, you start developing your own style.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Croissy-sur-Seine, France

Croissy-sur-Seine, France, pastel, 12x16 (30x40 cm.) Available. Painted on location, in Croissy-sur-Seine. This is a town near Paris, on the same river, le Seine, where the Impressionists used to get together for fun, wine, dancing, and painting. Today, the town re-enacts those days one hundred years ago, by having a yearly art festival, where town people dress in period costumes, walking around the gardens. Meanwhile, painters are working hard at their paintings, plein air, for about 3 hours. Then everybody is invited to bring their paintings to the main hall, and the judges judge them then and there, at noon. Awards, wine and food, laughter and music follow.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Celebration, watercolor on Arches, 14x20" (35x50cm.) This painting is from 2006. I did quite a few  still-lifes that year.
I've just finished reading  PACEM IN TERRIS,  a love story by Frederick Franck. The love story of building this house/home as a spiritual retreat, open to everybody, free. It's a beautiful book, on loan to me by my friend Frank. He knows what's good for your soul. "I knew, for sure, where my drawings came from: The pen became the seismographic needle that traced down the tremors on the retina."  "The meaning of life is to see."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cauterets, France, watercolor

Cauterets, France. watercolor, 4.5x10" (12x25cm.) Available.
Guillaume is a Colombian-American sculptor who works out with his hands his feelings of love for his family. I recently saw his work at La Quinta Art Festival, near Palm Springs, in California. He struck me as a sensitive artist, who is happy with his work, and his work is beautiful, elegant, romantic, and honest. Check him out, at