Sunday, October 27, 2013
Le "petit" (small) Palais, in Paris, was built for the 1900 Universal Exhibition, like its neighbor, the Grand Palais. It houses a magnificent collection of decorative murals and sculptures created between 1903 and 1925. The architect Charles Girault wanted to lend his building the grandeur and dignity of an official palace and created a program of work designed to glorify the city of Paris, and celebrate the benefits of art. This is the view from the garden, where I was sitting sketching in ink, and then put some color into it. I used sepia ink, then some watercolor. It is a huge, beautiful, very elegant building. Nothing in it is "petit", but it is smaller in comparison with the "grand" Palais. In the galleries around the garden, Paul Baudouin painted a huge vista of vines interspersed with medallions featuring the months of the year, and the hours of the day and night. Then three large sections of the vaulted ceiling are painted with feminine allegories of the Seasons. Gorgeous! Not to be missed!
Here in Paris, at the Musee d'Orsay, this is the leading painting for the excellent exhibition: ALLEGRO BARBARO: Béla Bartók et la Modernité Hongroise 1905-1920.
Young Hungarian artists were living in Paris at the beginning of the XXth C., and they would spend thieir summers in Hungary, painting in plein-air. At the same time, Bartók published his "Fourteen Bagatelles" for piano, dissonant, revolutionary, radically different. Music and painting were working together. Bartók would play during the painters exhibitions.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
At the Musee d'Orsay, in Paris, I had the great opportunity of enjoying the temporary exhibition: "Béla Bartók and the Hungarian Modernity 1905-1920". In music and in painting, the same spirit of renewal was vibrating in Hungary and Paris. A group of Hungarian painters and the musician Bartók, were visiting Paris for different periods of time, enjoying the art scene Parisienne. This is Robert Bereny's masterpiece, in oil. I did a quick watercolor in my art notebook to remember this beautiful painting: Dans la Rue = En la calle.
Friday, October 25, 2013
I've recently read, admired, enjoyed beautiful watercolors by Jean Christophe Pierre in his book: COULEURS DE BIGORRE. I learned some details about this area of Southern France, and enjoyed Pierre's watercolors. They are very traditional, lots of details, and beautifully done. Sometimes I do work like that, whatever gets into me to work very detailed. But most of the time I prefer to work more loosely, faster, and get more into the mood of the moment than in the detail.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
I was a few days in Arcachon, a beautiful and elegant beach city near Bordeaux, in France. One day I was looking for postcards, and found a series of 10 envelopes each with a scene of Arcachon. Since I had white writing paper, I painted in watercolor, in the corner, one scene on each paper sheet. Then I wrote letters to friends. Each one received a letter with an original watercolor, matching the photograph on the envelope. They were happy. One of my friends even framed the letter!
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Only the swans are missing! But at the moment I painted this small watercolor, the swans were somewhere else, I guess. They are often swimming around this area of Annecy, on the East of France.
I've just finished reading Katherine Pancol's LES YEUX JAUNES DES CROCODILES, original in French. The literal translation is: "The yellow eyes of crocodiles", but who knows how the offcial translation will be when it appears in English, or maybe it already has? It's a novel placed in Paris, France, about fear, low self-esteem, redemption, happiness, lies and truth, about men and women, about who we are and who we want to be, it's full of laughs and tears, it's about life. I enjoyed it very much, I recommend it, if you can find a translation.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Le Béarn is one of the regions of France, with its own distinctive architecture, wines, foods, accent, veggies, and agricultural life style.
Looking through my older watercolors, in my art storage in France, I found this one on Yupo I painted over 6 years ago. It's still not too bad, although today I'd paint it more loose, and the colors in the front and the building would be more varied. I find lots of mistakes here, but I still like it a bit, I can't get myself to cut it up and throw it away. You cannot tear Yupo. If you really want to get rid of a painting on Yupo you have to wash it, since a lot of pigment will go away with water and brush, and then you have to cut it up with scissors. Enjoy looking at the problems on this painting, and send me a comment, let's see how many points of improvement you can find!!
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
WINNER: Prix de Peinture a plein air: St. Sever de Rustan, 2011.
This painting is hanging at the Agence Immobiliere/Galerie Bordenave, in Cauterets, France, where it can be seen, enjoyed, and purchased. It is for sale.
"Inspiration exists, but it must find you working!" --- Pablo Picasso
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Painted a couple of years ago, while I was in Boquete, Panama, surrounded by Panameñan people from different ancestry: Spanish, and Gnobe-Bugle. This girl is wearing the typical dress of the Gnobe-Bugle women, in bright colors, and decorated with ribbons in zig-zag. Also, the cut of the dress seems to be made to de-emphasize the "feminine curves", yet this young girl attracted my eye as she walked past me, on her way to school.
I was able to quickly capture her image with my camera, and later I painted her in pastel (this version here) and in oil on burlap coffe bag. Enjoy!
Sunday, October 13, 2013
"Every portrait that one paints with soul is a portrait, not of the model, but of the artist."--Oscar Wilde.
"A painting is a poem that one can see instead of feel, and poetry is a painting that one can feel instead of seeing it." --Leonardo da Vinci.
"It's the canvas of nature that the imagination has embroidered." --Voltaire
Thursday, October 10, 2013
This last weekend in Bordeaux, France, I visited the art gallery IMAGINE, where I saw a beautiful display of Josepha's sculptures. Josepha exhibited her work at this same gallery 20 years ago, and now again. She makes sexy, fun, intelligent women. Her woman is sensual, voluptuous, and yet fragile and a dreamer. It's a pleasure to see this exhibit!
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
What a beautiful city! Bordeaux, on the river La Garonne, an elegant city with beautiful water fountains, the river, incredible bridges, excellent wines, and good friends. What more can one wish? I even had good weather! I had a fabulous weekend in Bordeaux, and now it's back to work, continuing my watercolor workshops in France. My friend Daniele Hoursiangou, journalist and poet in Bordeaux, has recently published another book of poems: Territoires Caches. (Hidden Lands). From there, I'm copying this poem, in its original French:
Rage du vainqueur
Tout est cru comme cuirasses au soleil
Mon propre sang m'attaque
Douleur de mes yeux
Tenailles sur mes vaisseaux trop tendres
Les broussailles glaces
Le vent aigu et les bois gris
Tout passera. "
Friday, October 4, 2013
Salis de Bearn is a small town in the Pyrenees in France. What's so interesting about it is that most of the town is built on stilts, because water flows all around it. I guess similar to Venice, only here the water is very low, and it is not totally an island, like Venice. Yupo, as you may know, is a non-absorbent surface, 100 % prolypopilane. It doesn't absorb the water or THE PIGMENT. Thus, the watercolors remain bright, like when you first put them down on paper. The water evaporates, and all the pigment remains. It takes longer to dry than on regular paper, but it's worth the wait! I love working on Yupo!
Thursday, October 3, 2013
La Nonette is a river in the area of Senlis and Chantilly, north of Paris. This painting and 23 others, are hanging at the Bibliothèque Municipal d'Argeles-Gazost, France. The solo show has started on October 1st, and tomorrow Friday, at 18:00 hs (6:00pm) is the Vernissage (opening reception) at the Bibliothèque. YOU ARE ALL INVITED!!!
I've just finished reading: LA LISTE DE MES ENVIES (The list of my desires) by Grégoire Delacourt. The story of a haberdashery owner, who comes into fortune, but keeps it to herself...for a while. She questions the benefits and problems of being able to offer oneself everything one can desire. It is a beautiful story, which invites us to revisit our own list of wishes and desires. I strongly recommend it.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
A few years ago, my friend Frank asked me to paint this image. He wanted to offer this image as a present to his wife, Marisa. Frank and I were talking about this image without her knowledge. I decided to paint it in watercolor, which was Marisa's favorite medium. After Frank gave the framed watercolor to Marisa, we all laughed very much at the "secrecy" of our communications, when dealing with the request and later delivery of the painting.
Today, I offer this publication in honor of Frank. Marisa left us at the beginning of this year, and Frank has recently left us, to join his dear wife. They had shared 56 years of marriage, and the love of children, grandchildren, and many friends. Goodbye Frank!