Sunday, December 28, 2014
Monday, December 15, 2014
This is the oldest bridge in Prague. It is so old, that it cannot support car, buses or tramways. It is a walking bridge. It is so beautiful, that it is constantly full of people walking in both directions, even quite late at night. The views are magnificent, with the illuminated buildings on both sides of the Vltava river reflected on the water. The streets that lead up to the bridge on both sides, take you to the most turistic locations of Prague: to the castle on one side, and to the main downtown area on the other side. The towers and statues along the bridge are magnificent! Walking along Charles Bridge is must, when you are in Prague.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Cafe Louvre, in Prague, opened in 1902, one of the elite's of Prague's cafes. They achieved this reputation by organizing two concerts a day. Now a jazz club in the wine cellar, where Bill Clinton once played the saxophone.
Cafe Louvre used to be visited by those who belonged to the cream of the arts, literature, and science. Franz Kafka, Max Brod, and even Einstein, used to go there to meet friends and to do paperwork. They now serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a lovely tea for two in the afternoon.
Monday, December 8, 2014
When I returned from Europe two weeks ago, I found this beautiful orchid in my studio, a present from my lovely neighbor friend Mina. I had to immediately sit down and include it in my sketchbook.
Thank you, Mina!! So beautiful flu!!
Saturday, December 6, 2014
"Freedom is being able to choose your life. And your death."
"The eyes are what are most important in old people...."The eyes tell the story of their lives."
"Happiness needs only your consent."
Ms. Saucier won the Prix des Cinq Continents de la France with this book. It is a wonderful book I strongly recommend.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
In early November, there was enough sun and was not so cold in Prague, Czech Republic, to still enjoy some green trees and the view of the castle from the Hill of Petrin. After sketching plain air, I did this watercolor in the studio.
A funicular takes you up the steep hill, with the same ticket as the tramway or bus or metro. Prague has a fantastic public transportation system. For people between 60 and 70 years of age, it is half price. After 70, all public transportation throughout the city is free.
Monday, December 1, 2014
We were very lucky to be in Prague at the moment of the special exhibition of the Chinese Terracota Soldiers. The exhibition is amazing, huge, very well presented, you need several hours to really get a feeling for the magnificent presentation of this unique work of art 2,200 years old!!! These sculptures were found in Xian, China, at the end of the XXth C. They found over 8,000 sculptures of soldiers, no two faces are alike! They have a variety of clothing, of buttons on their clothes, of hair style, that reflects the high level of work the Chinese artists were doing over two thousand years ago!!! We have not learned anything!
Thursday, November 20, 2014
On a particularly cold morning, it felt so good to get into a Starbucks, order hot chocolate and a piece of carrot cake, and warm up for a while!
Made in 1410, later perfected by the Master Clockmaker Hanuš, this clock was an incredible marvel of technology in its time, even today, combining technique with astrology and ancient religious symbols. Lots of people wait every hour to see the 12 apostles march around, and hear the strikes of the hour. It surprised me that at ONE O'CLOCK, there was not ONE bell, but THIRTEEN. So it continues with "military time" till 24:00 hs = 24 bells striking. Beautiful! It is located in downtown Prague.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
The phrase "Wash your Dirty Money with my Art", I saw it written on a wall, at the entrance of a Contemporary Art Exhibition at a gallery in Prague. Here, in one blog publishing, you have two for the price of one: a little watercolor sketch of a train station building, and a fantastic phrase. You are so lucky!!And it has a lot of yellow, which my friend Elaine likes!!!
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
St. Vitus Cathedral, PRAGUE CASTLE , watercolor in my travel journal, painted plain air, while visiting the castle on a cold day. I didn't have enough warm clothes on, and caught a cold!
This Cathedral was started in 1344, gothic style, its last renovation was in 1929. This is the seat of the Archbishop of Prague, and the last residence of the most famous Czech men and women. There is a beautiful vitraux de Alfonse Mucha here, which gives the church a touch of modernity in this 700 year old beautiful building.
Monday, November 17, 2014
There you have it: a piece of the beautiful old building where the Rudolfinum Gallery of Contemporary Art is located, top left of the page. Then, bottom right, is my watercolor sketch of a photograph Ana Mendieta had taken of herself, covered in glue (not tar?) and feathers over her naked body, face and hair. Only her pubic hair and part of a breast are showing through the feathers. She also filmed herself naked and totally covered with "blood" as if she had been raped and murdered, while her friends called to the scene panicked and called the police. Ana Mendieta had an obsession with nature, blood, fire. She died very young, under suspicious circumstances.
The Church Our Lady of Loretto, in Prague, has an incredible jewel, called "The Sun of Prague". This was made with a donation from Countess Ludmilla de Kolourat, of 6,222 diamonds. Yes, six thousand two hundred and twenty two diamonds, which had been a gift of her third husband when she was 53 years old. So... three is a charm!! In her honor, the jewelers then made the gold center, with 53 rays. Please count, I drew 53 ink sticks in my sketch. There are so many cameras and guards in the bullet proof room where this big jewel is, that I had to obey the signs: no pictures.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
The name of the city is "PRAHA". In some languages, they change original geographical names, to a spelling and pronunciation considered easier in the language of the speaker. Unless it is something really unpronounceable, I believe it is not appropriate to change the original geographical name to whatever is more comfortable to you. Prague in English, and Praga in Spanish, are widely used. I propose these places do not exist. The city you can actually visit is called PRAHA.
Something similar happens with other places, like LONDON. This is an actual place, a real city. However, speakers of French and Spanish call it "Londres", each with their own pronunciation, far from the real name: "London".
Saturday, November 15, 2014
This park has been immortalized in Milan Kundera's novels. Most buildings are from XIX C. Beautiful parks, and a fun funicular takes you up there. A replica of the Eiffel Tower, 62 meters high, surprises and offers the best view of Prague. Walking up, 299 steps, built in 1891 for the Prague International Exhibition.
Beautiful architecture, gold rooftop and ceilings, built at the end of the XIX C. In spite of financial difficulties, it has kept its reputation for wonderful programs of opera, ballet, and dramatic arts.
All operas are sub-titled in English. Prices are between 100 and 1200 Kč ( between $5- $60 US dollars). I went to see The Bartered Bride, comic opera by Bdrich Smetana, the founding work of Czech opera. It was beautiful and fun!
Friday, November 14, 2014
About a week ago, when the moon was full, and the night sky clear, this was the view from my first story room in Prague. I couldn't help it, I had to paint it, even if it was a quick sketch. It was such a beautiful night! This is downtown Prague, where tramways pass by often, going in all directions. Prague has a fantastic public transportation system; efficient, fast, clean, and inexpensive.
It's practically impossible to draw all the details of each rooftop. They are so beautifully decorated, this city of Prague, in the Czech Republic, is a paradise of details and decorated buildings. Some of buildings are several centuries old, so I understand Mucha's inspiration for the posters that made him famous in Paris.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
The construction of the tower begun in 1348, when Charles IV was pursuing a grand-scale program as the future Holy Roman Empire. After paying a few Czech crowns and walking up about 150 steps, you have a wonderful view of Prague.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
This natural park was founded in 1885 by the Count Emanuel Silva-Tarouca. He used both native and introduced woody species. The result is an original masterpiece of garden landscape architecture that is of worldwide importance. The park, southeast of Prague, is a haven for a variety of organisms. It is a World Heritage Site.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Beautiful river in Sevilla, Spain, where two clubs on the river allow people to do canoeing, kayaking, and other water sports. La Torre del Oro, where once the Spanish conquerors deposited the gold they brought from the Americas, stands still, watching time go by...
I painted this sketch while navigating in a turist cruise along the river at sunset.
The author of this book is a violinist, who studied in Boston, directed orchestras. She has received a literary prize for her book "Forgotten Dreams" (2012). I was impressed with her resume.
The book deals with Michaelangelo Buonarroti, in 1505, when he leaves Rome for Carrara, to get the marbles for the tomb of Julius II, and to spend time alone. The book disappointed me somewhat, I guess I expected more. Interesting story.
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Thursday, November 6, 2014
One of the paintings in exhibition at the LATIN ART GALLERY, Jungmannova 17/3, Praha 1, Czech Republik. The exhibition starts today, you are invited to the Opening Reception today Thursday, November 6, 2014, at 18:00 hs (6:00 pm) Come for the wine, stay for the art!
Hope to see you here tonight!!Espero verlos aqui esta noche!! J'espere vous voir ici ce soir!!!!!
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
A few years ago, they started excavating in downtown Sevilla to build a much needed underground parking, and found: treasure!!! Ancient ruins from the Phoenicians and Romans dating back more than 2000 years! Among them, beautiful tile floors of ancient homes, workshops, etc. They built a very modern, interactive museum with their findings instead of the proposed parking space.
This is the most comprehensive collection of archaeological treasures from this city. I strongly recommend visiting it. It is underneath "Las Setas", a modern structure in the shape of mushrooms, in front of Plaza de la Encarnacion, downtown Sevilla.
Saturday, November 1, 2014
I painted this quick sketch viewed from the corner across.
He would have been 133 years old.
To celebrate his birthday, they had prepared thousands of birds "palomas", his favorite bird, and hang them from the entrance door, plus all over the square, and different balconies around the square.
Here is the picture of the same corner, with the colorful paper "palomas":
Visiting the Picasso Museum in Malaga, Spain, I discovered this "Acróbata", painted in Paris in 1930. The capricious disposition presents the figure in a rotation movement without end. The original painting is square, which may suggest you can hang it from any angle. We could actually rotate it, and the figure almost seems to move around, reminiscent of a circus, or even the Cirque du Soleil.
Impressive!!! He did this in 1930!!!
Friday, October 31, 2014
La Campana is a wonderful bar with outdoor tables, in the heart of Sevilla. This is where the classy calle Sierpes ends, and a few steps from this corner you can visit the 5 story high El Corte Inglés, and have a glass of Cava (champagne) in the terrazza, overlooking the city.
Or, from this same corner, you can walk a few steps in the opposite direction, and visit "Las Setas", and its incredible museum: Antiquarium de Sevilla. Either way, Sevilla has it all, ancient, ultramodern, and you hear English, French, and a few other languages as often as Spanish!
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Visiting the MACBA, Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona, I saw the temporary exhibit: Art and Language. The one which impressed me the most was the collection about Martha Minujin's PARTHENON DE LIBROS, which she presented in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1983. She actually had a building similar to the Parthenon, built with metal tubes, from which they hung thousands of books wrapped in plastic for protection. Thousands of books. A Parthenon of books. Impressive and beautiful!
Monday, October 27, 2014
Las Ramblas, that wonderful avenue full of people, flowers, outside bars, tree-covered souvenir shops, tourists, well-dressed people, poorly-dressed people, people of all colors, shapes, shades, religions, intentions, desires and dreams, this avenue starts in Plaza de Cataluña. I tried several times to walk it to the end, on the Mediterranean sea, but couldn't, not because it is too long, but because it is too interesting! So many places stopped me and engaged me!
Including, of course, stopping to paint. Voila! Enjoy!
Walking along Las Ramblas in Barcelona is one of the pleasures of this city, particularly when the weather is so warm and lovely as we have had these past few days.
One evening we found "El Museo del Jamon", amazing!! Beautifully set up, you can learn the history and different ways of feeding the pigs to produce the best hams ever! You can not only see but also taste the differences in their fabulous tasting rooms, or have a wonderful dinner of cheeses, hams, salads, delicious breads, good wine....is your mouth watering already?
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Barcelona is a very international city, I hear French, English, Spanish, Catalan, and a few other languages, some I cannot identify. Dress code is also international, free and creative, like its incredible buildings. I visited MACBA, the Contemporary Art Museum, and loved the building more than the art inside, just like the Guggenheim in Bilbao. The MACBA building, all white and glass, without barriers, is the brain child of Richard Meier.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Beautiful citadel, high up on a hill, buildings in stone, and classic gardens overlooking the river. There is an old bridge nearby, from the XII C. , where the open air market takes place every Saturday morning. That's right, on the walking bridge. Beautiful town, Terrasson, about an hour from Brive la Gaillard in France.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Mucha was from Prague, the Check Republic, and became famous in Paris, almost overnight. He designed one poster for Sarah Bernhardt, and she loved it so much, she immediately offered him a 5 year contract. His posters were a fantastic success, contributing to the birth of Art Nouveau.
His best works show figures with a longing look, almost in a hipnotical state. His own immersion in art was often in a state of trance. His drawings and pastels show he never stopped drawing.
We should learn from him. Never stop, keep drawing, practice, practice!
Saturday, October 18, 2014
They are all Hermaphrodites. Some are simultaneous hermaphrodites, while others are sequentials. The simultaneous have both sexes all their lives and use them according to who's their partner. The sequential hermaphrodites, like the "poisson-clown", are born with one sex that can change according to the needs of the group.
It is nature. It is their nature.
This lake "lac de Gaube" is after the famous waterfalls "Pont d'Espagne", near Cauterets, France. Lisa Marie Evans is a video artist who did a creative residency with me. At the end of her residency, offered a film in creative animation, presented at the Bibliotheque de Cauterets. It was very well received.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
While resident artist in Cauterets, France, I was invited to paint plein-air in this beautiful place, with a group of beginner artists, including Theo, a 12 year old artist from the region. It is very interesting the way the French refer to a "beginner" artist, they are called: "artist en herbe" = "artist who has started to grow like grass" (at the ground level, I guess it means). Idiomatic expressions are always funny when translated from or to another language.
Le Clot is behind Le Pont d'Espagne, a beautiful waterfall in this region, up high in the Pyrénées.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Saturday, September 27, 2014
This is the view from the window of our hotel room in St. Jean de Luz, a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. This is a lovely town! This quick sketch is in my "carnet de voyages", travel sketchbook. Enjoy!!
Friday, September 26, 2014
We happened to arrive the first day of the San Sebastian International Film Festival. It was very interesting and fun. We saw some stars walking down the red carpet, tons of people everywhere, and one movie that day: HAPPY TO BE DIFFERENT, an Italian movie-documentary about older gay people who suffered discrimination from society, and even their own families, when they were younger, in the 50s, 60s and 70s. It was beautifully done, a wonderful movie.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Minnie Valero: L'ESPLANADE DES OEUFS, Cauterets, France, watercol...: L'ESPLANADE DES OEUFS , Cauterets, France, watercolor, 16x24 in. Started as a demonstration painting at the "Esplanade", an...
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Started as a demonstration painting at the "Esplanade", an open area in the center of town in Cauterets, France, I later finished this painting in the studio. It is now hanging at the show in the Library in Cauterets. Come see the show! The two weeks of watercolor workshops just finished today.
La semaine prochaine, le cours de pastel commence: mardi, mercredi et jeudi, 15:00-18:00 hs. Enregistrement à la Bibliothèque de Cauterets, ou appellez: 07.81.96.24.15 le cours est au Club House, près du tennis. Matèriel fourni, 60 Euros/persone, 10 personnes maximum. Merci.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Completed last month, and brought to the town of Sireix, in the French Pyrénées, for her parents. This young woman died very young, soon after her baby son was born. Her parents were happy with the portrait.
Before you start a painting, in whatever medium you are using, watercolor, pastel, acrylic or oil, you must first consider the composition. Where will you place your subject? What will be your most important area in the painting? Cold or warm colors? How will you arrange the different shapes? There is a lot to consider before you pick up the brush or the piece of chalk, or the pencil. Usually, when you start painting, the painting is already done in your head.
Friday, August 29, 2014
I was reading the lives of famous French women, who have done something special to be remembered. Eugenia was born in Spain, in 1826, to well educated parents, the Counts of Teba. Her mother was a modern aristocrat, travelling all over Europe with her daughter since she was very young. This is almost 200 years ago!
Eugenia and Luis Napoleón fell in love when she was 23, on a visit in France. They got married a year later. She was intelligent and contributed to make the Suez Canal a reality, which she inaugurated in 1869. She worked hard in the social sphere, among other things: improve the condition of women, at work and more schooling for young women. She supported George Sand when they wanted to suspend her publications. She visited victims of cholera in 1865 and 66. During WWI, she offered her hatch to organize an ambulance for the sick, etc. She died in 1920, at 94 years of age. She's my heroine!!!
Sunday, August 24, 2014
I am home, when I arrive to the Pyrénées. The train stops : Muret, first stop. Later we continue, I can't read my book, I'm addicted to looking out the window, looking at these beautiful mountains I fell in love with ten years ago. I can't stop smiling. I am home.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Painted in La Jolla, California, last month. It is in exhibition in my studio at The Glashaus, 1815 Main Street, San Diego, CA 92113. Visits to my studio are available by appointment only, since I am painting in France at the moment. To make an appointment, call Ernesto Aeberhard: (USA) 949-338-1446.
Next week, a three hour workshop at La Raillère, Cauterets, France, 2:00-5:00 pm. To register, send me an email or contact the library in Cauterets: (France) 05.62.92.59.96.
La semaine prochaine, un stage de peinture à La Raillère, Cauterets, France, 14:00-17:00 hs. Enregistrement à la bibliothèque de Cauterets, France: 05.62.92.59.96 ou envoyez moi an email.