Thursday, June 29, 2006

Fossil II

This was going to have a completely different palette. I had imagined it in monochromed earthy colors but my desire to play around with colored inks was stronger than my will to leave the ink alone and of course I ended up ruining the first layer except for the fossil itself. My only solution was to extend the black to the background and cover all of the ink mixes. In the long run those do give the whole piece some hints of color in the underpainting that do help. For the texture I use wall texturizer that I have used for years and have never had any cracking or loss of texture. I had to use oil stain to balance with and used oil paint for the final touch ups. All of this is on masonite 20X16.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I haven't been able to finish any of the four things I am working on. I would love to have another one of my mixed media fossil painting posted before I lose my inspiration. I am also working with water-based inks trying one of Maxine Masterfields techniques but have had to put that aside also and I would love to do another charcoal drawing for the Wild Animal in Charcoal class at Wet Canvas. Most of all I would like to finish the portrait I am working on and hope the following quote will not easily refer to this portrait.

"Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend".
John Singer Sargent,

We have a place in the country and after starting with one tom cat, two little females were left on my door step and now I have 8 cats that live on the roof top because they are afraid of the two Australian Heelers, that don't only herd the cattle but keep all of the cats on the roof. They only come down when they see that all is clear. This is becoming a problem being that the kittens are born on the roof tops and they will not let anyone come close to them.

I have no art work to post so I will post this photo I took on Saturday.

Monday, June 26, 2006

What to do?

"Develop your visual memory. Draw everything you have drawn from the model from memory as well. Realize that a drawing is not a copy. It is a construction in very different material. A drawing is an invention. The technique of painting is very difficult, very interesting. There is no end to the study of technique. Yet more important than the lifelong study of technique is the lifelong self-education. In fact technique can only be used properly by those who have definite purpose in what they do, and it is only they who invent technique. Other wise it is the work of parrots.

You can do anything you want to do. What is rare is this actual wanting to do a specific thing: wanting it so much that you are practically blind to all other things, that nothing else will satisfy you. When you, body and soul, wish to make a certain expression and cannot be distracted from this one desire, then you will be able to make a great use of whatever techinical knowledge you have. You will have clairvoyance, you will see the uses of the technique you already have, and you will invent more." From the book The Art Spirit by Robert Henri

The following drawing is from the Weekly Drawing Thread at Wet Canvas. Charcoal and white pitt pencil on pastel, tinted grey paper.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Frustration, again!

I haven't been posting because I have been working on a portriat that I have put aside since the Basic 101-class 34 at Wet Canvas ended because I got sidetracked. Anita Murphy is an excellent teacher in that class and if it wasn't for her and Reinhard, I would have stored this away, long ago. I seem to be having a terrible time with the mouth but I will post it anyway since if, I finally achieve what I'm after it will be worth the struggle.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

102 Class 4 Charcoal and Wildlife

We have been having a new class at Wet Canvas, tutored by Gavin Banns. I have always loved charcoal but still have to learn the technique well, to be satisfied with what I am doing.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Playing with ink.

I think this painting is much too busy but I will continue to play around with ink and watercolor until I come up with the suitable expression with which I would like to make a series of.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I miss you Daddy!

There's something like a line of gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.

John Gregory Brown

Saturday, June 17, 2006


"Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. To perform this difficult office it is sometimes necessary for him to sacrifice happiness and everything that makes life worth living for the ordinary human being."

Carl Jung:

Yestereday was one of those days where you try just about everything and don't succeed at anything. I hadn't worked on mixed media for a while so I decided to try out some new pigmented sands that I found at the art store. This piece is pigmented sand, gouche, ink and oil stain on masonite.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Another portrait

After the Colored pencil class we have had female and male portrait classes. My female portrait is still not finished so I prefer to post and update tomorrow. After these two classes we had a perspective class that I plan to go back to and after that a creativity class that I monitored. The chair and the female profile in the unusual format, is from that class. This bring my blog to the the present class which is sketching. Sketching seems to be my weakest spot because the fact of doing it fast, limits my drawing precision. I hope to do another sketch today and take a little more time with it.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Colored Pencil Portrait

One of the classes I enjoyed most of the of the Basic 101 classes at Wet Canvas, was the Colored Pencil Class with Cynthia Brunk. I used my grandaughter Ana Paula as my model for this class. This was an experience that I never thought I would have, being that CP requires so much time and patience. It is a technique I plan to try again in the future.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

More Drawings

"From the age of six I had a mania for drawing the shapes of things. When I was fifty I had published a universe of designs. but all I have done before the the age of seventy is not worth bothering with. At seventy five I'll have learned something of the pattern of nature, of animals, of plants, of trees, birds, fish and insects. When I am eighty you will see real progress. At ninety I shall have cut my way deeply into the mystery of life itself. At a hundred I shall be a marvelous artist. At a hundred and ten everything I create; a dot, a line, will jump to life as never before. To all of you who are going to live as long as I do, I promise to keep my word. I am writing this in my old age. I used to call myself Hokosai, but today I sign my self 'The Old Man Mad Abgout Drawing."

- Hokusai, The Drawings of Hokosai

The following drawings are an attempt in a sketching class in our Basic 101, a stippled Pen & Ink, a charcoal still life I set up for this purpose and a drawing for a fantasy class we had.

Monday, June 12, 2006

So I should draw first.

While browsing Wet Canvas I stumbled across the Drawing and Sketching forum. I had been painting for several years but felt I had several gaps in my art and one was drawing, so I decided to give it a try. I saw the Weekly Drawing Thread and was warmly welcomed by Diedre (Dee). I had no idea if I could draw what the rest were drawing but with encouragement from all, I soon began to learn. Shortly after that, JayD announced his Basic 101 Drawing Class. This has been an unforgettable experience in my life and I have no words to express the gratitude for the time and patience JayD and others involved have dedicated to this project. Some of these drawings are some of my favorites and are drawings that belong to the first classes such as, drawing metal, drawing glass, drawing water, still life for light and shade, a little sketching class, our Pen and Ink class, animal and charcoal drawing. Some belong to the Weekly Drawing Thread. I will include the portraits in another post of this blog.

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Happy Encounter

With very little computer knowledge, I came across Wet Canvas and registered. I think it took me two months before I built up the courage to post a timid question in the Mixed Media forum. I found my home there, quickly. With encouragement from members I started posting. The first project I joined was the ATC project and had a wonderful time trading artist cards with people from everywhere. The vessel card is rust powder, pumice stone and sand on gessoed card. The other two are oil over tissue paper on gessoed card.

One of the things I have learned at Wet Canvas is to tranfer images with the Jonothan Talbot technique. Recently Howard Cowdrick posted a very interesting demo of his technique which I hope to try soon. These two paintings are image transfers with oil pour on masonite.

At the moment all of my artistic endeavors have been in Drawing and Sketching forum of Wet Canvas and in the next post I will include some of that work until I update this blog to what I have been doing daily.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Symbols and Prehispanic Culture

I have always had a great admiration for Prehispanic Art and Culture and many times have tried to fuse the symbology with my everyday world. My passion for using materials such as sand, papers and fibers has never seized inspite of dedicating my time to drawing and graphite at the moment.

Still Experimenting

When I started using ecaustic and added gold leaf and different paper to it, plus powdered pigment dusted over at times and then fused with a hot gun, I was captivated by the way the intensity of the color would increase with the heat of the hot gun or the blow torch. I have always been audacious with my art but I have to admit that sometimes I have had disasterous results. This reminds me of a quote by French artist Robert Henri (1865-1929).

"I believe very much in the importance of a thorough study of the materials used. Their quality as to durability. An artist may not be a chemist but he can ascertain much from books written by authorities.

I believe in the study of technique. One should know as far possible all the possibilities of a medium" Robert Henri, from the book THE ART SPIRIT.

Monday, June 05, 2006

A Painful Aspiration

My desire to paint an abstract had become obsessive and I had no direction to paint one. At the same time I had heard of encaustics but no one around here had ever done any. I read what I could about it and had to to search impossible grounds to find the dry pigments needed to color my wax. I started off with the wrong kind of wax but fortuantely a few months after the painting was finished, it finally hardened to the brittle shiny content it should have. At this point one of my problems was composition. This particular painting is quite large 50"X50". I believe the larger the format the better an abstract painting looks.

"I have never been able to teach creativity in step-by-step exercises with common themes. That approach feels like an exercise class, although it no doubt helps people by giving clear and concrete procedures.

Perhaps I have never been able to tell another person what to make or how to make it, because I am ultimately interested in artistic expressions that emerge like images from a dream. For me art has to flow naturally from the streams of an individual person's experperience.

Creation is a process of emanation. Nothing will happen unless we start working and allow the practice of our particular disciplines to mix with the streams of ideas and experiences that are constantly moving through daily life. These currents are never "blocked". Therefore the practice of creation involves the ability to tap into them." Shaun McNiff from his book Trust the Process

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Golden Bough - Mixed Media

The Golden Bough is a book written by James George Frazer about magic and religion and although looking at the painting might not show any sign of interpretation of the book, it was my way of expressing at the moment of the painting, with a certain symbolism, my interpretation of the book. This painting was painted in 2001 using alternative materials such as sand, torn paper, photo copy collage,gold leaf and oil color.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Encaustic My Way

My first paintings were nature studies applying gesso with a palette knife to draw in my subject and using paint pours to bring it out. I eventually discovered encaustic over Mixed Media and became fascinated with this technique.

At The Beginning

This blog is about the constant search in my life, to find the style and medium with which I will be satisfied. It has been a search that started in 1989 with achievements, success and frustration. I started in a Mixed Media experimental workshop with no knowledge of drawing or composition. In spite of this, my instructor encouraged me to continue and start showing at collective shows in the city. Soon after that, I had my own solo shows and sold quite a bit of work. It wasn't until I came across Wet Canvas, that I realized that I practically knew nothing about drawing, composition, perspective and a lot of other things related to good art. I will always be very grateful to Alberto Mart├Čnez for his encouragement, teachings and dedication to me. He opened a world of alternative materials to create with and taught me to lose the fear of making a mistake.