I worked on these Saturday afternoon but I now see that I have to go back and work on more contrast. I also made the mistake of spraying fixative over them to transport back home and it seems that quite a bit of the pastel blew away.
I have been taking a figure drawing class at our new art center, here in town. The class consists of three hours, three times a week, with live model on two days. I have taken three weeks so far, and find it very challenging but worthwhile. We are working with line drawing and fast gesture drawings without looking at the paper, in either case. My main interest in this class is to loosen up a bit and in this way help me in whatever medium I work in. While at my computer today, I got a call from a close friends that loves to talk, fortunately I had my newsprint pad and pen close to me. Before I knew it I had it on my lap and was trying to sketch the sofa in front of me, but quickly found that not thinking of what I was doing and just scribbling, was a much better way to disconnect and just enjoy gesture drawing. I'm sure this could use a lot more work but it is just and exercise, so I will leave it as it is.
Alberto Martinez 1942-2009. Almost 20 years ago I decided to enroll in a drawing class at the Instituto Potosino de Bellas Artes. I was welcomed by an interesting individual with a mustache like that of Dali and a resemblance to him, quite tall with the elegance and the dignity of a Mexican folklore ballet dancer. This was Alberto, a very talented dancer and a prize winning, superb artist. After two weeks of drawing class he told me, that if I was interested in taking his experimental workshop at the Institute, I could draw well enough for his class. ( I realize Experimental Art and Mixed Media Art, can be executed without great skills in drawing.) He was a teacher that taught me how to lose the fear of ruining what I was working on, and to have the courage to experiment and create with the heart and soul. He also taught me to use a great array of different materials you would usually not use together, and maybe some of his teachings could be called a little unorthodox, but they brought great satisfaction when something would cause a unique effect, that would work artwise. At times I would get frustrated and he would say "turn the painting to the wall and look at it in two weeks, if you don't like it then, you cover it with gesso and start all over again." Every Wednesday morning I would still get together with him, and my friend and classmate Vivi, at her house. We would work a little, or just usually chat over a cup of coffee. One of the last things he said to me was that he would like to see and exhibition of mine, consisting of many more of the charcoal pieces I have done under the mentorship of Michael Newberry. This Wednesday Alberto didn't show up, and unfortuantely, news came today that he had passed away yesterday.
Alberto didn't have a website, like niether do many of the well known local artists here do, they sell their work by having solo exhibitions several time a year, and I don't have any work of his to show either.
I made this photo collage of some very old work I did in his class as a tribute to him today, and unfortuantely they are not of the best of many pieces I did have. Those that I don't have, all belong to someone else, and I don't even have photographs of them. Most of these pictures were taken with a 35mm camera and I scanned them today, so I apologize for the unorganized and quick work, but I didn't want this day to go by without my sharing the loss of this dear friend.
I have been working on this charcoal piece for about a month but I realize that it is so highly detailed in the reflexions, that it has kept me from posting other work on my blog. I think this will be the last of very detailed pieces, and I would like to do some much more simple but strong still lifes. I have this thing about finishing the work I have started before starting anything else because the set ups take up the space I need for something else, although it also might be the idea of not getting back to the piece, if I work on another piece. I am seriously going to work on changing that trait in me, and also post more WIPs if I don't finish a piece, soon. This one has quite a bit more work to be done and quite a few corrections. I know Michael Newberry is very busy with the opening of his gallery, so it probably won't be until after that, when he will be able to see this. One question I have in my mind about this charcoal still life is, if it is way to busy with the amount of detail going on in it. The peach is very small for the size of the pitcher, but it is done intentionally because of what it symbolizes next to this myriad of detail. It is also a Mexican peach that is very small, but incredibly juicy a tasteful. This will not be the final peach because I will leave it to the very last, until I find the exact peach to use for the drawing.
It has been such a long time since I last posted, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working on art. I have several plein air paintings to edit, a pastel to repeat and I am working on a new charcoal. My intention was to do an easy charcoal so that I could finish it fast, but when I start gathering objects I always end up with something a little more elaborate that what I had in mind. So far I have almost half readable, and I soon plan to post a WIP. I keep discovering things in it that hace a lot to do with the story behind it, making this journey exciting and fun.
In the meantime I will post this picture of some cactus flowers I came across in one of my outings at the ranch. I love this season because all of these exotic plants bloom this time of year and I ask mysel how a plant that can look so vicious and maybe unattractive to some, can offer such gorgeous colors in its flowers.
When I first set this up, my idea was to paint an almost white painting but when I put the light on the set up, the satin and bottle both took up so many different colors, that it was a little overpowering and confusing. I don't know what suggestions will be made by Michael Newberry yet because this is one of several that I am getting together for our next session. I have tried to stay away from glass because it just seems so much more difficult to convey with paint than it is with graphite or charcoal. So this was a challenge that will seduce me to try painting more glass in oil.
It has been a long time since I have posted but as you all know I was quite busy. I want to have several other pieces done before sending these to Michael Newberry, getting advice and his opinion, so I will post them as unfinished pieces. I have noticed that if I don't continue in spite of not wanting to post until I am sure of a piece, I tend to lose interest and after being away from Art about a month, I better keep moving.:)
Today is the 5th of January and I had not had a chance to wish all of you a happy New Year from my blog. Although I know my blog should be about art and not family and work life, but regardless of this, what surrounds the artist, always has an affect of somekind on the art we try to produce. The truth is, my famlily life has been very active in these last few weeks that I really haven't had a chance to produce any art, but I do paint with my eyes as the colors, shapes, shadows of objects come in contact with them.
Beto and I spent our New Year's Eve at the ranch with our son Juan Carlos, his wife Sofia, and our two youngest grandchildren. It was our other two sons turn to share the last day of the year with their laws. We had an early dinner of cheese fondue and cold cuts, retired early and started a normal work day at the ranch. Beto got his irrigation system running and got a good sprinkle in the process of waiting for the camera shutter to click.
I couldn't help but sharing the photo of our youngest grandson Juan Carlos because at three months, he has never tasted anything close to what is on that cracker as his only food is still formula, but you can tell by the expression, his double chin and cheeks that he would enjoy so much getting some of that into his mouth.:)
I hope everyone will have a prosperous and healthy year. In spite of my year being very busy until the middle of February, I will try to paint what time will permit, post my work and read and comment on so many of my favorite blogs. Till then!
I live in Mexico and dedicate myself to my family, art and life. This blog is about my artistic passions, satisfactions and frustrations, from the moment I started in this search to where I believe I am today.