Saturday, May 23, 2009

Goodbye to a good friend and teacher

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.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Charcoal WIP

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.