Monday, December 28, 2009

the acrylics odyssey

now that Christmas is over and 4 extra pounds magically showed on the scales this morning, it's time to think about all the work that i planned to finish until the year is over. i am happy that i took a picture of "The Mirror" after almost having the penciling done...

... and having messed it up really bad with the acrylics - which i don't dare to show it here.

I am always doing stuff like that - trying something without a previous study or experimentation. shame on me.

acrylics are a very versatile medium. today i learned that it can reach the same transparency of watercolors, with no need of hundreds of layers to make the colors to pop out. besides, watercolors tend to get muddy when you want to build opaque areas, and acrylics can give you beautiful areas of solid color without struggle. at first, it was a little difficult for me to handle the vigor of my new paints, since i am so used to the delicacy of the watercolors; but with a little bit of patience and caution, i began to feel more at ease.

starting over from scratch:

this time, leaving the penciling for last.  i also loved how the underpainting came out vibrant. will this be the end of the watercolor era in my career?

some of my school mates used to find it funny that i use a white tile as a pallette. white tiles are the best, very easy to clean and work great with the acrylics!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

in progress: The Mirror

i still feel sick. i have moments in the day when i feel more energetic; in others i just want to lay in bed. feel sick to my stomach. still the pressure inside my head. the sad thing is that i totally know why i am that sick - just don't have the resources to fix it and the people that could help me are miles away. so, i stay strong. i always do. i am a warrior. but i don't know for how long though. there's a limit for everything.

but anyway, concentrating in art is always a big help - when you have the energy to do so - and right now i am trying to work in the last illustration for Liquid Dreams. it is called The Mirror. 

the poem, entitled Chasing After Light, suggests a love poem, but not directly. my understanding is that there's something emotional in it, but also sort of rational, like a suave battle between two opposites.

I’d chase after you at the speed of light,
but what’s the point?
You’re already ahead of me.

Instead I’ll pace my self,
continue to move forward,
knowing that at some point in time,
you’ll come across a mirror
and reflect upon it.

i see laws of physics, which is something so interesting to work on... i love this idea of a mirror, which expresses well the duality, and also the velocity and light the poems suggests. so i initially put this female figure like being reflected in a mirror, but she can very well be penetrating another dimension of reality to escape that guy, who knows... i'm very thankful to Ricardo for giving me this poem to work on, because it really made my mind travel.

i currently work building a preparatory sketch and then, when i am sort of satisfied, i transfer the sketch to the illustration board - only the main lines, in order to suggest where the figures should be placed. then i apply this watercolor underpainting, which is a very random and intuitive process, using the basic colors of my palette of choice - in this work, blues and yellows, with a little gray to help toning it a bit. i do the transfer the most primitive and old school way you can imagine: using tracing paper and transferring the graphite lines by applying pressure on them. i know it's ridiculous, time consuming and all, but it's how it works best for me. there was a time when i tried to do the sketch right on the board, but when you're working on paper, even on a sturdy surface like illustration board, you don't have a lot of margin for mistakes. so i returned to the preparatory sketch method, which can, in a long run, save you a lot of time - and materials.

here you can see two stages of the figures in the "mirror", in the process of shading. i use white pastel for the highlights and love it.

in my paintings, i am free from commitments with reality, although my figures follow a more realistic style. i want a blend of materiality and unreal, of flesh and spirit. so nothing besides the human figures are subordinated to the physical laws as we know it - and even my figures, sometimes, suffer a little distortion in strategic parts of their bodies (my favorite body parts to distort are neck and the curve of the waist when it connects to the hips. i think those are beautiful curves and i love to elongate them!) elements like animals and plants i like to make in a mid term between the real and the abstract, maybe because i find them so pure and uncorrupted, almost like a connection between the two worlds. working in the realm of the surreal is very liberating, but sometimes a true challenge. it will all depend on what you want to achieve with your painting, what sensations you want to trigger. technique here plays a big role and even when painting the "unreal" you need to sound convincible enough, which will only happen with training and learning the ways of your materials and dominating them... they are like raw nature forces!

The Muse

The Muse

Graphite, watercolor and gouache on board,
6 x 6

that's a small commission which has not been claimed by the client yet. it is a cute little painting in a tile shape, and maybe i'll start doing series of these to revitalize my Etsy store. they won't take too long to get completed and won't cost much either, so it's a good idea of art for people with a tight budget.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

another great feature + encountering Vali Myers

2009 has been a very prolific year and it will also be remembered by the wonderful, special people who have been crossing my path. one of these persons is Julia Inglis, Australian Tarot reader and teacher who recently featured my work in her beautiful newsletter. that made me feel so happy! just click in the images to check it out.


Julia also introduced me to this fantastic artist: Vali Myers. Vali was an Australia born dancer, who decided to move to Paris in the post-war period. without a job, she became a street artist, until moving to Italy and then  to New York, to get concentrated in selling her artwork. she finally came back to Australia where she set up her studio and started to regularly show her work, until passing away at age 72, after battling with cancer. I got so mesmerized by Vali's image and by her story, which resonated so deeply inside me... maybe her hunger for living life her own way, or her past as a bohemian artist, struggling to survive on her art (that somehow feels so close...) or even her amazingly beautiful and magical looks... i decided that I'm going to paint a tribute to Vali Myers.

"I've had 72 absolutely flaming years. It (the illness) doesn't bother me at all, because, you know love, when you've lived like I have, you've done it all. I put all my effort into living; any dope can drop dead. I'm in the hospital now, and I guess I'll kick the bucket here. Every beetle does it, every bird, everybody. You come into the world and then you go."


Golden Flower


sick and working

have been sort of sick these last couple days. a little lethargic, dizzy and with a weird pressure inside my head. this afternoon I felt a little more energetic and could almost finish a portrait I've been working on these last weeks. better go to the doctor if this thing continue on. if I had some help around here it would be so great... sometimes feel just too exhausted.

Portrait of Lucy
Portrait of Lucy - work in progress

I'd like to have a place far from home only for working. work has been getting more intense in the last few months and it's becoming very difficult to harmonize it with house chores. when you work at home there will always be something that will take you off from your work, and that bothers me a lot. I've been thinking for a while in finding somebody who wanted to share a studio, so I'd have a place where I could almost exclusively focus on work (and on my baby, of course, at least until she is able to go to school.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

new look

it's past 1am, but I had to definitely change my blog layout. after experimenting with a lot of colorful headers I'm finally very happy with this clean and simple result, as I like. next step it will be to redesign my website. thinking about using this same style on it.

gotta go to bed now... December has been a totally busy month, and I'm trying to wake up earlier than usual in order to get at least all commissions done before Christmas. didn't I tell you that I am going to experiment acrylics? they arrived today and I can't wait to start.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

finally released...

starting on February 1st, with 7 exciting weeks of discoveries and much creativity! come join us in this journey! spaces are limited!

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The steps of the journey:

Week One: 
THE SUN'S PATHWAY: myself as the hero of my own story

Week Two: 
THE MOON WITHIN: revering the child and the feminine in me

Week Three: 
FROM WHERE I CAME, TO WHERE I GO: the Moon Nodes and my life purpose

Week Four: 
FOLLOWING SATURN'S STEPS: facing fear, building growth

Week Five: 
URANUS CALL: the art of reinventing myself

Week Six: 
THE WATERS OF NEPTUNE: going with the flow of my spirit

Week Seven: 
PLUTO, THE PHOENIX WITHIN: healing and transforming myself

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Thursday, December 3, 2009



Mixed Media (Watercolor, gouache, pastel and pencil on board),
11 x 14


Illustration for the poetry book "Liquid Dreams", by Ricardo Blancas.

Artemis Hair
The beating heart on my sleeve,
is tightly secured by the hair-band
you placed on my wrist.

Day and night,
I wear a single strand
of your hair wrapped around my finger.

Eco-friendly ring,
symbol of love.

(Published under author's permission.)


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