Thursday, December 30, 2010

end-of-the-year updates

hope everybody had a nice Christmas/Hanukkah/Yule. mine was better than expected, thank you. in general i am not very Christmas friendly, but when you have a child things have a different light. and this year they really had.

i've been posting stuff on this blog with an amazing slowness, sometimes days or even weeks after they actually happened. to tell the truth, the last couple months have not been easy, emotionally speaking, and since i am so good in letting the emotional interfere with everything else, things can go downhill easily if i don't stay strong. so, let's see here what i have been wanting to show you:

1. O Fortuna. i finally completed the first painting. it is called The One Who Kissed the Heart of The Earth, it is 24 x 30 inches, made with acrylics + watersoluble graphite pencils + white pastels on gessoed masonite board + blood and sweat. it is very different from everything i have done before, and i really really liked the result. the most fun is that most of what i had planned before and could not achieve "rationally" came naturally and intuitively, like the medieval feel. i don't consider it complete yet. i have nine more pieces to go and during the process something new might arrive that i will add to all the pieces to create unity.

some details:

O Fortuna: The One Who Kissed the Heart of the Earth

O Fortuna: The One Who Kissed the Heart of the Earth

O Fortuna: The One Who Kissed the Heart of the Earth

O Fortuna: The One Who Kissed the Heart of the Earth

my camera could not really capture it well. i think this last image is the truest i could achieve. the shot i got from the whole painting (which i don't dare to put in my humble A4 scanner to make into one thousand pieces and them put together on the Photoshop) doesn't do the justice, but is the best i could get so far:

O Fortuna: The One Who Kissed the Heart of the Earth

i really need a good (maybe a semi-professional) camera.

2. another Yemanja painting.  the first huge one still patiently waits for attention, as i have started this 11 x 14 commission:

sometimes, when people cannot afford a piece, or want one that is already been sold, i am more than happy to do a second version, or a variation of that same piece.

3. watercolor illustrations. working with acrylics on board made me crave watercolor on paper again. so i did a couple pencil illustrations to decompress. (see next posts)

wishing you all a great New Year's filled with Blessings and much inspiration... i am very grateful to all of you  for the love and incredible support during all the year of 2010. count on me. Love to All!

Monday, December 6, 2010

weekend wip

"O Fortuna: The One Who Kissed the Heart of the Earth", in progress. from my phone.

i guess that is it. i think i am finally making it the way i wanted. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

seeking the silence.

i have been totally absorbed in my seek for satisfactory solutions for my new works. it has not been easy. i am a perfectionist. i don't feel happy with anything that sounds shallow or meaningless. and i have my ideals about what my art in particular should be. there are points in the artist's development when you feel like you have to move on, to explore new things, to find new meanings to what you are doing. people love my ornamented, klimtish, colorful stuff. well, i do too. i took years of my life to find out that i was a colorful person inside -- in spite of wearing black all the time -- and that reflected in my art. however, i have to confess that, during the process of my art making, there's a point, when the final color glazes have not yet started to be applied, when i strangely sense that "this is it" feeling, but for an urge of pouring color and ornaments everywhere i end up losing the momentum.

like here:

in progress: Lilith

and here:

in progress: Vali

(i don't know if i am making any sense at all.)

i've been trying, among others things, to hold the feeling of "that's enough, you don't need to scream so loud to make sense and be beautiful", the minimalism, the serenity and silence. i think i got that once with "Waterlily". Eastern philosophies teaches us about the meaning of the emptiness, and that reflects in their art. i think that one of the things that transmits that peacefulness you experience when observing a piece of Chinese or Japanese art, for example, besides the softness of the lines and colors, is the use of space. in most works, at least 30% of the area is an empty space. empty, but absolutely meaningful -- that emptiness is exactly what expresses reverence. here in the West, the emptiness bothers us. we just cannot be minimal. we have to fill up every space with stuff. when i paint, the background is the part that most bothers -- and intrigues -- me. i just can't leave the background alone and concentrate in the figure. i've tried many things, and if i don't fill up the space with little triangles, swirls and other visual paraphernalia, i don't feel good about the painting.

the approach i've been trying for a while is integration and adaptation. working on the background first, and then adding to it. make the figure to adapt to what the background commands. which is also sort a philosophical approach. to go with the flow, to dance according to the music. do not force, do not fight. just adapt. use the force you consider an enemy as an ally.

background was inspired in the texture and colors of a rock, and built with a sponge to give that grainy effect. love it.

when i was making the Materia series, i left each color of the 4 elements to guide me through the painting and teach me things. i found out how refreshing and invigorating the greens could be; the blue, so spiritual and apparently passive, can have a strength that sometimes is difficult to manage (in my opinion, is the most difficult color to work with). the same sensorial approach is being used during the making of the "O Fortuna" series, and it is probably something that will accompany my creative process for a while. working with the energy of the colors and the suggestions given by the shapes that will form by texturizing the backgrounds brings my process closer to a more "right side of the brain" attitude of making art. less rational, more psychic and visionary.

Friday, November 12, 2010

in progress: O Fortuna: The One Who Looks at the Mirror of Time

as expected, i rejected the former version and started another one, more carefully rendered. more focus on the pencil work. i think i like this version best.

work in progress: "The One Who Looks at The Mirror of Time" [2nd attempt]

work in progress: "The One Who Looks at The Mirror of Time" [2nd attempt]

work in progress: "The One Who Looks at The Mirror of Time" [2nd attempt]

work in progress: "The One Who Looks at The Mirror of Time" [2nd attempt]

work in progress: "The One Who Looks at The Mirror of Time" [2nd attempt]

work in progress: "The One Who Looks at The Mirror of Time" [2nd attempt]

Saturday, November 6, 2010

finally... almost there...

the muses are temperamental and like to play. they deny you inspiration for days, weeks, even months, and when they finally decide to grant you with their grace, they do things like depriving you from your sleep, for instance. that's no fun when you don't have to luxury to stay in bed until late in the morning.

but after a lot of blood, sweat and tears (and a lot of wasted paint) i suspect i finally found what i wanted for "O Fortuna".

work in progress: The one who looks at the mirror of time

work in progress: The one who looks at the mirror of time

work in progress: The one who looks at the mirror of time

work in progress: The one who looks at the mirror of time

this is called "The One Who Looks at the Mirror of Time". the pieces would initially have more simple, determining names, like "The Trickster", "The Temptress", since the idea is to create something like tarot cards. but the miscellaneous of colors is asking for more poetry, and i obey.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

this unrest

Revelation [work in progress]
(to be aborted, or improved maybe... who knows...)

last week i was organizing my pieces in year of completion, in order to put on the new website, and noticed how awfully prolific i was last year. 2010 has not been the same. maybe because of some personal problems, which has been put me away for the easel and made me spend time concerned with practical matters; maybe because of this unrest inside me that is continuously pushing me toward new ways to express myself.

in the last months i've been trying to pursue a style that is at the same time loose and rendered. i've been also wanted to dive into a more intuitive, less planned and left-brain oriented type of painting, which, for me, is easier to achieve when i start working with an underpainting composed of careless layers of paint and loose brush strokes; the shapes and colors generated by the underpainting will pretty much define the feel and the general subject of the painting. also, this method most of the times fixes the problem of the backgrounds - i never know what to do with backgrounds. i am also seeking to decrease the excess of ornamental abstracts and bring the focus more to the overall symbolism of the painting and the body -- an ancient intention that i have never been able to put into practice efficiently.

the wip above is a painting i've been preparing in the last days for the Nude show, in Lexington KY. deadline is super tight and i don't know if i will be able to make it. it plays with the concept of inner nudity - heart and soul - rather than literal body nudity. i like it immensely how the figure is coming out. however, the background is totally killing me because it is pretty much 50% of the canvas area (the photo shows only the center.) i'd better find a convincing solution until Thursday!

i need to allow me a little bit of serenity. and more hours spent in the sketchbook drawing loosely and without commitment with results, this big perpetrator of artistic blocks.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

website makeover

take a look:

shop will be implemented as soon as i have the time, and it will be working on the very website. i will continue working with Ecrater though, which is a pretty reliable service.

around here, much activity and experimentations.

The Shape-shifter (temporary title) in progress.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Houston, we have a problem...

can't see my blog!

the problem was the Twitter gadget, that for some reason was sweeping my blog away every time it got loaded. gadget off, blog back.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spanish Calendar 2011

i was absolutely in awe when i opened the box...

this calendar is my first licensed product, folks! it was released by Editorial Sirio, a Spanish publisher. a lot of people have asked me if i am selling them. unfortunately no; you have to go to their website to purchase one if you like. it is all in Spanish. i got very impressed with the quality and beauty of the product. really great stuff.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Luz y Tiniebla

Luz y Tiniebla

Acrylics, watersoluble pencil and pastels on canvas panel
24 x 36 in

Thursday, October 7, 2010


couldn't get the Twitter gadget to appear where i wanted it but that's ok. not sure if i will going to stick with this template, things seem a little too close together. will work on that later.

to the new followers, thank you. welcome to my humble home. to the old friends, sorry for the big gaps between updates.

have some stories to tell. be back soon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

In progress: Yemanjá [or how to be near a heart attack]

work in progress: Yemanjá

work in progress: Yemanjá

work in progress: Yemanjá

work in progress: Yemanjá

work in progress: Yemanjá

she was supposed to be in a exhibition that will open next month in Virginia, called "The Power of the Orishas" [model is my beautiful friend Iara]. when i got the invitation, i couldn't help but nearly scream with excitement. after all, this is part of the culture in which i grew up - the Afro-Brazilian culture, with all its magic and beauty. how could i get out? simple: by MISSING THE DEADLINE.

i think i have to buy a neon sign and hang it on my wall next time. it could save me a trip to the hospital in case of a heart attack.


still busy as hell. doing what i have to do. the design agency will be finally launched next week if i can finish all the website in time. and then i will be able to organize myself better and paint more (so i hope.) don't leave me, people. i'll buy you candy.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

in Progress: Lady of the Serpents (or Self-Portrait with Serpents)

Another self portrait. No, I am not obsessed with my own image (although I am a Leo rising), I am just the easiest and cheapest model I can find. ;) Actually this portrait has a good reason to be. It is the development of a dream I had, 2 nights before turning 40. A friend of mine suggested me to paint the dream, and here it is. I'll talk more about the dream as the work progresses.

in progress: Lady of the Serpents [first attempt]

This is the first version. The detail is cool, but the vision of the whole seemed a little overwhelming to me, so I decided to redo it. It took me a little training to get adapted to how the acrylics behave on gessoed masonite. I am a little spoiled by the absorbency of the paperboard and had a bit of a hard time trying to get the glazes to have the same transparency on the board surface.

Second version so far is looking like this:

in progress: Lady of the Serpents

in progress: Lady of the Serpents

in progress: Lady of the Serpents

in progress: Lady of the Serpents

in progress: Lady of the Serpents

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Portrait of Mabel

after this is finished, I am going to take a break of portraits and commissioned art to dedicate myself to design projects. I am in a transitional phase, still experimenting on masonite, trying to accommodate my style and find the best technique. and I am absolutely anxious to finally give form to "O Fortuna".


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