Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tuesday Morning at the Ramirez Market

"Entrada, Ramirez Market"
9x12 in. oil on panel

I did this Tuesday morning but just added the people today from memory. I always plan to jot in some folks on location but I almost never get around to it. I spent the whole morning trying to "set the scene" for the people. This time I thought I had it just the way I wanted but it was long past early morning when I started it and I was pretty exhausted. So I left the figures for today and actually very much enjoyed dropping them into the scene. I like the final result a lot - those barrels really are that bright "pea green". It was a great morning at the market with almost perfect weather for painting. We'll have to go back and do it again soon.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Plaza Reforma, Guanajuato

"Plaza Reforma"
12x16 ins. oil on panel
(you can refer to the March 1st entry to see how this one looked the first day)
This one was started on Thursday during our workshop outing to the city of Guanajuato. I didn't get a lot done that first go because I spent much of the morning driving around and around the underground roadway system of this fair city. I had planned to park the car in the lot we always park in but to my great surprise they had torn the street up and I had no choice but to go underground. I wouldn't say I was exactly "panicked" but It took me half the morning to figure a way out of that pickle.I finally arrived in the plaza to find most hadn't chosen their subject yet anyway.

There were lots of people coming and going  but I decided the scene had enough in it without the introduction of Homo Sapiens. I would however, like to know who it is that lurks behind those fancy windows on the second floor. I simplified the display of potted plants and bird cages to a considerable degree and still ................. I'm sure you get the idea. Elena (not visible low and hidden behind the hedge on the right) zoomed in and did a beautiful study of those windows and their ornamentation. There are a million scenes to paint in Guanajuato and we plan to devote a week to the project when Donna's classes slow up a bit. We usually go to the beach in April to relax but this time we'll tour the country and paint - can't wait!

And I just remembered that I worked on this one too last week but forgot to take it's photo. So, here it is. I added a few figures and did a little touch up work here and there. This one was also posted in it's raw form March 1st.
 "Church Yard"  9x12 in. oil on panel

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fountain in the Park

"Fountain in the Park"
9x12 in. oil on panel

I demoed this for one of the students last week on an optional painting afternoon in the Jardin Principal. It was a lot rougher originally so I worked it over some today. I thought it deserved more careful consideration and now I'm pretty happy with it. I kind of wish it was much bigger and I would people it but for a small painting I had better let it go. Even so, I don't think I'm going to achieve the 112 finished paintings quota again this month .................................or any time soon and yes, you're right -I'm not even going to try.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Morning Shoeshine

"Morning Shoeshine"
10"x10" oil on panel

We went out with the Monday Plein Air Group this morning and settled on the north west corner of the Jardin Principal. I knew the shoe shine guy would appear at some point so I parked near where he works and started setting the scene for his arrival. He came but didn't have a single customer for the first hour or so. I was expecting some cowboy to arrive and was waiting impatiently for him when of a sudden this young kid in a yellow shirt climbs up on the shoeshine chair! Well, no cowboy hat to paint today, I thought ........but interesting nonetheless - so I squeezed out a fresh yellow gob of paint and went to work. I didn't quite resolve all the figures in the background but I decided to leave it as is - nice and fresh. 
And below:  John and I painting this morning on the northwest corner of the Jardin - centro San Miguel. I'm surprised there aren't a lot of onlookers in this photo that Donna took because every time I looked around there were at least 3 people watching intently and lots of people coming and going up and down the steps. The lady that takes your blood pressure sat down beside me for about an hour and managed to haul in a few customers from her perch on the jardin wall. She and her clients were very nice and smiley - she suggested we paint over in the city of Guanajuato some time as it's muy bonito. It was a great morning. The temperature was just right and lots of shade from the laurels to keep us out of that strong Mexican sun.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February Workshop Notes

The Workshop Attendees
Back: Tom Otro, Elena, Donna, Suzi, Heather, Patty, Jacky, Tom D.
Front: Agneta, Mimi, Yvonne, Sandy, Joel
We had another great group this year! We had a good time, perfect warm weather and some even swear they learned something. We covered Color and Perspective on the first day and then put it all to practice during the week. We did a trip to nearby Guanajuato on Thursday which everyone seemed to enjoy. Some have suggested doing a week there next year -we just may do that!

All my paintings below are unfinished - done in about 2 hours for demonstration purposes.
I think I'll work on some of them in the coming week and post again when done.

 9x12 in. Jardin fountain scene
9x12 in. Churchyard demo

 12x16 in. Group Demo. at the "Parroquia" church

12 x16 in. Plaza Reforma, demo Guanajuato

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Una Tarde Tranquilo

"Una Tarde Tranquilo"
12x16 ins. oil on panel

This was started in the Jardin  (just across from our gallery) on Monday afternoon about Siesta time. I had the color and design worked out that afternoon but in my opinion the scene deserved a lot more "finish", so I worked on it during this week. It was quite a challenge from start to finish but I enjoyed the task immensely. Luc joined me on the park bench I'd already laid claim to and we had a great time discussing everything from general ethics to the federal reserve. I find it more than a little distracting to deal with heavy issues like that when doing plein air but in this case I'd already made a lot of decisions before he arrived so it sort of worked a way. All in all it was a memorable afternoon. We had a lot of grinning people watching us as the work progressed. They probably thought we were making "artist talk" - I can't help but wonder if they'd still be grinning if they knew what we were talking about.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Monday Morning in the Jardin

"Early Monday Morning"
9x12  oil

It's always nice and quiet in the Jardin Principal on a Monday morning. Donna's group picked a very nice scene out on the perimeter but there was no shade and it seemed like if I joined them it would create a bit of a bottleneck between a set of benches and the Jardin wall. So I chose a nice spot in the shade and really enjoyed putting this one together.

Yes, it was fun but as you can see in this photo taken by Sylvia Brenner, I was more than a bit chilly. The students out in the sun were all melting and here I was working on a case of mild hypothermia. This has happened every plein air session this month. I try to find a place in the shade which is fine strategy for 10 months of the year but in winter if a breeze comes up you can end up miserably cold. This year it has been especially cool here in S. Miguel. It still struggles up into the 20's (celcius) every afternoon but goes to near freezing over night. However, Spring is about 4 weeks away and I guess we'll soon be complaining about the heat! ................... at least our paint won't be going stiff on the palette - hate that!!