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ice cream, people, Places

Selling ice cream (helado) by the Lake

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This wonderful happy man can be seen in the villlage of Chapala Mexico in the state of Jalisco.  On weekends you can pretty much always find him pushing his tomato red cart.  He sells ice cream, called helado in Spanish.   He has lots of flavors to make you happy.  The atmosphere is pleasant and the malecon (tiled walkway along the water’s edge) and the plaza are just lovely.  The lake is beautiful and cools the air. Right now there has been so much rain that the lake is the highest its been in 50 years.

You can stroll and eat and take in all the sights and sounds.  Very often you can find people dancing in the plaza to the music of local musicians.  Some of the bands will be a collection of guitars, drums, and various brasses including tubas.  Chapala is a great town.  Some may call it a city.  If it sounds like I am selling the place, I’m not really.  I just enjoy it.

In Mexico they churn the ice cream by hand, in huge metal canisters called garrafas. The canisters are filled with the ice cream base and placed inside of wooden barrels full of ice and salt, and then it’s someone’s job to stir the ice cream with a large wooden paddle as it slowly freezes.

This technique gives the ice cream a unique texture. “Mexican ice cream is closer to gelato, as it has less fat and air than American style,”

When I saw this guy, I was immediately attracted to the cart and his infectious smile.  I just had to paint him.  happy   happy   happy.

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If you are interested, click the picture to purchase a print or a textile of this watercolor.

Read more about making Ice Cream in Mexico here:
http://www.tastecooking.com/mexicanicecream

flora and fauna, scratchboard drawing, step by step, how to

Little Demo on Scratchboard Drawing

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Since I am now using my home base for teaching, I decided to respond to some requests to teach scratchboard and the engraving idea behind it.  Although it is not engraved in metal, it offers the very same challenges.

One remarkable quality is that doing large scratchboard is very time consuming and difficult, the opposite is true when in comes to graphic digital reproductions.

This is one of my scratchboard drawings enlarged, which I feel loses zero impact, considering how affordable it is and how it can be applied to metal as well as textile.  Click the picture to purchase.

2beachguys-web
Venice, CA 1997
interior design, Sweden Design

Mexico and Sweden– Design

There are 3 concepts here that connect two countries:

  •  How to fill a space
  •  How to wisely leave space unfilled
  •  Form follows function

these modern designs are from REFORMA in Sweden

blue chair-reforma
 

the chair

 

 

reforma bench
the bench
green sofa-reforma
the loveseat

 

family sculpture
the intimate space
carpet
the carpet

 

baby cushion
the baby cushion
ceiling-lite reforma
the light

 

 

 

 

 

these traditional designs are from Modern Mexico

mexican carpet
the carpet
equipal-mex
the equipal leather chair
mex-wall-art
Intimate space as a wall

 

mex-ropa
la ropa, or colorful clothing

In the world of art, design and

interior design, the winds blow across continents and rain illusive mists–like magic to make their connection.

They inspire people to create and fulfill age old traditions of culture, color, and function in designs that adapt generation after generation.

Visit www.reformasthlm.se To see their whole line.

Holidays, people

Day of the Dead watercolor

This is my newest watercolor of the most exciting days to come here in Mexico. It will be happening soon and I can’t wait.
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For a painter, I can’t think of a more colorful subject matter than dia de los muertos. Creativity abounds when everyday people take pleasure in the celebration of this most wonderful holiday.  I think their body language shows the love and care they have for each other and the joy of these special days.

Day of the Dead (known as Día de Muertos in Spanish) is celebrated in Mexico between October 31st and November 2nd. On this holiday, Mexicans remember and honor their deceased loved ones. It’s not a gloomy or morbid occasion, rather it is a festive and colorful holiday celebrating the lives of those who have passed on. Mexicans visit cemeteries, decorate the graves and spend time there, in the presence of their deceased friends and family members. They also make elaborately decorated altars  (called ofrendas) in their homes to welcome the spirits.
The belief behind Day of the Dead practices is that spirits return to the world of the living for one day of the year to be with their families. It is said that the spirits of babies and children who have died (called angelitos, “little angels”) arrive on October 31st at midnight, spend an entire day with their families and then leave. Adults come the following day.

Thanks Vikki Rennick for your photo that was the inspiration for this artwork.

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flora and fauna, step by step, how to

A red amaryllis

amarillus-full-webI saw this stunning flower growing out of a very small border garden.  I snapped a quick pic with my phone and I found it interesting–mostly because I was amazed that such a beauty came from a meager space.  It had just rained and there were some raindrops still on the petals.

When I got half way through the work, I realized my values were so much alike, I was headed for trouble.

I was using a few different reds…from Sennellier Red (the main red) to Alizarin Crimson and a little glazing with Opera.  I needed to change something, but I could not figure out what to do.

There was a point where I was very ready to gesso over the whole thing.  Instead, I slept on it.  Two days later, it came to me what I should do.

I glazed the background petals with scarlet red by winsor and newton.  It was so intense and gave me the depth I needed.  Problem solved.

The problems we face are only as difficult as those we are up to solving.  If we can’t figure them out, it’s perfectly ok to continue and keep moving forward.  don’t quit. Take a break.   That’s a good reason to blog.  I may be talking to myself, but I don’t mind. It’s better than watching t.v.

If you  would like a print on paper, metal, canvas or textile, click the image.

 

 

 

people

Guitar Player

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I painted this in July and forgot to include it in the blog  Better late than never.

Meeting friends in downtown Chapala and  walking the malacon after dinner, I spotted this young man in a crowd, meandering his way through the restaurant umbrellas.  I did not see his face but he had a quick step of happiness in his stride.

Of course, I had to paint him. I loved the way he casually slung the guitar over his back and he was definitely walking with a purpose.  I wondered, “was this before or after a gig?”

It’s a treat to see he wore a pink shirt and straw hat.  Of course!  Thank you kind sir for your happy stride.

prints available here

dogs, horses, cats

Jake and Elwood, Calico Twins

jake-friend-th.jpgJake and Elwood are named after the Blues Brothers film.  Their caretakers are my good friends in Washington.   Judy and Larry adopted them when they were babies from a shelter.  Calicos are my favorite cats.  I love their temperament and their handsome looks.  They are usually a little on the hefty side, which feels nice when they sit on your lap.  Judy’s photo of them was amazing and inspired me to try this watercolor.

Lately the more I try to preserve my whites on the paper, the more I get caught up on dancing around the main issue.  I learned a lot with this painting.  I tackled what I thought was the main goal first and sketched it out in pencil.  There are 2 cats who love to look out the window and love to dream.  Anything can happen out there and no matter what, they stay safe inside.

Yes, they are dark against light.  Inside vs. outside. I added a little twist by curling their tails together which create a visual heart.  Cats are popular for a reason.  Maybe they are really as wise as the Egyptians made them out to be.

To purchase prints here’s where to go.