Calexico 110th birthday art show.

Yesterday evening was the reception for the Calexico 110th birthday celebration at the Carmen Durazo Cultural Arts center. The art show had 110 pieces of art in there. Fortunately it’s a big hall, and there were some paintings in the lobby of which I didn’t take photos.
The reception was well attended and there was a short speech by the Mayor, followed by a group photo of all the participating artists that were present.  Enjoy the show!

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Humans vs Neanderthals

Here’s an interesting article from just over a month ago about how Humans may have had the edge over Neanderthals.

Not far on its heels came this article about Neanderthal art.  I guess some aspects of art history will remain a mystery, at least for a little while.

A row of ribbons

Art award ribbons

Nice little array.

I had entered eight paintings in the Imperial County Fair this year and seven of them won ribbons!  Four of them – the first and second place winners will be on display in Pioneer’s Museum in Imperial until the 27th.

Women in Art event

Last night my friend Bob and I went to the Women in Art event at the Carmen Durazo Cultural Center in Calexico.  I had a half dozen paintings in the show, and had brought some items from my gallerist Alana of sm’Art Studio in La Quinta.

An interesting item for me is that I had never seen ‘A Week in Politics III‘ hung on a wall.  I’d seen it in the booth but had never gone to the lengths of putting 7 nails in the wall at home to display it, so this was a treat.

Oil painting set

“A week in politics III”. Oil on seven 14×11″ canvases.

When I went to take a photo of the display, a couple ladies were having their photo taken in front of it.  I later spoke to one of them – Monica Lepe-Negrete, who it turns out is running for Superior Court Judge.  She loved the serendipity of her choice of background once I’d told her the story behind the artwork.

Mixed media sculptures

Some mixed-media horses by Alana Marston, and a few ceramic pieces.  Alana is into horses – does it show?

The reception was a joint reception with the Chamber of Commerce and we got to meet several business owners.  There were three short speeches given by local business people and community members about the importance of women’s history in the world and the community, and also of empowering the next generation of women to achieve what they are capable of.

Mixed media

Who knew that Vincent van Gogh was a mixed media artist?  Turns out that he incorporated some unusual components in his work.  It is know that he liked very much to paint en plein aire, so it’s actually not that much of a surprise that he incorporated wildlife into his paintings, along with dust and sand.

Student progression.

About 15 months ago, ‘Jo’ took my absolute beginner’s class.  Earlier in the month, she took the class again, not having painted very much in between.  One of the things that I ask at the beginning of the class is what the student hopes to get out of it.  It can help me tailor the class a little to hopefully cover any specific items. In this class Jo was lucky in that she was the only one, so we got to discuss her progress a little more.

She had indeed painted the day before, using watercolor crayons.  The papers were tiny piece of printer or drawing paper – not the best surface.  Jo expressed that she had had difficulty making out what she had painted afterwards and had ended up using ink to define the items painted.  Towards the end of the afternoon, after the standard Shadows exercise, we looked at Jo’s paintings and I thought we could tackle one of them as a larger watercolor and make a more realistic painting.

Working a little larger does help.  This time we used watercolor paper (Canson 140lb cold press) – about 12×9″.  I drew a quick value sketch first on a scrap to outline some of the changes that we would make to make the little barrel cacti look more round, and the rocks “rocky”.  The main adjustments were addition of shadows/shading to bring out the shapes of the cacti and rocks.  I suggested a simple blue sky/purple hills/sandy mid-ground behind the cacti in order to make them stand out from it, rather than a green one of a similar tone.  The cacti flowers didn’t come out as well as hoped – I’m not by nature a floral painter and they were a little on the small side to do much more with than a bit of impressionism.

Jo said her husband thought everything she painted was wonderful, but when he came to pick her up after the class and we showed him the before and after, there was no faking those eyebrows shooting skyward.  Here’s the before (on the right! 🙂 ) and the after.

After and before cactus paintings

Monday’s cactus painting on the right, and Tuesday’s redo with Absolute Beginners class and a little individual guidance.