In October, I flew down to San Miguel de Allende to
meet a bunch of buddies and paint together for a week and a half. What a
blast it was to hang out with everyone and occasionally even do a
painting! Thanks to Frank
Gardner especially for arranging everything for
us down there.
I'd had a stressful five months before
this trip and done very little painting, so it was fantastic to soak up
all the art energy of this group of incredibly talented people and paint
every day from life. I learned so much from all of them that I returned
with a renewed sense of excitement. Despite the reputation of artists,
there were no jerks in our group, no oversized egos, personality
conflicts, or subtle put-downs (all our put-downs were far from subtle and
always for laughs). In most reality-shows these days, the favorite phrase
seems to be, "I'm not here to make friends!" Contestants declare
this with such force and pride, that it makes me shake my head. What
greater prize could there ever be in life? All of us were definitely there
to make friends. By that standard, our trip may not have made for good
reality television, driven as it is by conflict, but it sure made for good
Here's our group, with links to each of
their websites. This photo was taken near the end of the trip, on the
morning when Jeremy was heading to the airport to fly home. But because I
usually head out to do an early morning painting, I actually wasn't there
so they left a place open for me and had me pose for the photo by myself
Paul's wife kindly Photoshoped me into the photo afterward!
"San Miguel Arches" oil,
12" by 12"
This is the painting I was doing that made me miss out on the group photo.
I actually set up when it was still dark and the lights were on. By the
time I had it sketched out, the sun was up and I was painting away. There
was a restaurant behind me and I noticed some of the waiters watching me
paint in between setting things up for breakfast. About halfway through
the painting a man, who was sloshing water over the stones to clean them,
told me I had to leave so he could clean the area where I was standing.
Before I could protest, the waiters and the owner of the restaurant
stepped in and told him forcefully in Spanish to leave me alone and work
around me. They even put my backpack up on a ledge to keep it from getting
Here's some photos of the incredible
villa we stayed at. Here's a link to their website. http://www.casaheyne.com/
This is a corner of the central courtyard
garden, which also had a fountain and hot tub up on a stone overlook. The
place is for sale in the multi-millions and was simply vast - four stories
tall in all, I think. It would take an entire journal of photos to show
you all the rooms, so I'll just give you a taste.
Not exactly the luxury I'm used to on a
Probably I could have spent the entire
time just doing paintings of the interior of the villa! Not only that, but
we had a full staff of cooks and all the rest that kept us incredibly well
fed. The most amazing thing to me was the magic basket in my bathroom. I
put my dirty clothes in there and, by the time I returned from painting,
they were miraculously clean and neatly folded on my bed! I seriously
debated whether or not to steal this basket and take it home with me, but
it was a little too large to carry on the plane.
Here's Colin, Frank, Ernesto, and Jeremy
playing pool. None of us were very good, so I think we set some
world-records for the longest eight-ball games every played. The best
thing about this table was how warped it was from age, so we could, and
did, blame it for every shot that missed. Of course, there were times when
the ball would curve bizarrely off course and land in a pocket that we
hadn't even been aiming for. That pool table caused more laughter than any
stand up comic would have!
Here's what that scene looked like after
a few hours of tequila drinking -- at least according to Ernesto, that
Here we all are painting an old cowboy in
front of a church. We had to ask several people before we got one to agree
to pose for us and it was a little funny, since he continually moved his
head from side to side, watching us all as if there was a tennis match
going on. But the character of his face more than made up for it.
Here's Kevin in the foreground, Logan,
and Jeremy in the background. Kevin is from Ireland and used to work at
Don Bleuth Animation Studio in Dublin with a very talented artist we went
to school with named Amy Berenz. Susan and I actually visited Amy in
Ireland for our honeymoon around 17 or 18 years ago and Kevin said he was
there at the time. What a small world!
Here's Logan and Jeremy painting on the
left. You can see Logan demonstrating his mastery of painting by using a
brush both in his hand and nose at the same time! To the right is Jerome
painting with another beautiful church in the background. In San Miguel
you could set up just about anywhere and do a dozen paintings looking in
Here's Ernesto with our model. Ernesto is
a fantastic painter who works at Pixar. I want everyone to make sure to
see every animated movie that comes out, since there are too many great
painters working at these studios and, if they ever lost their jobs, we
gallery artists would be in trouble from the landslide of competition that
would result! I'm always telling Ernesto how good he has it at Pixar and
how he'd absolutely hate being unemployed like me and forced to try and scrape
out a living by selling his work in galleries.
"San Miguel Cowboy" oil,
20" by 16"
Here's the painting I did in the two hour session our model
"posed" for us. What a story that face tells!
After the old man, we walked over to
another church and hired one of the Indian woman who sells dolls in the
main square. Frank hired her for two hundred pesos for two hours and told
her that if she sat very still, he'd give her another fifty pesos.
Whatever the reason, this woman sat completely still the entire time and
we had a much easier time painting her. Many of the Indian woman spend
months making their dolls and other products in their villages and then
come to San Miguel as a group and stay together for weeks until they've
sold all their crafts and head home.
This woman was so polite and soft spoken
that when we finished painting her I went over to buy a few of her dolls
for Susan. But then a younger doll-seller came over and got into a heated
discussion with Frank, apparently telling him that 250 pesos was too
little an amount and she wanted all of us to pay 250 each. I could tell
our model was very embarrassed by this and she kept trying to shush the
younger woman up, but she just kept arguing with Frank.
Eventually things settled down and I bought the
dolls from our model. I kept working on my painting even after the rest of the group left
and the young doll seller came up to me when I was alone and started
demanding money from me for the painting I'd done. Having been to India
and dealt with far more aggressive Gypsies, I was used to such tactics and
simply laughed heartily at her earnest attempt to bully me. People stopped
and stared to see what the commotion was when the girl threatened to call
the Police, but I just laughed even harder at her boldness. Finally, she
just stopped talking, relaxed and started laughing herself. She smiled and
shrugged, as if to say, "can't blame me for trying," and then
During the week, this girl stopped to
watch me paint several more times, always smiling and giving me a nod.
Truly, I can't really blame her for trying.
Here's Peter painting in a quiet spot.
And Ernesto, Ignat, and Kevin in a less
quiet spot. Well, it was quiet when we started painting, but Ignat
especially seems to gather a crowd wherever he paints. I think it's the
fact that he always seems to be smiling and happy no matter where he is.
In fact, one night around midnight when we were walking back from a taco run, Jerome jumped out from behind a building and roared to
scare us. Both of us jumped, but Jerome started laughing because he said
that, even in that moment of terror, Ignat never stopped smiling!
Here's one of my morning paintings and my
messy palette just after finishing it.
"San Miguel Main Square" oil,
12" by 16"
When I look at this painting, I tend to think of some of the people who I
talked to while painting it. The people there are so friendly and the
place incredibly safe. Despite what one might think from watching the
nightly news, not all of Mexico is a dangerous wasteland of drug dealers
and kidnappers. As long as you stay away from the boarder region and the
large cities, you will certainly be safer than you would be in any
I've been writing so many serious essays
recently and getting tired of all the angry e-mails that I don't want to
get myself into more controversy here, but it does sadden me that the
criminalization of drugs in the United States has led to so many
devastating problems for countries like Mexico, Columbia, Afghanistan,
etc. Have we learned so little from Prohibition? Isn't it obvious that the
only ones such failed strategies benefit are the criminals? It would be
one thing if they even actually kept drugs from being available. Maybe
then all the negatives would be balanced by the positives of keeping
people from becoming addicts, but even this has failed. I wonder with all
the illogic and devastation caused by this shortsighted policy, that the
alternatives can hardly even be discussed by a politician or the media in
a meaningful way.
Here's Dan and Paul painting in the courtyard of a
Another view of Dan with a curious churchgoer sneaking a
The town was founded in 1542 by Fray Juan
de San Miguel, a Franciscan Monk, and was the birth place of General
Ignacio Allende, who helped Mexico gain its independence from Spain in the
early 1800s. In 1926 San Miguel de Allende was declared a national
monument to preserve its colonial architecture and the beauty of its
After WWII many American GIs found that
by going to the excellent Art School in San Miguel, they could make their
GI Bill tuition go much farther than in the States. This is why there are
so many artists and American's living there even now.
Jeremy Lipking painting in the church
courtyard. Jeremy is a true genius, in my opinion, and I learn so much
from watching him paint every time we get together. Those of you on
Facebook should definitely check out some of the videos he's posted on his
website, since they are hilarious. My favorite is one he did with Tony
Pro on a day out plein air painting together in the Sierras. I don't
think anyone has filmed a worst day trying to paint outside! One might
think the gods are deliberately trying to stop the two of them from
pursuing art, but, if this is the case, they have done damn well anyways!
Here's Kevin doing a painting of Ignat,
while he paints.
Now that's a hat! Ignat is from
Bulgaria and won an immigration lottery to come the United States in 1997
to continue his study of painting and sculpture in California. His work is
truly stunning and hard for the rest of us to compete with so I think I'll
have to take back all the supportive things I've said about immigrants in
the past. Maybe I'll have to put a "Buy American" stamp on my
paintings to combat such competition from these alien artists stealing our
jobs! I just hope that no one brings up the fact that my Grandmother was
born in Italy on my Father's side, and my Mother's Grandparents came over
from Ireland during the potato famine. It is so very difficult deciding
who's "American" enough these days, isn't it? Some of the
full-blood Indians selling crafts in the main square might have a few
things to say about this as well...
Long shot of Ignat painting inside the
church. Even though I haven't been to church in several decades, it is
amazing to me how thoroughly my Catholic Grade School and High School
into my head. Hearing the mass inside the church while I painted, even in
Spanish, I knew exactly what the responses were, when I should be
standing, kneeling, crossing myself, etc. When I was in Ireland once,
someone asked me what religion I was and I said I was an atheist. Without
blinking an eye, he asked me, "yes, but are you a Catholic Atheist,
or a Protestant Atheist?" As ridiculous as it sounds, I guess I am,
truly, a Catholic Atheist after all.
Hanging out after painting and before
One of the days Frank organized a trip
out to a cattle ranch not far from San Miguel. Several generations of the
family work the ranch and it was a perfect day for some riding through the
It was a bit of a challenge for them to
lengthen the stirrups for some of our taller painters, like Colin, here,
who is 6'7" tall. Jeremy said he could only squash his foot into the
stirrups on an angle. But the rest of us non-superheroes were a perfect
fit for the working cow horses.
Ignat, Colin, and Ernesto -- twice!
Even though most of us didn't smoke, cigarettes
were passed around to create the proper Marlboro Man look. Don't worry,
like Bill, none of us inhaled!
Marc looking cool in his shades
Jeff with the canyon behind that we were
Peter, Jerome, Kevin, Jeff, and
What a beautiful place - especially down
in the canyon!
Here's a photo Frank took of me as we
raced through the river. The problem with leading, however, is that I
actually drifted over to the right side of the river after a while and ended up
in water up to my knees for a while! Damn those Yankee city-slickers who
can't even keep their horses out of deep water!
Here's Ignat doing a great job since this
is the first time he's ever galloped a horse in his life. He told me me
later that he was really scared, but I notice that he seems to be having a
great time and kept trying to get some of us to come back another day to
run the horses some more! This was where his giant hat turned into a bit
of a liability, since it flew off every time we had a
race and someone would have to go back to find it.
There goes the hat again!
Here's Jeremy and Ernesto ridding. Maybe I'll do a
painting of this one and see if I can get back into the Autry show? Since
getting out of Art School I've been constantly pressured to paint Cowboys
and Indians. This is just the kind of scene everyone with money seems to
want to buy, even if the models are just dressing up.
I've been kicked out of that show twice already, so maybe the third
time would be the charm. This would be a perfect subject in another way,
since Jeremy was also kicked out of that show for having the gall to submit a nude
after being invited. With this one painting I could try and get us both
back in! Oops, guess I've put my foot in my mouth again and gotten a bunch
more people mad at me!
Here's Paul with some of the scratches he
got on his forehead and cheek when we were galloping down some of the
trails. It seemed that just about every tree and cactus had thorns! This
is where the leather hat I got in Africa really camp in handy, let me tell
Here's Tomas giving us a display of his lassoing
Even though they do trail rides for
groups once or twice a week, most of their time is spent working the ranch
and cattle, which is what is so fun about visiting here. Even while we
were painting, there'd be occasional herds of cattle driven right past us
by cowboys on horses. No need to dress anyone up here to make it look
Of course, there were some pretty
dangerous characters hanging around as well. We tried to keep our distance
from these obvious outlaws, but it wasn't long before they attacked.
Wait, that's no outlaw, but Jeremy,
showing off his skill with a lasso. Isn't it annoying when you meet someone
who is an expert at everything!
Here's most of our gang. Unfortunately we
didn't have much success robbing anything. Whenever someone shouted
"Draw," some of us (I'm not going to mention any names, but you
know who you are) took this way too literally and exposed us all as a
bunch of sissy artists.
After our ride, we had a fantastic meal
with some of the ranch family.
Here's Logan starting a painting after
lunch. This is another painting he did on the trip which I thought I'd
show here. I first met Logan when he was just out of High School and took
several workshops of mine in Scottsdale and Los Angeles. In the years
since, he has truly become one of the young stars of the art world. I am
amazed to see how he took the basics I and his other teachers taught into
a completely unique direction. He paints everything from beach scenes,
portraits, east coast fishermen, and even western scenes with true heart
(using real Indians as models in his western work, by the way), and every
one of his paintings is a genuine personal statement. If you get a chance to take one of the
workshops he teaches at his studio, I'd highly recommend it. http://loganhagege.com/
Ernesto setting up to paint as the storm
clouds start rolling in.
The three-Js -- Jeff, Jeremy, and Jerome.
Marc and Frank.
I loved this little painting Jeremy did.
The variety of subtle edges especially in the rocks and the wood beams as
they went into the shadow were masterful.
Colin painting in front of the horse they
tied up for me to paint.
When the storm finally hit, we all took
shelter in the open shed, while the Felix's sister started a fire and
roasted corn for all of us to eat while we watched the lightning.
Occasionally a little bat in the rafters even flew down and circled
Jerome, Logan, and Peter.
Nothing like being lazy after a long day
of painting and riding.
Of course, there's always someone like
Colin to show us all up and do another painting even when it's raining.
Don't those hard working people just make you sick!
If you're ever in San Miguel and want to
see a working ranch and go on a ride through the canyons and rivers I'd
highly recommend Tomas and Felix. Don't worry, you don't have to run your
horses at all if you don't want to and they are extremely well trained and
calm. Even though they do have e-mail, I'd suggest calling since they
can only check e-mail every few days when they are in town.
Back in San Miguel the painting
continued. Here's Dan painting in the overcast with an audience.
The sun comes out and the audience
changes, but Dan is eternal.
Ernesto ready for any weather, protected
by hat and umbrella! Those Pixar guys are just so pampered!
Kevin seeking some expert advice from a
local. "Well, in my experience," the woman was telling him,
"the best cure for a hangover
Marc painting in front of the Cathedral.
Here's Colin painting in front of the
statue of the founder of the town, I think. Everywhere we went, people
were amazed at how tall Colin was. One teenaged girl asked if she could
give him a hug and he said sure, rather embarrassed. She then pulled a
chair over and gave him a hug standing on it, the top of her head still barely
reaching his chin.
Here's Frank out painting with me - you
can see my setup next to him. Frank has lived in Mexico for about twenty
years and has truly reached paradise for any artist, not to mention his
beautiful wife and daughter as well! You can see his and other artist's
the gallery he owns in town -
San Miguel de Allende, Gto. C.P. 37700
phone: 011-52-415-152 6290
Here's Ignat, Colin, Marc, Frank, and
Frank's beautiful wife at his gallery.
"Oratorio" oil, 16" by
Here's the painting I did that morning with Frank. I'm planning on doing a
somewhat larger version of it in the studio with some of the people and pigeons
I photographed while doing this study. The Cape Cod Museum of Art and
Addison Art Gallery have asked all of us to have a show of paintings from
the trip in early February of 2010, so I hope to have it done for that.
Lest you think this trip was easy and that we never
faced any hardships, well let me tell you about Sunday! Apparently, on
Sundays, the villa's staff get the entire day off! It is very lucky that
our group didn't starve to death without the cooks and we nearly ran out
of dishes without anyone to wash them! Desperate times called for
desperate measures, so we all pulled together and cooked breakfast -- or
least we all pulled together and watched Peter and Dan cook breakfast for
all of us. Whoever thought to invite those two was definitely thinking
Here's Peter and Dan slaving over the
stoves. Even the kitchens are beautiful!
Just when I thought it impossible for
things to get any more exciting, Alexey showed up! The photo on the left
shows the pile of luggage he arrived with. I've never seen anyone travel
with this much equipment - several easels and some canvases up to 40"
by 60". I asked him how much he paid extra for checking all this,
but, in typical Alexey fashion, he'd charmed the check-in girl at the
airport into not charging him at all!
Though I knew of Alexey and his fantastic
work, I'd never met him before and his enthusiasm, passion, and laughter
Probably Alexey is a godsend to anyone
who is deaf and reads lips.
Within minutes, Alexey had me convinced
to join him in the Aesthic Revolution to overthrow the current crazies
that control most Museums and bar anything that represents true artistic
beauty and skill. San Miguel seemed the perfect place for this with its
history of hosting revolutionaries.
I'd heard lots of stories about Alexey
and he is definitely a larger than life character. But I was surprised by
the depth of his knowledge on a vast range of subjects and we talked long
into the night about politics, art, and history. Alexey holds classical
concerts at his huge Los Angeles studio that have become legendary. Being
one of the several hundred people to attend has become a very sought after
thing, with actors, artists, and writers attending. The LA Times even
covers the event sometimes.
I especially agreed with Alexey's belief
that we should stop trying to convince museums to let us be a part of
their organizations and simply strike off on our own. After all, it is our
work that is the more popular and relevant to all but the few brainwashed
elite that control these institutions, so why collaborate at all with
something so aesthetically bankrupt? Realistic artists need to create
their own exciting and inspirational events that make us the cool place to
Here's an excerpt from the book of my
paintings and thoughts I'm currently working on and
that I hope will be out in the middle of next year sometime. It goes right
along with what Alexey and I were talking about.
Recently I participated in a gathering called "Weekend with the Masters" at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and Museum,
an incredible event organized by American Artist Magazine, whom I can't
thank enough. The lineup of contemporary greats was amazing. Richard Schmid, David Lefell, Sheri McGraw, Susan Lyon, Dan Gerhartz, Jeremy Lipking, Jacob Collins, Quang Ho, Kevin Macpherson, Scott Christiansen, Mary White, Skip Witcomb, and several other contemporary masters. For four days all the artists did lectures, demonstrations and classes at this beautiful cultural institution. But when I asked why they hadn't used one of the empty rooms of the museum to display some examples of the "Masters" artwork while the event was going on, I found out that the Musem directors had no problem with renting out the entire place for the conference, but refused to have any of our paintings displayed there.
They had no problem using our popularity to raise money for the institution, but the artwork itself that drew so many hundreds of admirers from all across the country was
banned even for the few days of the weekend event.
At the Laguna Art Museum, I participated for many years in a Plein Air show and sale
organized by the fantastic Laguna Plein Air Painters of America
group. The show turned out to be the most popular event the museum ever had and it raised the money necessary to do needed renovations to the aging museum. There were so many fantastic works done over the years during that show that I wondered why the museum didn't acquire one or two of the best
each year and have something that the public could come to see year-round. Couldn't they see by the overwhelming response, that a decade of such a policy would create a collection that would draw people from across the country for years to come?
The last time I participated in the
Laguna show, I went downstairs to look at the large masterpieces of William Wendt and Edgar Payne that were hung, not in a gallery, but at the bottom of the stairs, next to the bathrooms. After about a half hour of studying these incredible works, I decided to go into the actual gallery of the "contemporary" collection of the museum. Within half a minute, a breathless museum
curator rushed into the room. "I'm sorry," I said, "the door was open so I assumed it was ok to look at the paintings?" She assured me it was fine, but explained that they have video cameras in the gallery and
send someone down whenever a viewer entered. "For the protection of the collection," she added responsibly. The fact that I was left alone for a half hour in the hallway next to the bathrooms, where there were no video cameras, told me all I needed to know about their opinion of the Wendt and Payne paintings, the real masterpieces.
As I looked at the absolute nonsense they called Art in the room, I felt a profound depression descend upon me. When the
curator recognized me as one of the artists who'd participated for so many years in the Plein Air show, she excitedly took me over to one horrible monstrosity of a work that looked as if it had been created by a gorilla scratching a pencil on paper in a random fit of rage. "You know, we so appreciate the money your plein air show has raised for the museum. This is one of the contemporary works the museum
acquired with the funds from the sales of your paintings." I just haven't wanted to participate
in that show again because of this encounter. I love the LAPAPA group
and all that they do to raise the profile of great painting, and I'm sure
they are doing more good than I by bringing their work to the public
through the museum, but I have just become tired of such encounters with
modern museum curators who so distain what I do.
I did return to the Laguna Art
Museum last year when they had a show of the work of William Wendt. The show was fantastic and far better attended than the exhibitions the museum has for its "contemporary" artists. All across the world, the shows for such masters of beauty like Monet, Sargent, Rodin, Whistler, Degas, etc. are standing-room only. The public recognizes beauty when it sees it and these displays are only tolerated by the museums because they
occurred before the 20th century and the great "advance" in Art that banished beauty from inclusion in the temple.
Some of it must be tossed to the public like decaying crumbs to keep them from pulling all tax funding or as a money-raiser to buy the
"real" Art, but to allow current "pretty-picture-painters" to to hang on the hallowed walls of the temple for even a weekend would be
sacrilegious pandering of the most degraded sort.
Much of what I just expressed was echoed far more
eloquently by a panel discussion during the Colorado Springs Event and many other artists and writers for a long time now, so I can't take credit for it. Thomas Wolf's book, "The Painted Word," detailed the entire farce back in the seventies, to little effect. What made me laugh out loud, however, was when one of the American Artist employees told me that the people at the museum had been quite offended by the outspoken
indictment artists like Richard Schmid, the filmmaker George Gallo, and the rest leveled against modern art and museums during the panel discussion. I
laughed and told her to tell them that all of us were quite offended by what we didn't see on the walls of the museum!
I agree with Alexey completely and have
determined to refuse to collaborate with the enemy any longer! No reason
to rail against the nonsense in the museums and try and change their minds. Let them do their thing and we'll do ours, but I will not
allow a dime of money raised by my paintings or teaching go to support
something that has nothing but contempt for what I do.
When Frank's wife agreed to pose for
three hours for us, I thought I'd try a 16" by 12" canvas,
which turned out to be too ambitious and I ended up washing it off. Jeremy
was smarter and did a beautiful little 8" by 10" painting.
Alexey had just flown all night and arrived from the airport and was a bit
late in setting up after touring the incredible villa. Imagine my
surprise, then, when he set up this giant canvas with only two and a half
hours left to paint. And the worst thing is that his came out great while
I ended up washing mine off because I couldn't finish it!
Jeff, Kevin, and Frank.
Jerome, Dan, and Marc.
Kevin, Marc, Dan, Jerome, and Paul.
After a week and a half of painting
outdoors all day every day, thank god for park benches!
Ignat in the picturesque main square. With
that hat, I-Pod, and surgical gloves, Iggy is practically painting in his own
protective environment! Maybe we should build him a clear plastic bubble with
arm holes and he could be the Bubble-boy painter.
"San Miguel Church" oil,
16" by 12"
For a heathen, I sure do paint enough
churches! No doubt a psychiatrist or missionary could explain it to me, but I
just can't help admiring the artistic beauty of these monuments to human
irrationality. Beauty seems to transcend ideology, language, religion, and
even politics. After we've forgotten what particular god a building,
statue, or painting was dedicated to, the truly great works hold their power.
I've admired Greek statues of their gods every bit as much as the Pieta, or
Taj Mahal, or some of the sublime Buddhist temples I've seen in Tibet, though I don't have any belief in the literal truth of either's
I did get a laugh while painting this
painting when a group of obviously wealthy Texans walked up and read the mass
and confession schedule next to the doorway. "Now this would be a great
place to do confession," one burly Texas businessman drawled. "Heck,
no one knows me here so there'd be absolutely no danger of my dark secrets
getting out!" Surely there is a movie plot in here somewhere. Maybe a
priest, torn by the plight of Mexican orphans, using some of the confessions
he hears from wealthy American CEOs to leverage some needed funds for the
Lord? Oh well, I probably do a bit too much thinking while I should be
Frank and Ignat out painting another church
with me. Sorry that there are more photos of some than others, but it was just
the luck of the draw who I'd see while out painting.
Here's Colin feeding one of the orphaned
puppies we found near the church. I just thought I'd make it even more
difficult for his girlfriend than it must already be. Did I mention that Colin
likes to take dance classes as well? I'm lucky that Susan doesn't read any of
my writings on our website since I told her that real men would never take
dance classes with their wives. I do find puppies and kittens irresistible, though, so I
guess I'm still a wus.
I had to leave a few days before everyone,
but saw a face-book posting from Jerome the next day that said, "I don't
want to be a Penguin!" Someone will have to explain that one to me!
Ernesto and Logan painting the view of San
Miguel from our rooftop.
"San Miguel Rooftops" oil, 12"
Here's a painting I did of our villa's
Colin squeezing in one last painting before
the sun goes down.
Here's Jeremy, Ignat, and Logan in their
holding cell before being transported to the main prison. It was sad to leave
them there, but they really don't look all that upset do they? I wasn't clear
exactly what they were charged with. Something about trying to raise money by
doing tattoos on the street without a license and under the influence of Peyote.
Unfortunately, I don't think they'd gotten permission from the customers to
even do the tattoos in the first place. I also think that Ignat's hat was
larger than Mexican law allowed for a foreigner, but I think there will
be a special edition of the TV show "Artist's Locked Up
Abroad" where the details will be revealed.
We'll have to do a painting trip there
next year to visit them. Whatever the conditions, I have no doubt that Ignat
will still be smiling!
Scott Burdick (-:
Here's some info below on the show that our
group will be having in February 2010 at the Cape Cod Museum of Art and
the Addison Gallery of some of the works from San Miguel.
For more info and to see the paintings online closer to the show, go to
1:00 to 2:00
Plein Air Painters Artists Talk , Cape Cod Museum of Art
Friday, February 12
5:30 to 7:30
Creative Convergence Museum Reception
Cape Cod Museum of Art
60 Hope Lane, Off Route 6A
"Impressionist landscape painters
are drawn to the beauty of light falling across the landscape. Their
avowed intent is to capture that impression in the two-dimensional plane
of the canvas. We live at a time when this art of seeing and recording
the look of nature is widely practiced and has been brought to an
extraordinarily high level of excellence. Since the 19th century, Cape
Cod had been a center for plein air painting because of the special
quality of its light and the sculptural aspects of its landscape. It is
a rare treat to be able to see the work of an internationally trained
group of impressionist painters focused on one of the other amazing
regions of the world. We will see the reality of San Miguel de Allende,
Mexico, presented through the filter of the artist's eye—some things
familiar and some things arrestingly novel—and thus be able to
vicariously experience the place.
We are fortunate to be able to work with the
Addison Art Gallery in presenting this exhibition which represents a
local painting tradition in a much larger context."
Elizabeth Ives Hunter
Executive Director, Cape Cod Museum of Art
5:30 to 7:30
Convergence Gallery Reception
Once again, the Addison Art Gallery has the
privilege of presenting the work of internationally renowned painters to
art lovers on Cape Cod. These accomplished artists have created inspired
interpretations of subjects ranging from sun-soaked portraits and town
vignettes to sweeping landscapes. Together in exhibition, these diverse
incarnations offer the viewer an integrated sense of a magical place,
its people and their lives.