HOT! Opening Reception

Friday, July 25th marked the opening reception for the HOT! exhibition at the Bihl Haus Gallery on Fredericksburg Road.  The show's theme centered upon San Antonio artists' interpretations of the effects of climate change.  My friend Rikkianne and I created paintings specifically for the show, now on exhibit through September 13.  The show inside the gallery was an eclectic mix of painting, collage, printmaking & sculpture, along with a few site specific installations on the grounds.  Below are a few photos from the opening-the central sculpture was created by Raul Castellanos, People's Choice Winner.  Everything from bird feathers to toy lungs were covered in a tar-like substance and arranged to suggest an oil derrick.  A functional clock hangs in the center of the piece, counting time.

 On the left are the 'Melting Ice Caps' installed in the pool outside the gallery.  Inside, part of the sculpture hung in the corner next to my painting 'You Are a Rare Bird', 16" x 20" acrylic on canvas

Artist Statement for my painting 'You Are A Rare Bird' Changes in weather are signaling earlier departures and changing the migratory ranges of many birds.  Insects are hatching sooner, plants blooming earlier and the birds are venturing further from their normal habitats, not always finding the food and temperatures necessary for survival.  The Golden Cheeked Warbler featured in my painting is the only bird who nests exclusively in Texas.  As their habitat is altered by urbanization and their migration affected by changing temperatures, this species is endangered.  I intended for the birds to appear without direction in this afocal scene.  Identified by golden cheeks, the rest of the bodies were painted by memory (which this species will become if something doesn’t change).  They fly over a slate gray background, covered in an abstract pattern derived from the juniper trees where the birds nest.  Dotted amidst the pattern are white raindrops, needed weather in times of drought.  In my art, wallpaper symbolizes a familiar domestic space-a welcome home that is disappearing for these birds.

There was a beautiful sunset as we left the reception, a cool end to a hot day.  It was nice to be around  other artists and have art in a show with my talented friend and coworker.  Thank you Bihl Haus Arts for a great local show!


Portrait Painting Workshop

July 15-18 were the dates of my painting workshop at the historic Commander's House in Southtown.  The house dates to 1858, originally part of the San Antonio Army Arsenal.  I taught an intensive three day course in the art of portraiture using acrylics.  Day 1 began with an introduction to portrait painting through Van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait and the self portraits of Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Kahlo and Gauguin. We talked about proportions and demonstrated how to place the basic facial features before getting into drawing from gridded photographs (the basis from which most of the students built their paintings).  Day 2 was color theory; creating a palette using the primary colors and making black from ultramarine blue & raw umber. Students practiced mixing color and blocked out the values in their underpainting.  Day 3 introduced glazing, blending and refining the portrait with details.  On our final day of the workshop, I took the class outside to the veranda to paint in the open air.
Ofelia began painting a few months ago
 The workshop participants did a wonderful job on their paintings.  Having just returned from attending a weeklong art workshop myself, I was excited to lead the class and spread the creativity.  I'll return at the end of the month to teach another three day course in drawing from observation.  The Commander's House is open to the community, a membership costs $15 or $7 if you are over the age of 60.  There are so many great classes and events, from ceramics and stained glass to dancing & guitar lessons.   In September they will be hosting an art event called 'Bravo for ArtAbility: Never Too Old to Create,' an exhibition for local senior artists.  Many of my advanced painting students from the Lopez Center will be a part of this wonderful art show.  Thank you to Gloria De La Cruz-Sandoval for having me as the guest workshop instructor this month, as well as Angel and Jorges for their assistance!


Frogman's Workshop: Screenprinting

I spent the second week of July at a printmaking workshop in Vermillion, South Dakota.  Frogman's Print and Paper Workshop is a yearly event held at the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts at the University of South Dakota.  While in school, I attended the workshop regularly and worked three summers as a printer's assistant.  This time around I attended as a student, enrolled in the water-based silkscreen class led by Ashley Nason, Associate Professor of Printmaking at Northern Illinois University.  Being surrounded by other printmakers in the studio and seeing demos by other instructors was completely inspiring.  I printed an edition of 12 using photo emulsion and light blocking stencils in 8 layers.  See below for the progression of my print, Welcome Home.

During the final days of the workshop, I printed a handful of monoprints (below) in a variety of colors to draw & paint on back home in my studio.