Secretos

Secretos, watercolor on Yupo, 14x11, available at The Glashaus, Doreen Mellen Studio, 1815 Main Street, San Diego, California. The inspiration for this painting were my grand-daughters Alejandra and Marina, who live in Sevilla, Spain.

How do you get a style? It is the total sum of all the workshops you've taken, shows and  museum visits, art books, art magazine articles you've read, comments from instructors, friends, and your own observation and practice over time. Paint often, read a lot, visit museums, art galleries, share. Joaquin Sorolla used to say: "keep the hand warm" (by practice).

Elizabeth, pastel portrait

Elizabeth, pastel portrait, 20x16, available at Doreen Mellen Studio, The Glashaus, 1815 Main Street, San Diego, California. Come see more of my paintings, and the beautiful ceramic artwork by Doreen Mellen.

When I was in Budapest, Hungary, this past July, doing an artist residency, I visited Saint Stephen Basilica. It is named so, in honor of the first king of Hungary, Stephen. In this beautiful basilica is the mummified hand of the very own Saint Stephen! Imagine that! The basilica has excellent acoustics, and I was able to attend and enjoy an evening concert there.

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror, pastel portrait, 20x16, available @La Jolla Art Association Gallery.
A few years ago, I asked my grand-daughter Emily to play with different hats and scarfs in front of the mirror, while I was taking pictures of her for future portraits. This is one of them. It is now on exhibition at La Jolla Art Association gallery, at 8100 Paseo del Ocaso, La Jolla, California. Come to the reception on Friday evening, from 6:30-8:00pm. There are other artists exhibiting, it is a beautiful show!

Today I painted several hours at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park, San Diego.  I did three watercolors. After I photograph them, I will share them in the blog. This garden is beautiful, they are in the process of expanding it, so in the Spring 2013 it will be bigger, at different levels.

Paris, Eiffel Tower V

Paris, Eiffel Tower V, oil on canvas, 12x9 in. available at La Jolla Art Association Gallery, in La Jolla, California. Reception for this show is on Friday 21st, 6:30 - 8:00 pm. Come over with your friends! Art and wine go well together!

I read something quite interesting in the Pratique des Arts magazine, a French magazine similar to our Artist's magazine. It said: "What makes a painter different from another one is less her technique, and  much more her personal vision of the world. That's what makes her unique." Milerid Mulick.

Paris, Eiffel Tower I

Paris, Eiffel Tower I, oil on canvas, 12x9 in, available, contact me.
This is one of three oil paintings in exhibition now at La Jolla Art Association Gallery, La Jolla, California. The Opening Reception is Friday 21st, from 6:30-8:00 pm. You are all invited! I hope to see you there!

I love to walk in Paris and find hidden, interesting views of the Eiffel Tower. I have sketched that tower at all times of the day, from a hundred different places. Here is another view! Enjoy! I usually sketch in pencil, pens, and watercolors, filling up many travel journals with my value sketches and watercolors. Then sometimes I do a larger painting in my studio.

Jacqueline Driving

Jacqueline Driving, watercolor, 12x17cm.
Riding with my friend Jacqueline Peyrot from Argeles-Gazost in the French Pyrenees, I painted this watercolor of her. Later, another good friend of ours, Jean-Claude de Grissard, from Toulouse, France, shared his admiration of the lady. I then gave Jean-Claude this small portrait of Jacqueline with a thank you card, and he had them especially framed.

Days are getting shorter, the year is about to end, in perfect parallel with our lives. There is very little time left, enjoy every minute! Whatever you dream to become, do it now! The future is now.

Nice, France

Nice, France, watercolor, 5x7 in., available.
Travelling in the South of France this Fall, I paint. Actually, everywhere I go I paint. Nice is a lovely city, where I've enjoyed its gardens, fountains, seaside walks, and the colorful candy!

Arthur Melville, a Scottish watercolorist, used opaque white to cover the entire paper before he started painting. He juxtaposed transparence and opacity, loose and tight passages. He worked in the 1800s doing contemporary work almost like watercolors today!

Regina K.

Regina K., 8x6, pencil and pastel crayons, 1996.
Like "Nick K. ", one of my old portraits I found a few days ago, while re-organizing my art-work: my friend Regina. I have painted my family and friends for years! Even in high school, in Argentina, whenever we had a free period because the teacher was absent, I would do portraits of my friends.

Visiting Los Angeles recently, I re-"discovered" the downtown area, how beautiful it is now! I used to work there some years ago, but have not been living the constant renovation of the downtown area for ten or so years, so it came as a surprise. The Staples Center, the ice-skating rink, the lights, the screens, and the number of people braving the cold, just walking around and enjoying the views. Magnificent!

Nick K.

Nick K., pencil and pastel, 8x6, done in 1996!!
I have been having fun re-organizing my artwork. I found this old portrait I did of my friend Nick in 1996.

Reading the latest Artist's Magazine, I found a comment about Urban Sketchers (www.urbansketchers.org) a non-profit organization devoted to fostering the art of on-location drawing. Check it out and get inspired. Sketching everywhere you go helps you remember the location so much better than just taking a picture of it!

My Feet, 1994

My Feet, 1994 pencil on draft paper, 11x8.5.
I have been cleaning and organizing my old drawings and paintings. I have found some old drawings I didn't even remember I had. This is one of them: my feet, as they were in 1994, soon after left foot surgery. You can almost see the shadow of a scar.  Almost 20 years ago, time flies.

When I was in Budapest last July, I saw a short art film at the Ludwig Museum: "The Hero, The Heroine, and the Author", by Nemeth Ilona (for us, Ilona Nemeth, they use the last name first). It was about a common woman, having breakfast at home, reading the paper, going to the market....while constantly supervised by two armed men, body-builders dressed to kill, really! A comment on society today?

California Beach

California Beach, pastel, 16x20, available. Contact me at minnievalero@yahoo.fr

When I was in Budapest, Hungary, this past July, as a resident artist, I was able to visit  Sabi Silagi's exhibit: "From Zero to Zero and Back", at the Budapest Galeria Lajos Utca. Some of his work was good, very conceptual. Some was political, like this one:  a big frame with two small flags, one of Israel, one of Palestine, the names of the countries written underneath, then at the bottom it said "Buy One, Get One Free".

Carcassonne, France

Carcassonne, France, watercolor, 5x7, available.
Carcassonne is a beautiful castle town, in the South of France, near Toulouse. It is beautifully maintained, very popular with tourists in the area, full of gift shops and restaurants lining its narrow streets.

I recently read THE FORGER'S SPELL, by Edward Dolnick. The story of a famous forger, who even fooled Goering, with his "Vermeer", "Rembrandt", and "Franz Hals". The true story, takes place before, during and after the 2nd World War. Riveting, a passionate, great book! According to the author, Goering is quoted as saying:  "The people don't want war, but they can be brought to desire it by their leaders. It's easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." 
And I say: And the idiots believe it... My only enemy is war itself. Make art, not war.

Au Lapin Agile, Montmartre

Au Lapin Agile, Montmartre,  watercolor, 7x9 in. available, email me.
The famous pub/bar/cafe, where Picasso and the Impressionists met for drinks, and discussions about art and women at the beginning of the 20th C. is still there, walking down, (or up) from the Sacre Coeur Basilique, in Paris, France.

Manet was the inventor of Modern Art. He demonstrated boldness and flexibility, rising to every challenge. Politics was also a main concern of his, and central to his works of the last years of his life. Manet has been called the Parisian Goya.

Annecy, France

Annecy, France, watercolor 7x5", available, contact me
I have been painting small watercolors of France, from my pictures, to complete a series of plein-air watercolors I started this summer when I was there. So much beauty! I never have time to paint as many views as I see! So I decided to complete my series. How do you "complete" a series? You paint many, you paint fast and every day as when you are there, until you are tired and decide to start painting something else.

I enjoy painting these small watercolors very much, I hope you enjoy looking at them. And if you want to buy one, send me an email! I ship matted, almost everywhere in the world, after payment is received, in Euros or US dollars.

Senegalese `a l'Orange

Senegalese `a l'Orange, oil on canvas, 20x16 in. available at the Women's Museum of California, Liberty Station, San Diego, California.

I've just finished reading The Gargoyle, a book by Andrew Davidson, it is  a very interesting story of one man's descent into personal hell and his quest for salvation. Literature, art, philosophy, love, sex, war, life and death. Great novel! It was a gift from my friend Brigitte Manegrier.

Together

Together, acrylic on canvas, 7x5 in. available at the Women's Museum of California, located at Barrack 16, Liberty Station, San Diego, California.

The Hungarian National Museum, in Budapest, Hungary, was founded in 1802. Among its treasures, they have Francisco de Goya's "La Aguadora", oil on canvas, painted around 1812, Velazquez "El Almuerzo", Monet's "Fishing Boats", Manet's "Lady with Fan", plus Van Gogh, Toulouse Loutrec, Kokoshka, Picasso, etc. What surprised me the most, was to learn that they have the largest collection of Goya paintings outside Madrid. This beautiful museum is in front of Hero's Square, right where the big city park starts. Highly recommended visit.

In My Dreams

In My Dreams, acrylic on canvas, 7x5 in. available at the Women's Museum of California, in San Diego, California.

The word "Mandala" is from Sanskrit, and is translated as "magic circle". Mandalas appear in many cultures, as a symbol of wholeness. It is a pattern that appears in nature. Mandalas became a central theme in Carl Jung's work as a healing tool to aid in the process of individuation= becoming a whole person. Carl Jung also said: "The soul speaks in image".

Alizarin and Friends

Alizarin and Friends, watercolor, 6x12cm, available
When I don't know what else to paint, I paint my paintbox! Alizarin Crimson is that pretty red you see there, the others are his friends...

Today I did a presentation at the Pastel Society of San Diego. I talked about doing sketchbooks, and showed them some of my sketchbooks from 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Second, I talked about my artist residency in Budapest, Hungary, this past July: my work, museum visits, and visits to some specific artists' studios in Budapest, like Nora Gergely. Nora is a conceptual artist I greatly admire, who works in Budapest.



Health Care

Health Care, watercolor, 11x14 in. available matted, at the San Diego Watercolor Society Holiday Bazaar , this weekend and next weekend, December 1 and 2, and December 7 and 8, San Diego, California.

"The artist must have something to say. Her work is not to master the forms, but to adapt the forms to its content, to what she's trying to say." ---- Vassily Kandinsky

Sharing the Knowledge

Sharing the Knowledge, watercolor, 12x15 in. available at the San Diego Watercolor Society Holiday Bazaar sale on December 7 and 8, matted unframed.

Painting with light: For shadows, always go to the light source, but reflections are always vertical. They follow different set of rules. Don't ever forget that we paint the ILLUSION of realism. We strengthen this illusion by the way we handle value, the way we create contrast. "You can see a lot by observing" said Yogi Bear.