COLLIOURE II, FRANCE, watercolor on Arches

COLLIOURE II, FRANCE, watercolor on Arches paper, 7x5 in.
Collioure is the extreme South of France, next to the border with Spain. Actually, it is the very last town in France where the train goes. Matisse took the train to the very last station in France, and started painting there. Later his friend Derain came over, too, they started painting the beach red, and using strong colors, plus black lines, and....voilá! Fauvism was created!

Anyway, here I was in Collioure, enjoying the beautiful light, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the boats, the lighthouse, and the beautiful and colorful town.


Sunrise at Mission Bay II, San Diego, acrylic on canvas, 14x14 in.
This painting is recent, and part of my new series of San Diego scenes, acrylic on canvas.

This "painting San Diego" I'm doing lately,  reminds me of Gianfranco Baruchello, an Italian artist whose work was exhibited at the Biennale di Venezia this year. He is 89 years old, was a friend of Marcel Duchamp and Italo Calvino. These friendships introduced him to the notion that art is a form of faith in the ability to transmute everyday objects and activities into something greater. 

SUNRISE AT MISSION BAY, acrylic on canvas

Sunrise at Mission Bay, acrylic on canvas, 14x14 in.  I am working on a series of acrylic on canvas paintings of San Diego, in a fast, impressionism/realism/ style of my own development. This is one of them.

Plein Air painting did not begin with the Impressionists. Camille Corot (1796-1875) used to paint outdoors, in front of the subject, like his "Waterfall at Terni", from 1826. The invention of the oil tubes of paint, made it very practical to carry outdoors without having to mix the paint in your studio.  In 1897, Claude Monet said: "There is only one master here: Corot. We are nothing compared to him." Typical of Corot's Italian oil sketches are the small format and the use of paper as a surface.

NORRFÄLLSVIKEN BAY II, Sweden, watercolor

Norrfälsviken Bay II, Sweden, watercolor, 11x15 in. juried in for: REFLECTIONS, part of the San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild Exhibition to take place at Gallery 21, Balboa Park, from January 2 to the 13. The opening reception will be on January 5, 3-5pm.

"A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people."       ---Edgar Degas

SMOOTH SOUNDS, acrylic on canvas, jazz series

Smooth Sounds, acrylic on canvas, 36x24 in. one of the jazz series at the restaurant of Inn at the Park, Spruce and 5th St., near Balboa Park, San Diego, California. Go have a drink, and tell the friendly and lovely bartender Jersey, that I sent you!

In Creating Depth, an article by Cindy Sorley-Kelchinger, she says that being a self-taught artist is freeing in many ways, since there are no rules to slow you down, and you have the fun of finding out what you like and what you don't, on your own. That's what I did, I chose my instructors, in California and France, and learned from the best!

FEELING GOOD, acrylic on canvas

Feeling Good, 28x22 in., acrylic on canvas. In exhibition and for sale at the Main Restaurant of Inn at the Park, a lovely hotel near Balboa Park, in San Diego, California, at 525 Spruce Street. During December 2013 you can see my work  in  different places in San Diego, two restaurants: Petrini's and Inn at the Park just mentioned, and also at the following galleries: Watercolor Society, Women's Museum of California, Kettner Arts, San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park, and on line at the San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild. Enjoy! Share with a friend!

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe." ---John Muir


Le Pont Neuf, Toulouse, watercolor, 14x20". Painted on location in Toulouse, France, about two months ago, this watercolor is in exhibition and for sale at the San Diego Watercolor Society during the month of December. This is in San Diego, California.

Tonight, at the reception,  I noticed a couple standing in front of my painting, so I approached them. They surprised me by telling me not only that they had recently been in Toulouse, but also in the area of the Pyrenees where I live part of the year, including Cauterets! They are bikers, and have biked up the mountains from Lourdes, to Cauterets. This is a feat that only expert bikers can achieve!


A la Escuela, Panama, 16x12 pastel painting, you can see it and purchase it at Kettner Arts Studio and Galery, 1772 Kettner Street, San Diego, California.

The Chinese painter and poet Sou Zhi (1035-1101) believed that painting and poetry were one and the same. Each painting becomes a symphony. Zhang Can, painter from the Tang dynasty (618-907) said: "The imitation of nature, the exterior form, is not the essential thing. The essence is born from the source that resides in the heart of the painter."

VILLEM'S BOAT, watercolor

Villem's Boat, watercolor, 12x9 in, painted during the South America cruise aboard Carnival "Splendor", from Los Angeles around Cape Horn, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Look at the preview and buy  the book of watercolors from the trip: LOOKING FORWARD, here at Blurb:

I visited LACMA's (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)  Calder exhibition this week. Very small, compared to Calder's exhibition at the Musee Pompidou in Paris a couple of years ago. The Pompidou had several floors of Calder's contraptions, while LACMA had just a few of them in a big room, so I was disappointed, but still, Calder is Calder, and it was fun to see them. 

LOOKING FORWARD, watercolor and book cover

Looking Forward, watercolor and cover of my new book: LOOKING FORWARD: SOUTH AMERICA CRUISE watercolors by Minnie Valero, available from Blurb, here:

This book is being published as I write this, first available date is December 10. You can see up to 15 pages in the Blurb website. Take a look, and get your copy now! I am trying to follow Benjamin Franklin's advice: "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."


Natalie of Palmira, pastel, 16x12 in. In exhibition and for sale at Women's Museum of California, San Diego, California.

Will Gompertz, director of the Tate Gallery for seven years, has recently published the book: WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?, 150 years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye.  The book is written in a fun and casual way, yet with excellent ideas, information, and profound comments. One of the best things about this book is the chart of the art movements and "isms" of the past 150 years. Strongly recommend it!

FRUTO DI AMORE, watercolor

Fruto di Amore, 9x6 in, watercolor. Painted in Assisi, Italy, after beautiful Aria, who delighted us with delicious breakfasts every morning, during my residency at Arte Studio Ginestrelle this past July and August.

The Elements of Design are LSD + CVS + T , which stand for Line, Size, Direction, + Color, Value, Shape, + Texture. Ken Goldman said  that these elements are like the ingredients. Like when you are making cookies, and you need MSF , for example, Milk, Sugar, Flour, etc. The elements alone, by themselves, don't do anything, cannot produce a painting. But without them, we don't have a painting either! Stay tuned...tomorrow the solution!

KEN GOLDMAN SKETCHING, pen on paper, alla prima

Ken Goldman Sketching, pen on paper on my art-notebook, live and alla prima at the La Jolla Riford Library. Ken was doing a portrait from a live model, as demonstration for the San Diego Portrait Society. I sketched the sketcher.

Ken Goldman is an internationally known artist, author, teacher and juror. He was teaching us while he was doing a beautiful portrait of his model. He taught us about the Elements of Design, the Principles of Design, and most importantly, by example. He is extremely talented, and humble. It was a pleasure to attend his lecture and demonstration. Thank you, Ken Goldman!

AU LAPIN AGILE, watercolor

Au Lapin Agile, 7x9 in. watercolor, in exhibition now at Petrini's Restaurant, Ash and India streets, Little Italy, San Diego, California. I've been exhibiting my paintings at Petrini's Restaurant since March 2006, when David Petrini opened its doors for the first time. I usually change the show twice a year, a shorter winter/holiday season exhibition, and a longer spring/summer/autumn exhibition.  Come to Petrini's for the art, and come for the food, delicious italian cooking by the Master Chef, David himself!

Au Lapin Agile is the famous bar-cabaret where the intellectuals, artists, writers, used to meet at the beginning of the 20th. C.  Paris. Coming down from Montmartre, this is the lovely view.


Along the Roads of France, 4x6 watercolor, framed, in exhibition at La Jolla Art Gallery, La Jolla, California. Artists Reception on Saturday, November 16, 5-7pm. Hope to see you there!

While I was in Paris a couple of weeks ago, I visited one of my favorite museums: Musée du Quai Branly, and saw the KANAK exhibition. The Kanak culture is based on oral language. Their myths evoke the times when the Word was able to create. To give a name to something was to give it life. It is a fantastic exhibition, I strongly recommend to visit it with plenty of time to read and absorb the spirituality of the Kanak culture. Their people live in New Caledonia, in the South Pacific.

LOVING COUPLE, watercolor

LOVING COUPLE, watercolor, 9x12 in, La Jolla Art Gallery exhibition. Artists' Reception Saturday, November 16th, 5:00-7:00pm. La Jolla, California.

Kandinsky said: "...Manet started it all when he began to remove pictorial detail in his paintings such as "The Absinthe Drinker" (1858). Each generation of artists that followed removed more and more visual information from their paintings. When Kandinsky saw Monet's haystack's series in Moscow in 1896, he was so impressed, he left his job as lecturer at Moscow's University of Law, and went to Germany to study art.

DEJA VUE, acrylic

Déjà Vue, acrylic, 16x12 in, at Art Cuestion, Spain
At this moment, you can see several of my paintings with Art Cuestion in Ourense, Spain,  at Arte Studio Ginestrelle in Assisi,  Italy, at Ricklundgården Museum in Saxnãs, Sweden, and in two places in Cauterets, France: la Mairie de Cauterets (City Hall), and Agence Immobiliere Bordenave. At this moment, you can also see my work in San Diego, California, at the following places: La Jolla Art Gallery, in La Jolla, California, Petrini's Restaurant in San Diego, California, Women's Museum in Liberty Station, San Diego, California, and  San Diego Art Institute, Museum of the Living Artist,  in Balboa Park, San Diego, California.
You are invited to the upcoming reception at La Jolla Art Gallery on Saturday, November 16, 5:00-7:00 pm. Come on over! It's a beautiful little gallery!