DANCING INTO THE NEW YEAR, watercolor and acrylic paintings

DANCING INTO THE NEW YEAR, watercolor and acrylic paintings of tango dancers and musicians, a solo show exhibition in the Main Hall of The Glashaus, from January 3rd to January 25th, 2015. The Glashaus: 1815 Main Street, San Diego, California.

Opening Reception on Saturday, January 10th, 2015, from 5:00-8:00pm. 
I hope to see you there!

CHARLES BRIDGE, PRAHA, watercolor on Arches paper

CHARLES BRIDGE, PRAHA, watercolor on Arches paper, 11x14 in.

This is the oldest bridge in Prague. It is so old, that it cannot support car, buses or tramways. It is a walking bridge. It is so beautiful, that it is constantly full of people walking in both directions, even quite late at night. The views are magnificent, with the illuminated buildings on both sides of the Vltava river reflected on the water. The streets that lead up to the bridge on both sides, take you to the most turistic locations of Prague: to the castle on one side, and to the main downtown area on the other side. The towers and statues along the bridge are magnificent! Walking along Charles Bridge is must, when you are in Prague.

CAFE LOUVRE HISTORIC POSTCARD, watercolor in sketchbook

CAFE LOUVRE HISTORIC POSTCARD, Prague, Czech Republic, watercolor in my sketchbook.
Cafe Louvre, in Prague, opened in 1902, one of the elite's of Prague's cafes. They achieved this reputation by organizing two concerts a day. Now a jazz club in the wine cellar, where Bill Clinton once played the saxophone.

Cafe Louvre used to be visited by those who belonged to the cream of the arts, literature, and science. Franz Kafka, Max Brod, and even Einstein, used to go there to meet friends and to do paperwork. They now serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a lovely tea for two in the afternoon.

AND THE BIRDS RAINED DOWN, ink and watercolor in sketchbook

AND THE BIRDS RAINED DOWN, ink and watercolor in sketchbook, from the cover of the book, written by Jocelyne Saucier.

"Freedom is being able to choose your life. And your death."
"The eyes are what are most important in old people...."The eyes tell the story of their lives."
"Happiness needs only your consent."

Ms. Saucier won the Prix des Cinq Continents de la France with this book. It is a wonderful book I strongly recommend.


Castle of Prague (Praha Hrad), watercolor

CASTLE OF PRAGUE (PRAHA HRAD) 11x14 in. watercolor
In early November, there was enough sun and was not so cold in Prague, Czech Republic, to still enjoy some green trees and the view of the castle from the Hill of Petrin. After sketching plain air, I did this watercolor in the studio.

A funicular takes you up the steep hill, with the same ticket as the tramway or bus or metro. Prague has a fantastic public transportation system. For people between 60 and 70 years of age, it is half price. After 70, all public transportation throughout the city is free.

CHINESE TERRACOTA SOLDIERS, watercolor and ink

CHINESE TERRACOTA SOLDIERS, ink and watercolor in my travel journal.
We were very lucky to be in Prague at the moment of the special exhibition of the Chinese Terracota Soldiers. The exhibition is amazing, huge, very well presented, you need several hours to really get a feeling for the magnificent presentation of this unique work of art 2,200 years old!!! These sculptures were found in Xian, China, at the end of the XXth CThey found over 8,000 sculptures of soldiers, no two faces are alike! They have a variety of clothing, of buttons on their clothes, of hair style, that reflects the high level of work the Chinese artists were doing over two thousand years ago!!! We have not learned anything!

DANCING HOUSE, PRAGUE, watercolor and ink

DANCING HOUSE, PRAGUE, watercolor and ink in my travel journal. Frank Ghery designed these two interconnected buildings, seeming to "dance" with each other. Together, they are called "Dancing House", one is all glass, in a manner representing the moving dress of a woman, the other one straight, with a "head" of wires on top of the building. The image is beautiful. The restaurant on top, floor 7, is "Ginger and Fred", very appropriately. Delicious food, excellent presentation and service! The view of Prague from the top is fantastic!

ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK, PRAHA, watercolor and ink sketch

ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK, PRAHA, watercolor and ink sketch.
Made in 1410, later perfected by the Master Clockmaker Hanuš, this clock was an incredible marvel of technology in its time, even today, combining technique with astrology and ancient religious symbols.  Lots of people wait every hour to see the 12 apostles march around, and hear the strikes of the hour. It surprised me that at ONE O'CLOCK, there was not ONE bell, but THIRTEEN. So it continues with "military time" till 24:00 hs = 24 bells striking. Beautiful! It is located in downtown Prague.

WASH YOUR DIRTY MONEY WITH MY ART, watercolor

WASH YOUR DIRTY MONEY WITH MY ART, watercolor in my art notebook. This image is actually Praha's Central Train Station, painted while standing in the cold, waiting for the Airport Express bus to arrive.
The phrase "Wash your Dirty Money with my Art", I saw it written on a wall, at the entrance of a Contemporary Art Exhibition at a gallery in Prague.  Here, in one blog publishing, you have two for the price of one: a little watercolor sketch of a train station building, and a fantastic phrase. You are so lucky!!And it has a lot of yellow, which my friend Elaine likes!!!

PRAGUE CASTLE - St. Vitus Cathedral, watercolor in travel journal

St. Vitus Cathedral,  PRAGUE CASTLE , watercolor in my travel journal, painted plain air, while visiting the castle on a cold day. I didn't have enough warm clothes on, and caught a cold! 

This Cathedral was started in 1344, gothic style, its last renovation was in 1929. This is the seat of the Archbishop of Prague, and the last residence of the most famous Czech men and women. There is a beautiful vitraux de Alfonse Mucha here, which gives the church a touch of modernity in this 700 year old beautiful building. 

ANA MENDIETA at Rudolfinum Gallery, Prague. watercolor sketch

ANA MENDIETA exhibition at Rudolfinum Gallery, Prague. watercolor sketch in my travel journal.
There you have it: a piece of the beautiful old building where the Rudolfinum Gallery of Contemporary Art is located, top left of the page. Then, bottom right, is my watercolor sketch of a photograph  Ana Mendieta  had taken of herself, covered in glue (not tar?) and feathers over her naked body, face and hair. Only her pubic hair and part of a breast are showing through the feathers. She also filmed herself naked and totally covered with "blood" as if she had been raped and murdered, while her friends called to the scene panicked and called the police. Ana Mendieta had an obsession with nature, blood, fire. She died very young, under suspicious circumstances.

SUN OF PRAGUE, watercolor and ink sketch

SUN OF PRAGUE, watercolor and ink sketch in travel journal.
The Church Our Lady of Loretto, in Prague, has an incredible jewel, called "The Sun of Prague". This was made with a donation from Countess Ludmilla de Kolourat, of 6,222 diamonds. Yes, six thousand two hundred and twenty two diamonds, which had been a gift of her third husband when she was 53 years old. So... three is a charm!! In her honor, the jewelers then made the gold center, with 53 rays. Please count, I drew 53 ink sticks in my sketch. There are so many cameras and guards in the bullet proof room where this big jewel is, that I had to obey the signs: no pictures.

PRAHA, PLACE VENCESLAUS, watercolor

PRAHA, PLACE VENCESLAUS, watercolor, 7x10 in. (15x22cm)

The name of the city is "PRAHA".  In some languages, they change original geographical names, to a spelling and pronunciation considered easier in the language of the speaker. Unless it is something really unpronounceable, I believe it is not appropriate to change the original geographical name to whatever is more comfortable to you. Prague in English, and Praga in Spanish, are widely used. I propose these places do not exist. The city you can actually visit is called PRAHA.

Something similar happens with other places, like LONDON. This is an actual place, a real city. However, speakers of French and Spanish call it "Londres", each with their own pronunciation, far from the real name: "London".

HILL OF PETRIN, watercolor sketch in art notebook, Prague

HILL OF PETRIN, watercolor sketch in art notebook, Prague, Czech Republic.
This park has been immortalized in Milan Kundera's novels. Most buildings are from XIX C. Beautiful parks, and a fun funicular takes you up there. A replica of the Eiffel Tower, 62 meters high, surprises and offers the best view of Prague. Walking up, 299 steps, built in 1891 for the Prague International Exhibition.

NATIONAL THEATRE, PRAGUE, watercolor sketch from the 2nd balcony

NATIONAL THEATRE, PRAGUE, watercolor sketch from the 2nd balcony, in my art notebook.
Beautiful architecture, gold rooftop and ceilings, built at the end of the XIX C. In spite of financial difficulties, it has kept its reputation for wonderful programs of opera, ballet, and dramatic arts.

All operas are sub-titled in English. Prices are between 100 and 1200 Kč ( between $5- $60 US dollars). I went to see The Bartered Bride, comic opera by Bdrich Smetana, the founding work of Czech opera. It was beautiful and fun!

VIEW FROM MY WINDOW, PRAGUE, watercolor and ink in my sketchbook

VIEW FROM MY WINDOW, PRAGUE, watercolor and ink in my sketchbook
About a week ago, when the moon was full, and the night sky clear, this was the view from my first story room in Prague. I couldn't help it, I had to paint it, even if it was a quick sketch. It was such a  beautiful night! This is downtown Prague, where tramways pass by often, going in all directions. Prague has a fantastic public transportation system; efficient, fast, clean, and inexpensive.

PRAHA ROOFTOPS, watercolor and ink in my sketchbook

PRAHA ROOFTOPS, watercolor and ink in my sketchbook.

It's practically impossible to draw all the details of each rooftop. They are so beautifully decorated, this city of Prague, in the Czech Republic, is a paradise of details and decorated buildings. Some of buildings are several centuries old, so I understand Mucha's inspiration for the posters that made him famous in Paris.

PRAHA, VIEW FROM THE NEW TOWN HALL, watercolor and ink sketch

PRAHA, VIEW FROM THE NEW TOWN HALL, watercolor and ink sketch in my notebook.

The construction of the tower begun in 1348, when Charles IV was pursuing a grand-scale program as the future Holy Roman Empire. After paying a few Czech crowns and walking up about 150 steps, you have a wonderful view of Prague.