Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Home" in Mexico


The Road to Celaya
12 X 9 Oil on Masonite

El Rancho
12 X 9 Oil on Masonite

El Rancho Field
12 X 9 Oil on Masonite
First, I apologize from my long absence from this blog. Too much on my plate for too long...

But now we are back in San Miguel, Mexico, so things seem to have returned to “normal” and I have regained my freedom to paint and write. So let me share some of that with you.

This time of year here is the most beautiful, in my opinion. The rainy season has left us with green and lush foliage and vast arrays of flowers that can’t be described in words. And colorful festivals of all kinds. A painter’s dream... I’ve done a dozen or so sketches so far and I plan over the winter back in Maine to use them for larger pieces that I hope inspire us during the grim gray days of January, February and March. I’ve also gotten together with good friend Frank Gardner a couple of times for work in the field. This time of year the greatest challenge is to pick that one scene to concentrate on vs. the many that present themselves to you. So I show you some of the ones resulting from our work together.

“On The Road to Celaya” is a pasture that caught our eyes in the low morning light. One often comes upon these fields that are “down and up” off the road. They fascinate me because of the effect of less-than-normal atmospheric perspective (the result of the high altitude). So the effect of distance and scale is experienced with unusual clarity. In other words, distant objects appear to be closer than they are. Frank handles this really well as we all know. In this picture I used grays to make the far sections recede and to heighten the color contrasts of near and and far.

“El Rancho” is about 5 miles from San Miguel, underneath the mountains that surround the area. Frank knew about it because his daughter takes riding lessons there. It’s a beautiful place, and the owner, Holly, rents a couple of the casitas to visitors. I picked a view of one of them looking to the east into the mountains. The setting lent itself to a nice composition and several interesting plane changes–even if it is still just a house.

“El Rancho Field” is from the same spot as the above with a 90 degree turn to the right, facing south. Such wonderful colors and even more striking planes of light

Frank and I plan to do more together while I’m here, with others joining us, and we will probably return to Holly’s rancho a time or two. I’ll endeavor to keep up with all this on the blog, though finding an internet connection isn’t always easy. So bear with me.

17 comments:

Frank Gardner said...

It is nice to she these finished up Jack. You did well pulling that top one of El Puente del Fraile together.
I still have mine sitting around.

Frank Gardner said...

ooops , I meant SEE.

Elizabeth said...

Lovely to see your Mexican paintings.
Quite a contrast between Maine and Mexico.
You might enjoy
Sarah Laurence's blog.
She is also in Maine and paints too.
google Sarah Lawrence.

Marian Fortunati said...

So did you see Frank when he was in Maine...
You live in Maine but now you're "home" in Mexico... right?? Home is where the heart is..
What a nice treat to see your view of the places I've seen in Franks paintings.... Don't you just love how all of us painters see things in our own unique way...
Thanks for letting us see through your eyes.

Barbara Pask said...

Hi Jack, Good to see you posting again, hanging out with Frank, I am so jealous. I think the three paintings you posted are some of your best work, the country down there is inspiring I bet. I love the colors in your paintings. Have a great time.

Jean Victory said...

Jack,
You make me want to paint landscapes again. I'm home in Maine here and it's a little chilly tonight. Happy painting

Jack Riddle said...

Frank--you'll recall that we both complained about capturing so many different greens. I got as close as I thought I could and went from there. Not a faithful reproduction, for sure, but that's not what we do, is it?

Jack Riddle said...

Elizabeth--I checked out Sarah's blog--beautiful work and a nice update on Maine. We're here until Thanksgiving, so home will be a lot grayer and less colorful when we return. Nice to have Mexico to fill in!

Jack Riddle said...

Marian--thanks for visiting. You are correct, we live in Maine, but Mexico is home when we're here. Frank and I didn't connect in Maine last time, but we probably will in the future. It's great to be able to piant with him here.

Jack Riddle said...

Barb--nice to know you stayed with me during my absence. It{s good to ctach up with you, too

rob ijbema said...

oh yes the riddle is back!
these landscapes look so fresh,
full of light and live!

Christine Mercer-Vernon said...

beautiful paintings jack! El Rancho Field is stunning, wonderful colors and love that thick juicy paint. sounds like you are having a great trip. and btw, love the hat!

Jack Riddle said...

Rob--Thanks--a lot of sunshine here--big difference from what you and I have at home. Come on down!

Jack Riddle said...

Christine--thanks for the nice comment and yes, Frank already told me that you liked my hat. Bought it from a street vendor in town. The sun is brutal right now.

Paz said...

All beautiful paintings. Very nice scenes.

Paz

Jack Riddle said...

Paz--thank you. I'll be catching up with your work shortly...

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

what fine work you've done. I would love to go to Mexico for two months, but no complaints here either.