Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More Mexico!

Field of Flowers
Oil on Canvasboard 9 X 12

Las Fuentes
Oil on Masonite 8 X 10

Las Abuelitas
Oil on Masonite 12 X9

We’ve been here about five weeks and have had great weather, some adventures (and misadventures), and I already have reached my goal of having a dozen sketches to take home to Maine to work on during the winter. I’ve been out with Frank Gardner a couple of times, but not for a couple of weeks as we have had company, and I’ve limited my work to what I can accomplish in the casa. Not to mention the huge distraction of the election. I hope you are happy with the results of that!

I’ll probably get out with Frank a couple more times before we leave, but I also have a huge file of reference photos to use. The paintings posted here are taken from these photos, or combinations of photos that I’ve taken on this trip. Here’s a little background on what they are and how I might plan to use them.

“Field of Flowers” is adapted from a set of photos that I took while driving around the countryside with Frank Gardner. The flowers are pretty much gone by now, but for a period of a few weeks, they blanket the miles and miles of open fields that one sees in this high country. We thought we ought to at least have a record of them to reference for later work. I was attracted to this setting not only by the challenges of capturing the rich colors, but also by the dramatic sky. En mass, the pinkish flowers take on an unusual hue which I found was best reproduced by using the color magenta. I couldn’t get it by mixing my usual palette reds, so I caved in and bought a tube of it. This sketch will become a larger piece later, but I will need to add a subject, possibly a grazing horse or maybe a near up view of a few on the flowers (or both ).

“Entrance to Las Fuentes” is a scene I spied just walking around town.” Las Fuentes” appears to be some sort of apartment complex off the street. You never know what is behind some of these doors in San Miguel. I hit it just right with the bright light coming in from the high left. I didn’t have time to explore the place as I was headed to a lunch date, but the name “Las Fuentes” suggests that there are fountains within and I will check it all out to determine if this is worthy of a larger piece or another view.

“Las Abuelitas” comes from the Spanish word “abuela” which means “Grandmother” or “Granny.” I’m told that the word “abuelita” is an endearing term for the very old ladies one sees here in the markets and on the street. It means “little grandmother.” Those you see are often hunched over and just barely shuffle along, but they have a certain nobility and their wrinkled faces present a kind of ancient beauty. Here are two together, each with her own bag headed to market, helping the other find the way. This will definitely merit another larger piece. I left much of the background out, making just a few shapes for structure and spacing.

I’ll get out another blog before we leave Mexico (on Thanksgiving Day) and as always welcome your comments.

1 comment:

Amy Sullivan said...

~Frank, these painting are beautiful~
I like The Road to Celaya~
The colors & the open sky.~