My new place in Barrio Xochimilco is right on the street, without any easement to buffer the street noise. Every day is a sound garden of vendors and loudspeakers. Fortunately at night it mostly dies down and what sounds there are to hear are masked by the ceiling fan and/or air conditioner.
Coyocán (place of the coyotes) is a lovely borough of Mexico City.
It reminds me of Capitol Hill in Seattle or Silver Lake in Los Angeles. It was the first capitol of New Spain from which Cortés directed the Spanish conquest of Mexico City. He maintained an hacienda there. This is the corner of Carrillo Puerto and Francisco Ortega.
It’s the home of Frida Kahlo and the place where Leon Trotsky was murdered in his study. Continue reading Coyocán Corner, Mexico City
June 11, 2016
I was strolling around San Cristóbal de Las Casas looking for a garden reported to be near a hotel. The garden wasn’t much to look at so I continued up a hill and came across this house. I knew I wanted to paint it the moment I saw it. Back in the studio, I knew I couldn’t paint a la prima (all at once) because there was so much texture in the painted stucco. So I took a little more time, laying down some light under coats using Liquin, a fast drying medium, then going into it with the color when it was nearly, but not completely dry. Continue reading House of Many Colors, San Cristóbal de Las Casas
May 26, 2016
Wow, long time no paint!
I had a couple of fun visits from family. Then friends of ours announced they would be moving back to the states and wanted me to take over the lease of their place. I can’t imagine a better place for the money, still in Xochimilco, but further away from the noisy church. So I had to get ready for that move while packing for a vacation to Chiapas.
This painting is from that trip. It was in some ways grueling. The highways are very sinuous to say the least. They are too dangerous to drive at night so the trip to San Cristóbal de las Casas had to be in two legs. The first took us to Juchitán in Oaxaca. Being at sea level, it was freakin’ hot and humid. There was nothing in the town I wanted to see. Rocío had been there before and mentioned a market selling more exotic meats like iguana, turtle, etc. I wasn’t interested.
December 14, 2015
Here’s the latest. During my last visit stateside in September I spent my usual 4 days visiting my daughter, Erica, in Los Angeles. I love my visits there. She lives in a nice apartment in Silver Lake. She has a very nice life there, well-connected with her neighbors, loved by all the baristas and wait staff in the many cool restaurants and bars in the neighborhood. The temperatures were shooting up above 90, so one day we, Erica, Tino the amazing dog, and I fled to the coast where it was 15 degrees cooler.
December 6, 2015
The challenge in a place like this is to edit out all the distraction on the busy docks. This boat was isolated in it’s berth so I didn’t have to try to figure out which booms and davits belonged to which boat.
November 28, 2015
I’ve been working from photos that I took in Seattle during my last visit in September. During the first week of my stay, the fleet was returning from the north Pacific. Within a week, the boats were crammed into nearly all available berths at Fisherman’s Terminal. I shot for two days, one blustery and one bright and clear.
November 10, 2015
It’s been an interesting month or more since finishing my last painting.
First, I had a wonderful visit with family and friends in Seattle and Los Angeles. Hiking with Cole, seeing Connor’s girlfriend Aimee, long talks with my daughters, a trip to the Santa Barbara wine country, and happy hours with friends. I took a lot of reference photos which will become paintings at some point.
Hi again. I haven’t been writing as diligently. Basically it’s about insomnia. We’re in the middle of a month of festivals in the city and in my neighborhood specifically. Last night some fool was launching skyrockets from somewhere nearby every 5 minutes or so until FOUR IN THE F-ING MORNING!!
Anyway, I enjoyed making this one. Hopefully you feel what I did when I saw this scene. A great setting for a garden party.
October 3, 2015
So I kind of forgot to do in-progress shots, except the one after the first day. I started this before I took my vacation from retirement in the states. The trip was a nice break from howling dogs, sirens, church bells, processions, sky rockets, and drunk neighbors.
I had a wonderful time with my kids and grandson. For the first time in my life I could say of them all, “the kids are going to be fine.” Jessie was so loving and hospitable, sleeping on her couch for so long. My relationship with Balloo, Jessie’s Dobermann, grew quite a bit, as far as I could tell. He’s a pretty stoic dog but does get excited after his evening walk. Connor is fine after crashing his motorcycle on the freeway. He has a lovely girlfriend and they both are motivated in their studies. Erica has a lovely life in L. A. and is growing in her ability to sew, with an eye in fashion design. We had several long satisfying conversations about past and present.