This is a new painting of my sister Luisa. I was urged to further explore what I had done a few years ago where the figure would echo itself throughout the painting. I have to say I enjoy doing these...

Hope you guys enjoy.



I was a bit hesitant in showing this commissioned piece, mainly because it's somewhat of a departure from my work, but in paintings like these I like to remind myself that I actually am an illustrator (at least it says so in the diploma... truth is I am one at heart). I have always believed that each image sets its own rules in terms of how it should be resolved. I don't want to call it style... I guess thinking of it solely as a manner of formally resolving something can make the act of painting mechanic and eventually superficial.

What I do believe in is having an image establish certain parameters of how it should be painted... but I guess not how it should be solved universally, but how it should be worked depending on the painter...

Now I'm just rambling... Maybe these are all excuses I make up just so I can grant myself the right to paint whatever the hell I want to paint and do it however the hell I want to do it.

Here's one of the things I'm currently working on (because all the others can't be any more different than this one...)

Crazy glare in this bad pic because of all the thick paint, but I hope you guys get the idea...



This was a painting from my show earlier this year; I'm posting it now because I didn't have a decent picture of it. A couple of students were fine models for this disgrace of an Elvgren. It's about love, about weed... pretty much about art school.



Although every day I wish I would sketch a hell lot more (James Jean's fault), I do a fair amount of sketching. I have to admit though, that I have no intentions of my drawings being anything more than personal notes... I guess that's why I've never thought of my sketchbooks of being worthy of reproducing... on that note, here are some scans.


Some Photos

My son Samuel and my niece Cristina. Love taking photos of them...


Back Home

I got back home from my trip to Missouri, with a great sense of satisfaction. The talk I was dreading so much actually turned out to be really cool, and while I was exhausted I did an OK demo. Nothing spectacular I'm afraid, but OK. I don't know why but I wanted to work on a Clayboard sooo bad, and it was horrible... I mean it's actually a wonderful support, but for an alla prima painting it sucks... literally it sucks everything. So it was hard to work around a tough surface to paint on, but it went ok...

As far as the people, they couldn't have been nicer. They treated me better than I deserve to be treated, and the students as well as fellow teachers listened to everything I had to say. It was really encouraging to see that people payed attention to what I talked about, and respected my opinion. Anyways, in the end, it was a great experience.

I went to the museum and was happily surprised by some stuff in their collection. They had great Kiefers, Richters and Beckmans. I also took a pic of nice Frans Hals hand... very cool.

So here are some pics...



I painted this one in the beginning of the year but didn't take a decent photo of it until today... the whole image was just a pretext to paint the striped shirt :)

This week I'll be off to Fontbonne University in St Louis to do some workshops! I also have to do a 2 hr. talk... for the ones who know me, they know that 2 hours of me talking is cake... they'll have to eventually shut me up. BUT 2 hours of something worth listening to... well that's a whole other issue. I'll post some pics once I get back!



All I can say is that my son is a ton of things at the same time...


WPC Still Life

I've been getting more proficient at making these, but the hardest part is definitely "guesstimating" the exposure times. The collodion is soooo slow, lightmeters usually can't make a reading. Mine goes as low as iso 0,8 and it's not even close!

Anyways, here's another effort.



Well... I'm done with this one. I had varnished this with a glossy varnish and it showed off the saturated colors nicely, but I hated it... I'm just strangely annoyed by rich colors. I don't have a problem when other people do it, but when I paint them, it just doesn't fell right... So I painted a nice, cruddy varnish layer with some alizarin and some transparent ochre, and I lost a lot of the saturation and I got some gloppy waxy areas, but I like it a whole lot more. I guess it's all about feeling comfortable with what one paints...



This is a painting of a student of mine, Lorena. Parts of it are somewhat resolved while others are just blocked in. I'm planning on giving it a warm varnish to try and pull everything together in the end... we'll see how it goes. I'll be posting the finished painting as soon as I'm done.


Wet Collodion

I have been obsessing about Wet Plate Photography for a while now, soon after seeing some Wet Collodion Plates over the internet and in some alternate photo publications. They are so close to what I want and try to achieve in terms of image with my painting that it only seemed obvious, at least for me, to try and pursue this wonderful but cumbersome technique. There's a sort of beautiful imperfect quality to them, and the process is just pure magic. It had been nothing but horribly frustrating but yesterday, after a lot, and I mean A LOT, of trial and error, I finally got an image.

Here's my Dad.


New Painting Blog

It is with high hopes that I start this small blog to inform people of the current state of my painting and teaching. I have to admit it will be hard to avoid not mentioning or posting photos of my son Samuel here and there, but I promise I will try and keep it short.

So please, don't forget to check in here from time to time to check current news regarding my work.

Hope to hear from everyone!