El Mercado de las Flores
San Luis Potosí
Watercolor 12″ x 15″
El Mercado de las Flores
San Luis Potosí
Watercolor 12″ x 15″
From above the classical theaters and baroque churches crammed within the labyrinthine alleyways of the city center, haphazard stacks of sherbet-colored houses rise along the hillsides in perfect disorganization…..Moon Guide to Guanajuato, p. 123 San Miguel de Allende, including Guanajuato & Queretaro, Julie Meade
This perfect description draws me to paint the city. Small watercolor 6″ x 9″ on Arches cold press watercolor block using my new Koi pocket field sketch box of pan watercolors and small travel brushes. The brushes and pan colors took some getting used too.
This painting was inspired by our winter trip to Mexico and my travel sketch journal. Notice the strong connection between the mother and daughter. Even with her back turned from the viewer, you can feel the strong attraction the daughter feels for her mother after a day at school. It appears that this reunion occurs at this alcove daily.
My husband and I like to get away in the winter and focus on making art, rather than teaching or exhibiting. This year we will spend 4 weeks in Old Mexico, drawing, painting, soaking in the sights and culture in the Baroque cities of Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende, enjoying the rich craft traditions of Guadalajara, exploring Viejo Puerto Vallarta, and warming up along the beaches of Nayarit.
This week has been spent in preparation of being away from home for four weeks. Well of course there are all those mundane things like getting reservations, arranging for a house sitter, and packing…….Then there’s the fun stuff: research and dreaming: looking at maps, watching travel vids on YouTube, networking with friends; shopping for the holes in my travel wardrobe; and preparing for making art-on-the-go.
As a painter of horses, flowers, gardens, etc, I also spent the past week brushing up on my perspective principles and skills. The weather here has been really snowy, cold, etc, and my days have been taken with other prep chores, so I worked from photos in the evenings. Making these drawings gave me time to acquaint myself with the environment I will be visiting, as well as revisit places from earlier travels.
This is a street scene from Guanajuato I found online. From watching YouTube, I learned that Guanajuato is considered the “Gem of Mexico.” It is built into the mountains in the state of Guanajuato during Colonial times from an economy originally based on silver mining. Guanajuato is a prosperous city with well-preserved neoclassical architecture featuring carved granite facades, soaring towers, archways, European-style plazas, and a network of winding cobblestone streets. This pedestrian-friendly city has redirected the bulk of motor traffic below the city into the old mining tunnels. in 1988, Guanajuato was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. I intend to find out more about these “chopped off” trees, which I found in all the videos and many photographs of the area. What variety, why they are shaped this way, etc…..
This street scene came up in my Guanajuato image search. As I got into the drawing, I realized the shop signs were not in Spanish. Unlikely to be Guanajuato; still good practice for perspective drawing. My sketchbook page was small, and this scene had many characterizing details that I felt needed to be included, so I chose to unify the whole by working in value markers, rather than painting.
With the sumptuous architecture and perhaps some questionable mountainous winter weather, drawing interiors will be profitable to practice as well. I took this photo while visiting Fredericksburg, Texas last winter. It is a charming, old-fashioned candy store. You may notice the distortion of the paper, painted in a “dry media 80 lb” sketchbook. The focal point is an M&M dispenser. I imagine you choose the color blends you prefer and pay for the candy by the pound. It looks rather like a coffee bean dispenser.
The last drawing is from an earlier trip last winter to visit my family on the West Coast of Florida. My sister took me to a gelato shop. The macaroon counter was amazing, with all the colors from the different macaroon flavors…..food coloring? Like the candy store, I was drawn to the patterns of the geometric lineup of colorful shapes. It was fun to play with the transparencies in the display while practicing perspective rules.
I am pleased to work with the Western Colorado Center for the Arts, Telluride’s Ah Haa School of the Art, Montrose Center for the Arts, and Gunnison Arts Center to offer a variety of workshops in watercolor, sketch journaling and mixed media. I am currently scheduled to offer four watercolor classes and three sketch classes this spring, plus an intermediate/advanced watercolor class this summer in Telluride. As the schedule develops, I will continue to update the WORKSHOP SCHEDULE. These offerings are in the works and will be scheduled later in 2017: off-loom weaving to create whimsical broaches, art history through hands-on creative art making, special effects to enhance water-based painting, journal making.
Please use this link to access descriptions, schedules, and registration to classes: WORKSHOP SCHEDULE
Both workshops and exhibitions are beginning to fill my 2017 calendar. This Friday kicks off the year with the Gunnison Arts Center Staff and Instructor Show. Art Walk 5-8 pm 102 S Main, Gunnison, CO 970.641.4029
The GAC’s talented staff and instructors come together to create an exhibition of their artistic side, displayed in the Upper Gallery for the month of January. These amazing local artists and educators bring life to the Gunnison Arts Center through their commitment to their community and students.
Click for more EXHIBITION LISTINGS Check back often as my exhibition calendar fills for 2017.
The “Getting Loose” workshops were so popular in 2016, I have scheduled several for 2017 in Montrose, Gunnison, and possibly Palisade. Also on tap for 2017 will be a continuation of my “Sketch Journal” series, held the second Saturday at Backstreet Bagels and possibly summers in Gunnison. The Ah Haa School for the Arts has scheduled my “Poured Watercolor” workshop for July 28-30. Get away to beautiful Telluride, Colorado and play with paint.
Click here for more WORKSHOP INFORMATION
It’s been a busy December between art shows and workshops. I have been focusing on holiday and winter themes while creating artwork and developing demos for my workshops. Most recently we created holiday cards from small watercolors. For those of you who have been following my blog and Facebook, here is the teaser I posted for the workshop, along with the completed painting, and a second painting with a slightly different composition, grouping a single ornament next to two ornaments
Other painting themes for winter and the holidays included birds:
WISHING YOU AND YOURS A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS & A PEACEFUL HEALTHY NEW YEAR
(all paintings pictured here are available for $125 or less. Use the form to purchase:
Please join us Friday evening, 11/18 from 5-7 PM at Backstreet Bagel Company for a celebration of new works including
Horses highlights my deep connection with horses, especially my special relationship with Monarch, who I have raised and trained from a green colt to a seasoned show, clinic, trail, and special events horse.
Flowers, like Horses focuses on my interest of how light defines living forms. Unlike Horses, (which I paint in a narrative style), Flowers are painted in a looser style that explores pure design and composition.
Travel samples a collection from my travel/sketch journals. These sketches were made in a variety of media, including pencil, ink, watercolor, and collage. Works are presented as 5″ x 7″ framed prints from Colorado, Utah, Texas, and Mexico trips.
Mark your calendars. New art, live music, appetizers, & beverages. Register for the drawing of artwork.
Looking for a way to loosen up your art? Are you interested in learning some new watercolor techniques? Have you wondered if you could be successful painting in watercolor? Do you love gardens, flowers & color? Cheri Isgreen will offer ideas, suggestions, techniques, and support to create lively watercolor compositions during each 4 hour class. Pick and choose the classes that fit your interests and calendar: $70/class
REGISTER HERE (click the link)
October 22, 2016 10AM-3PM Workshop in Gunnison at the Gunnison Arts Center; a portion of the proceeds for this workshop will benefit the GAC. 12:00 – 1:00 brown bag lunch & critique
November 5, 2016 2-6 PM Workshop in Montrose at the Cedar Creek Clubhouse; a portion of the proceeds for this workshop will benefit the Montrose Center for the Arts.
November 13, 2016 10AM-3PM Workshop in Gunnison at the Gunnison Arts Center; a portion of the proceeds for this workshop will benefit the GAC. 12:00 – 1:00 brown bag lunch & critique
December 3, 2016 2-6 PM Workshop in Montrose at the Cedar Creek Clubhouse; a portion of the proceeds for this workshop will benefit the the Montrose Center for the Arts.
5″ x 7″ prints, framed in oak, taken from my Mexico sketch journal, pencil & ink. $25 each
All images copyright Cheri Isgreen 2014
“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel”exhibition of new work by Cheri Isgreen. Running through Sept 30, 2016 at the Blue Pig Gallery, Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 5:30 pm and Sunday – 10 am – 5:00 pm
101 W. 3rd Street, Palisade, CO 81526