Mas Color

Raining down the hillsides of Guanajuato is a riot of color, as depicted in the painting posted yesterday. The joyful colors permeate city life and culture. Everywhere it is expressed in art and song by los ciudadanos de Guanajuato. Valentine’s Day inspired the posted collage. (Mixed media: watercolor, ink, ephemera, old-style cinco centavo)

What a big surprise to learn that Valentine’s Day is celebrated en masse with colored lights and/or balloon displays throughout the barrios. The whole city turns out to celebrate with padres giving ninos small gifts of heart-shaped candies, balloons, and toys; sweethearts exchanging flowers and huge stuffed animals; families receiving blessings of small crosses on foreheads given by the parish priests; restaurants and bars hosting special dinners and live music; and plazas filled with families eating al fresco at the numerous pop up eateries.

The centerpiece of my collage features an invitation to El Midi Bistro. We enjoyed a three course meal with champagne while serenaded to the sounds of French cafe music in the style of Edith Piaffe.

The preview showcases la Virgen de San Juan de Los Lagos. After witnessing the pilgrimage from San Miguel de Allende, I became interested and did some research into the Candlemas Festival and pilgrimage of San Juan de los Lagos. The town is visited by over two million pilgrims each Candlemas. While in San Miguel, we were awakened at 6AM by 1,000 or more of the faithful, singing, and carrying banners and a statue on their way to San Juan de Los Lagos. From my research, I learned the statue is a representation of the Virgin de Los Lagos. The original statue is just 2′ tall, wears elegant gold trimmed clothing, a gold Byzantine crown, and stands on a crescent moon. With a new awareness, I began to see the Virgin in many places. While walking in the Pastita Barrio, I noticed her image in ceramic tiles on a modest house. (See Pastita Barrio). According to legend, in 1623 a young acrobat, a girl of seven, fell and impaled herself on daggers. The bereft family brought her to the chapel in preparation for burial. The church caretaker, Ana Lucia Antes placed an old statue of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception with the body, instructing the family to keep their faith and pray with her. Within an hour, the lifeless body began to stir. Her father unwrapped the shroud to discover his daughter alive and unscathed. News of the miracle spread, and the 90-year old tattered statue, made of plastered cornmeal and orchid juice was sent to Guadalajara to be restored. Miraculously the statue arrived fully restored and has remained in pristine condition to this day. Today, the faithful make pilgrimages to the Virgin throughout the year, with thousands walking, even crawling or being pushed in wheelchairs, throughout Mexico to San Juan de los Lagos during the Candlemas celebrations. (Read the whole story here: Virgin de Los Lagos)

Many walls and casas are adorned with ceramic plaques telling their histories. My favorite is the plaque from the Prussian Consulate of 1864. I used two motifs from different plaques in my collage.

Colorful cut paper banners, called “papel picado,” are hung during celebrations, (also see Papel picado). Walking through a papel picado strewn street, one can’t help but feel festive.

Flowers abound in Mexico. The flowers in my collage came from a mural in one of the small family restaurants where we shared breakfast with friends. Last night for Valentines Day, flower vendors were set up on every plaza. I bought mine from the florist on Plaza de Embajadores. I made a new friend, as we discussed the joys of working in a flower shop, a job I held many years ago. I left with a hug, a kiss, and a exquisite bouquet. As I arranged them in water, I marveled at their exotic beauty and ready availability.

From murals to street art; graphic design to folk arts; indigenous clothing to painted houses; music to theater; food to flowers, Guanajuato abounds with “de colores.”

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Passionate Pursuits Opens this Friday, June 2, 2017

You are invited to an art reception featuring my watercolor paintings celebrating horses, gardens, and travel.  The reception begins at 5:30 PM.  I will give a gallery talk about my inspirations, techniques, and processes beginning at 6:00 PM.  Along with my watercolor paintings, I am offering a wide selection of prints, notecards, and tiny paintings.  Live music and refreshments are planned.  This event is part of the Gunnison Colorado First Friday Artwork, with many venues in downtown Gunnison participating with art, spirits, music, and food.  For more information, please call Anne at 970-641-6111.

“Passionate Pursuits”  runs through the end of June.  Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 AM-5:30 PM and Saturdays 9:00 AM-4:00 PM.

 

New Work: Watercolor Florals

orchidsOrchids is my newest painting.  After blocking in the basic composition, (two flowers on the upper and mid left and a long vertical for the stem), I created most of this work through negative painting.  I painted a series of dark saturated colors in a “blocky” wash, grading from very dark and cool at the top to warmer and lighter on the bottom.   I dropped a line of permanent rose from the top orchid, through the  bottom orchid , which creates movement through the background, as it also ties the two flowers together visually.  My goal was to create an abstract painting behind the flowers, which makes a more dynamic background.  Use of negative painting and lots of white highlights give the flowers drama.

I wanted the orchid stem to flow into the background at the bottom of the painting.  The background wash drips onto a light warm field of  raw sienna.  The orchid stem grades from dark blues-green into red and finally becomes part of the background drips.

Orchids was painted on 1/4 sheet of Arches 140# cold press paper.  Image size: 7.5″ x 22″  Matted size 12.5″ X 27″  $350

I will be teaching several watercolor workshops in 2017.  Each session will focus on different techniques, concepts, and effects.  Please visit my workshop link to find a class near you: watercolor workshop schedule

 

more new floral watercolors below:

 

Mexico Travel Journal Winter 2017 p16

Many days we spent wandering the city, exploring neighborhoods, taking photos, sampling food, and of course drawing.  The Plaza Civica has two churches that bookend the square.  Kurt and I took opposite ends of the plaza, each portraying a different church.  I chose the Templo de Nuestra Señora.  My sketch captures the vibrant street life found throughout Mexico.

Here are a few more examples of the charm portrayed across Mexico, particularly in Mexican colonial cities.

“Three Passions” Travels in Montrose; Opening Reception Nov. 18th 5-7 PM at Backstreet

Please join us Friday evening, 11/18 from 5-7 PM  at Backstreet Bagel Company for a celebration of new works including

  • “Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel” new artwork by Cheri Isgreen.
  • “Upside Down” Karen Mercer’s new CD ; she will be performing selections from her album.
  • Backstreet’s brand new gallery%22Cosmos%22

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.

 

 

 

“Getting Loose: watercolor workshop offered in Montrose & Gunnison

 

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)

HARVEST SERIES:

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.

HOLIDAY SERIES:

 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.

 

Show Sampler: Travel

musicos

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

(970) 464-4819

“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel” now showing at the Blue Pig Gallery in Palisade

“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel” features new works by Cheri Isgreen.

Horses highlights my deep connection with horses, especially my special relationship with Monarch, who I have raised and trained from green colt to seasoned show, clinic, trail, and special events horse.

FullSizeRender 2

“Ebony and Ivory” is my newest watercolor.  It depicts a Lipizzan and a warmblood in joyful camaraderie.  These horse create their own “liberty pas de deux.”  Look closely at how suspension enhances the beauty of horses’ movement.  Light on living forms creates a unending variety of interesting and harmonious shapes.  The white horse is defined by shadows, in contrast to the highlights defining form in the black 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 of entries from my travel sketch journals 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.