Second Place Award at “Ridgway Open”

My painting, “Una Calle Vieja, San Miguel de Allende,” (An Old Street), received 2nd Place at the Weehawken Arts “Ridgway Open.”

My painting, “Una Calle Vieja, San Miguel de Allende,” (An Old Street), received 2nd Place at the Weehawken Arts “Ridgway Open” last Sunday night, April 14th.  The show runs through the end of May at Weehawken’s exhibition space, the 610 Arts Collective, 610 Clinton, St, Ridgway, CO 81432.  610 Arts Collective

Una Calle Vieja, SMA

I’m getting stronger 3 months post-op, and beginning to participate in art events and finally able to make art again.  The painting, “Una Calle Vieja, San Miguel de Allende,” was actually repainted just a week before I entered it in the “Ridgway Open” show. Last year when I originally painted it, I was never happy with the composition. To me it felt unresolved, and I wasn’t sure how to correct that. On that inspired day,  I revisted the painting.  I decided to go back into the painting with pure Windsor red- an opaque pigment- in the shadowed background areas. It was just what I needed, pulling all the red areas together. Then I used manganese blue- another opaque color in the foreground shadows where the road tiles create a linear movement into the heart of the painting. Wow! Cool- using opaque pigments to lead the eye into the focal point and around the painting.  Overpainting with opaque pigments also made a good vehicle for bringing unity to the red/blue accents found throughout the painting. I love it when experimentation leads to new understanding.

Deciding what to enter, I chose to showcase my travel work.  The second piece I entered was “A Break in the Clouds,” which was accepted for exhibition last May 2018 for the Colorado Watercolor Society National Exhibition of water media.  It also received 3rd place at the Montrose Visual Arts Guild annual show, October 2018.  These paintings complement each other with the San Miguel piece executed in warm glowing colors and deep shadows, while the Nicaragua painting features cool colors, sunlight, and strong contrasts.

Break in the Clouds

Both paintings are 16″ x 20″ watercolor on paper, framed under glass, $350 each.  Paintings can be purchased by contacting the 610 Arts Collective, 970-318-0150.  If you are local to the Western Slope of Colorado, take a drive to Ridgway and check out the entire show.  Spring is in full glory, and the drive is spectacular.

Gunnison Arts Center Featured Artist

I have been chosen as the featured artist for the month of August at the Gunnison Arts Center.  During the month of August all framed paintings of mine are offered at 10% off- both at the Arts Center and through the website.  use this link to receive 10% off during the month of August, (simply mention this blog post.)  This is a good time to purchase that special painting you have been admiring, or commission a special work.

Gold Dust
Roadside Gold, watercolor with acrylic accents, 10″x19″  $200 Copyright C Isgreen

I will be painting live at the Arts Center during Gunnison’s First Friday August Art Walk.
Break in the Clouds (1) I will be pleased to visit with you, answer questions, and share what I am working on.  As Gunnison locals know, I am a frequent instructor at the Center, along with exhibiting my watercolors and mixed media work through the Shop at the GAC and GAC exhibitions, including the recent Colorado Watercolor Society juried “A Splash of Colorado,” and the GAC January staff/instructor show, where I showed my travel sketches and paintings.  I spent the winter in the Central Highlands of Mexico, painting the beautiful Baroque cities of Guanajuato, Dolores Hidalgo, Querétaro, and San Luis Potosí, and the charming village of Ajijí, Jalisco.

The following is an interview with Erin Jacobs, manager of the GAC Featured Artist Series:

Where are you from?

I grew up in Lake County, Ill., (which is horse heaven- similar to Ireland.)  I have lived in Western Colorado for the past 45 years, (which is a different kind of heaven.)
What is your medium of choice?

watercolor often, but mixed media with ceramic, metal, fiber, & glass comes a close second


What inspires your work?

I am fascinated by the relationship between light and shadow on natural forms. Compositions for watercolor paintings develop as I respond to the interplay of light and dark shapes.   As I paint, I seek fresh, unexpected color mixtures through poured techniques and spontaneous wet-into-wet brushwork. I strive for a sense of mystery and narrative in each painting. My three passions are horses, flowers, and travel, which often inform the subject matter of my compositions.

When did you get involved in the art world?

I have always been an artist.  My earliest memory of making art was when I was perhaps 4 years old.  My twin sister and I scratched our self portraits into the headboards of our twin beds with the plug of the bedside lamp.

What are you currently working on?                                                                                 Flamenco dancers- this series explores light on the human form.  I was so inspired by the performance I attended while in Mexico this winter.

What are you most passionate about professionally? Personally?
%22Out of the Shadows%22 sold
“Out of the Shadows” poured watercolor, copyright C Isgreen; Award of Merit Around the Corner Gallery; People’s Choice Montrose Visual Arts Guild Annual Show; private collection

Professionally: I am most passionate about striving for excellence and originality in every piece I create.  With so much digital media available, I want each of my pieces to be an original work of art directly from my own hand from the highest standards of excellence.

Personally: I am most passionate about kindness and integrity in dealing with others, relating to our environment, training my horse, and making decisions.

What’s your greatest accomplishment?

Raising a caring and thoughtful daughter and maintaining a close relationship with her.


Where could one find you on a Saturday afternoon?

On the back of my horse; I ride dressage which is a lifelong journey toward excellence and lightness.


What circumstances do you find yourself producing new work?

I am forever getting creative brainstorms, so creating new work is an on-going process.


Do you offer custom commissions?

%22Power%22
“Conversano Mima” watercolor, copyright C Isgreen

Yes, I enjoy getting to know my client and working with the client to create a special piece of artwork.  In the case of horses, I often visit the farm to meet the horse.  Then I take several photos, develop detailed drawings, and discuss how my vision will become a painting.  The painting at left was commissioned by White Horse Vale Lipizzans, Goldendale, WA.


What is your website address?

https://cheriisgreenfineart.wordpress.com  I can also be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CheriIsgreenFineArt and on Instagram at Cheri Isgreen Fine Art.  I invite you to follow me!

 

Museo & Casa de Olga Costa & Jose Chavez Morado

Today we visited the Museo de Olga Costa-Jose Chavez Morado. Artists Costa & Chavez Morado shared a partnership of art and marriage. The museum is Costa and Chavez Morado’s former home and studio, which they donated to the city of Guanajuato, along with their art collection. On display is a rich collection of ceramics, (both pre-Hispanic and 20th Century local talavera), furniture, masks, textiles, and their own artworks. Across the courtyard, exhibitions of rotating contemporary art is shown. Learn more: Olga Costa & Jose Chavez Morado

To find the museum, one walks along the picturesque Rio Pastita, which parallels Calle Pastita in the Pastita Bario. Along the route is the old Colonial-era aqueduct. Costa and Chavez Morado converted a massive old well into their home and studio. Based on the shape of the back walls, I imagine the artists removed the original back part of the well to build additional walls and enlarge their living/studio space. This back area opens to lovely gardens and a spacious courtyard.

Ink drawing: old well beautifully converted to artists’ home & section of old aqueduct

A Night at the Symphony

Una noche en la sinfonia, Teatro Juarez, Guanajuato……Viernes 2 de febrero, 2018

Every since seeing Guanajuato’s crown jewel, the Juarez Theater during my visit last year, I have been wanting to attend a performance. Friday night was the season opener for Orquesta Sinfonica de la Universidad de Guanajuato. The name is somewhat misleading, as it is not a student orchestra. It is Mexico’s most prestigious orchestra: a full symphonic orchestra with accomplished residential and invited international musicians, soloists, and conductors.

The neo-classical jewel was commissioned by President Porfirio Diaz, reflecting his opulent tastes. It features twelve Doric columns with brass capitals, supporting a cornice topped with a row of black stone muses. The ornate lamp posts illuminate the theatre in an elegant glow. The interior is every bit as spectacular as the exterior promises. The bar and lobby gleam with carved wood, stained glass, and precious metals. Heavily influenced by Moorish design, the Gran Salon Auditorio dazzles with elaborately carved wood and stucco relief, painted brilliant tones of red, blue, and gold.

Designed by Antonio Rivas Mercado, work began in 1873, finished in 1903, and inaugurated by Diaz in 1910 with a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida. (Pictured: Auditorium before the performance, as people were finding their seats). The 2018 Apertura de Temporada began with Johann Strauss, The Bat Overture. Sitting in sumptuous elegance with strains of classical harmonies washing over me, I felt I was transported in time, (and perhaps even place to nineteenth century Vienna). Next on the bill was Dvorak, Concert for Violin Opus 53, with invited soloist Karen Su. After intermission, the performance resumed with Gustav Mahler’s Symphony #1 in E Major, Titian. I was very moved by this innovative piece that continued to build through all four movements.

The performance was preceded by a lecture by the conductor, Roberto Beltran Zavala in the upstairs salon. The art nouveau salon is complemented by more neoclassical carved wood, gold, and marble architectural details. The floor is glass block, enhancing the airy, light-filled environment. It was the Art Nouveau Salon that inspired my collage, which appears in the preview above this post. Ink and ephemera from the night: playbill; theater ticket, bus ticket, & found-text.

City of Frogs: Guanajuato

…meditando sobre Guanajuato

The name Guanajuato comes from the Purepecha language. Some say it means, “hill of frogs,” contending that in the Purepecha culture, the frog is the god of wisdom. Others believe it means, “place of monstrous frogs,” referring to the rock formations that ring the town.

The city has embraced its amphibious “mascota.” Throughout the city, one can see frog ornamentations on homes and businesses. Streets and callejons are named after the frog. The city’s southwest entrance welcomes visitors with La Plaza de Ranas, a lovely gateway featuring a collection of large sandstone frog sculptures.

Drawings in this post were made in ink wash from selected sculptures from the Plaza. I believe these kissing frogs are some of my favorites.

Based on the diversity of sculptural styles, I would guess a variety of sculptors were invited or competed to create a sandstone frog.

Below are a few of my favorite frog photos from wandering the town:

28 Enero 2018. … A Day in the Park

Cogimos un autobus al Mercado Hidalgo y caminamos hasta el Jardin del Cantador

We have been learning the bus routes and stops. On Sunday morning we took the bus from our neighborhood to Central Historico. We picked up the bus at the beautiful Escuela Normal, (the teacher’s college.). It is an old ornate sandstone building built in the Colonial style. This is the main bus stop for the Presa neighborhood. Because we went by bus, instead of walking, we took a tunnel route. Because it was Sunday, everyone was out- families, teenage couples, groups of college students, and a handful of tourists. Once we hit Zona Central, the crowded sidewalks overflowed into the streets. By the time we hit Hildalgo Market, the streets were so clogged, no traffic could move. We disembarked the bus and headed to a large park called Garden of the Singer.

Though some flowers are blooming and shrubs are still green, the trees are mostly dormant, creating a mass of neutral greys. I decided this journal entry would be made in toned inks. Above the garden, homes are built into the hillside providing a splash of color to the winter landscape. This area could be loosely rendered with watercolor wash. The thin paper of the my bus ticket added a layer of complexity to the composition.

We were confused about how to return by bus. Everyone told us to catch the return bus “abajo,” but we could not find where the bus stopped down below. Yesterday we tried again to figure out the bus route home. Finally a college student showed us that the main upper stop was about half a block away from the lower return route. We walked back to Hildalgo Mercado and after some wandering, we found the stone staircase that took us to the bus stop in the tunnel. Once down there, we learned the little buses, (cambios), stopped at the first stop, so we had to walk deeper into the tunnel to catch the Presa bus. It has been very cold, and everyone rides the bus when the weather is bad. Several full buses passed us by. Eventually our bus arrived. We traveled in tunnels for a long while before finally surfacing at the Plaza Embajadors, (Plaza of the Ambassadors.). It was just a few more stops until we reached our stop at the Escuela Normal.