chair with scarf

Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 10:30 PM

chair with scarf, originally uploaded by martasart.

self portrait at year's end 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008 at 9:39 PM

I could have left in all the age lines, kept the cheeks droopy and left the glint out of my eyes and the smile off my face.. But what the heck!

orange mug

at 2:18 PM

orange mug, originally uploaded by martasart.

Still Life Duo series no 1 (WIP)

Friday, December 26, 2008 at 5:02 PM

I am joining my friend Casey on this exploration into still life composition with only 2 objects. With each successive painting you switch out one of the objects. So the next painting will have an orange and something else,
This is still a work in progress as I need it to dry a few days so I can brighten it up with some glazing!

Memories of my boy Brandon

Sunday, December 14, 2008 at 11:17 AM

This is a youtube video my friend Cori sent to me. Her son  Brandon  is part of the video.He was diagnosed with leukemia when he was just a year old.  Brandon is doing well now...wonderful in fact. He's like 8 or 9 years old now!  I had a hard time watching it. I saw my boy hurting,  I recognized my hands and my stethoscopee in his little hands. I thought some of you might like to see what I used to do. I miss my pediatric nursing career but relish that there were wonderful outcomes like Brandon's. 

Cori's note to me:
" Everyone who was involved in the video went to view it on Thurs night before it was posted and I just started to cry, it was really hard to see my baby like that. You know for 2 or 3 of those photo's you were there with me. The one with the wash rags on him, you were the one who gave him the medicine stuff that made him start to go into shock. I don't remember what it was, I wanna say it was gamma or something, I didnt write that down. I also don't remember why he was going to need it, but I remember there were possible problems to go along with it and they happened!
And the other picture with his lines being flushed, that was you flushing them. Yea, it brings so many memories back for me too. Very hard memories I don't like to remember, but also such wonderful memories. Like meeting you! "

Conceptual Art

Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 5:55 PM
Conceptual Art
In this season of believing; I chose to believe in myself. With so many hurdles in my path this past year I know I need to get beyond all of them and continue forward. I was having a hard time coming up with an idea for my final project. As the days for the presentation grew near I knew I could not put it off any longer. I came up with all sorts of ideas but none that really melded. None had real creativity or spirit. So I began with stapling a piece of canvas on the studio wall and applying a coat of gesso. Then I stared at it.....for days. Then I took a 1 inch flat brush and began applying white acrylic and medium to the surface. And then it came to me!!! The play of light from the window, the reflections from the facets of my rings danced on the surface and the colors from a glass magnifing glass cast an array of beautiful colors on it. I decided then that the art was what was happening on the canvas. The composition changed with the movement of sunlight! It was an ah, ha moment really. I did think that I might not be able to turn it in as my final piece but I gave it a shot. My instructor accepted it as a piece of conceptual art. She said I had done a good job of convincing her and the rest of the class that it was a piece of art, that this was not a cop out. My family laughed saying, "only you could get away with doing something like that!" But honestly, I actually felt this piece. I am proud of it. I BELIEVED IN MYSELF.

Final Presentation Fall 2008

at 11:23 AM

Final Presentation Fall 2008, originally uploaded by martasart.

Yesterday was the end of term for the oil painting class and we had to present our semester work to the class. I really loved working in oils and feel like I'm just getting started!

Virgencita Azul

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 10:13 AM

Virgencita Azul, originally uploaded by martasart.

I began a new Moleskine on December 1, 2008 and have been sketching in simple holiday/Christmas images on odd days and a brief though on even days. Today I was sipping my coffee admiring the collection of angeles on my mantle and looked upon Mary and her babe. I bought this my first married Christmas. A simple madonna dressed in blue and yellow and made of paper maché.

Red Pitcher with Lemons

Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 10:39 AM

Red Pitcher, originally uploaded by martasart.

Okay, it's finally finished. The suggestions Dianne gave me about the green jar helped as did the ones from my professor regarding how to paint shiny bright objects. She said not to try to paint the shine but to look closely for the shapes and values, where hard and soft edges fall and to remember shiny objects tend to have more hard edges.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 3:43 PM

Glazing, originally uploaded by martasart.

This is the still life I am working on in school. I'm almost done but will have to go in on my own to work on it because it's due next Wed. and I still have at least 2 more glazes to apply. I have a purple glass on the right and a turquoise one on the left that ned to be glazed in yet. And some minor adjustments to the ribbon and shadow areas

I made myself 'chill' yesterday.  I removed a few things from the living room and replaced them with treasured Christmas decorations.  The fireplace mantle now sits with a collection of angels gathered over the years.  Then i found the stockings and hung them up too.  This year I have to make a new one for my Amy's boyfriend who'll again spend Christmas with us this year.  He's jewish but he said he had such a good Christmas with us last year that this year I want to make something special for him.

Then I called Dianne and we went out to lunch at a sushi bar.  In the evening she came over to have a glass of wine with me and look at my new easel.  She critiqued the new painting of the red pitcher and this morning I reworked the green pot and can see what she was talking about.

Today I had school and that always excites me!  I love being around young people and all their creative energy.  And they are so gracious and kind towards a few of us older students.  Somehow I think the age gap disappears in the studio.  Our instructor made an announcement to us today that has me all excited!!!!!!!  Over the top excited!!!!!!!  No, won't share just yet.  But I talked it over with Rudy and he says if I can swing it; go for it!!!!  

I'm sorry I haven't been able to comment as often on yuor blogs.  I'm having a harder time seeing the computer even when I enlarge the fonts.  I have a short window where I can do it and I am being to see how limiting my eyesight is becoming.  But I do go by and see the art and love all the creativity out there!!!!

Now I better go cut the lemon squares (from Shirley's recipe) for the Quilter Christmas Pot Luck this evening.  Oh and the migraine,  well it's day 5 now and I'm just sick of it.....but although constant it hasn't been crippling.  Have a good evening all!

Lemon Squares in Watercolour

Tough year, is it over yet?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 5:41 PM
I'm not much in the mood for Christmas. This has been a very difficult yeat for me. So much happened in my life, many changes. It began with menopause which came with oer 40 hotflashes per day, drenched in sweat, then chills and the mood swings. Hormone therapy took care of all that but left me with long and frequent menstrual cycles. Then a neighbor on drugs stabbed my son in front of our house and that left me with nightmares for months. My son ended up in the hospital but not seriously hurt. Soon after that my dear cousin who'd lost his wife a year earlier and left him widowed with 3 small children was killed in a motorcycle accident. And on top of all that my eyesight continued to worsen. I finally 'broke' and had to stop working. My salvation has been my family and friends and of course, my art.
Through my art I can loose myself, sometimes for hours and forget everything else that causes stress in my life. Through art I have made friends; at my community college art classes, at the art museum and my special online friends. My online friends are never far from reach, a blog comment to boost my confidence, an email to tell me I'm thought of, a phone call across the 'pond' when things have been bad and face to face meetings which begin and end with embracess. Yes, art and what if has brought to my life is my lifeline.
Now, I guess I really should begin thinking of Christmas and the tamale preparations!

Red Pitcher with Lemons

This is a 16x20 inch oil on canvas. We are working on glazing techniques at school so I thought I'd try my own at home. This took over a week to finish because you have to wait for the glaze layer to dry before adding another layer. I think I was most succesful with the pitcher

. Red Pitcher with Lemons

A Strand of Lights

Monday, December 1, 2008 at 7:33 PM

A Strand of Lights, originally uploaded by martasart.

This is what art looks like when tormented by 3 days of a migraine. But I wanted to start off December in a better mood than I have been in lately so I did this quickly this evening. The bright colors and studio light make me feel ill so now I'm going to go shut off the world for the night.

Red Pitcher Still Life WIP

Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 7:52 PM

Red Pitcher Still Life WIP, originally uploaded by martasart.

Study of: Mujer con tocado azul-marino

Saturday, November 15, 2008 at 7:07 PM

Woman with navy blue headdress
pastel on pastel paper approx 7.5x7 inches

So. Cal is on fire again!

at 1:48 PM

We are on fire again in California.  About 2 hours ago we heard about another fire 15 miles from us in Corona, Ca.  We went out to pick up some printer ink and when we came out to the parking lot we already were faced with a massive plume of smoke.  It took us 10 minutes to drive home and this is the view from our neighborhood.  We came home running around the house closing windows and bringing in the dog.  This second photo is looking out from my studio window.  This is so sad and I'm feeling a bit too emotional.  My Rudy is a firefighter and I'm thankful he is home for the next few days.  

My old girl

Friday, November 14, 2008 at 10:22 AM

My old girl, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

Dottie and I are both getting old. She is back to being an indoor dog for the winter. I worry about her old bones and since she is now on medication for arthritis; cuddled up at my feet is good for the two of us.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 6:32 PM

Sew-Master, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

5.5x 7.5 inches
gouache on 140lb cp watercolor paper

I have a collection of sewing machine (over 12). This one belonged to my sister-in-law when she was a little girl. My Amy played with this also when it was handed down to her. It now sits on a shelf in the studio.

La Manzanera

Monday, November 10, 2008 at 3:58 PM

La Manzanera , originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

11x14 inch arches cold press watercolor block.
This is a study for an oil painting I'd like to do of this Guatemalan apple lady.

La Manzanera

Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 8:25 PM

La Manzanera, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

vine charcoal in Raffine sketchbook. Study for a future painting.

Image from a photo from my trip to Guatemala

George Washington

at 2:01 PM

George Washington, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

after 1845 painting by Henry Brintnell Bounetheau

"Americans like any other people inscribe their histories, beliefs, attitudes, desires and dreams in the images they make."

Robert Hughes, Art Critic

Anza Borrego Mountain Top View

Friday, November 7, 2008 at 4:41 PM
Anza Borrego, Ca 
I began this landscape a couple of weeks back when we went to Anza Borrego State Park for a long weekend.  It was fun to set up out on a mountain top and try to capture the light.  I got it home and was disappointed that it was too 'light' so I went back into it today with color and confidence!  

Madras: master study by m.gonzales 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 2:09 PM

Completed master study of Madame Matisse by Henri Matisse 1907.

oil on canvas 31x 40 inches

I felt an intimacy with this painting. I can't express how much elation I felt as I painted her. I left her eyes and lips for the end; and then when I added them she came alive for me. I haven't felt this way before about a painting. I can't wait to begin a new painting with my own subject.

Behold, she holds court in my little studio.

at 2:09 PM

She will be placed in the truck in the next hour and off to the college for tomorrow's critic.

Which Way is Up?

Monday, November 3, 2008 at 7:34 PM

Which Way is Up?, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

Perspective painting assignment. Our objective was to paint the shapes using value, hue, and intensity to make the space believable. We were to be in control at all times. I think I learned what I was supposed to here. I'm calling this done other than I still want to paint in a string or line holding up the yellow box flap.

Sangria break in Paaadena

Sunday, November 2, 2008 at 1:05 PM

Sangria break in Paaadena, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

Sent from me and my cool iPhone

Work continues on Madras

Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 5:42 PM
Madras: WIP
I've been happily painting this week; working on the perspective exercise and starting the master study.  I haven't had much time for anything else, like studying my french lessons or blogging!  I am so in love with the oil painting!  I love it's texture; thick and rich or smooth and buttery.  I  love how I can manipulate it at my whim!  For the Madras painting I've chosen to lay it on thick with marked brush strokes.  I like how up close you can see the globs of paint but as I stand back from it, it looks smooth and glowing.  I do hope it turns out nice and I can hang her up in the house.  
Madras: WIP Madras: WIP Madras: WIP Madras: WIP

Madras Oil painting: WIP

Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 7:36 PM

Madras Oil painting: WIP, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

I don't know if Matisse put down an undertone first but the painting feels so warm to me that I mixed burnt sienna and yellow ochre to lay in this undertone.
After it dried for a week I sketched in the figure with vine charcoal and then lightly misted it with water to set the charcoal. I'm ready now to mix up paint and go at it!


at 7:36 PM

Workspace, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

did some rearranging in the studio today to give me a more efficient work space. Once I begin painting I'll have to see if this set up works for me. I haven't bought an easel yet but my friend Dianne lent me hers.

Perspective Oil Painting: WIP

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 9:58 PM

Perspective Oil Painting: WIP, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

Oil on canvas; 24x30 inches

Still have several hours of work left on this but it can wait till Monday.

Perspectve painting: blocking in color

Monday, October 27, 2008 at 6:59 PM

Sent from me and my cool iPhone

Searching for seashells and mica

at 8:21 AM

We were off-roading through Split Mountain and Elephant Knees. Here is where we stopped to take some pictures and we all got involved in finding pieces of mica and fossilized seashells. Craig is on the left and Rudy on the right.

Anza Borrego SP campground

at 8:20 AM

Anza Borrego SP campground, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

Looking south across the desert at sunset.

Watercolor in Raffine sketchbook

Finding myself at the center of things, as usual

Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 3:09 PM

Sent from me and my cool iPhone

The middle of nowhere

Friday, October 24, 2008 at 8:48 PM

The middle of nowhere, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

Sent from me and my cool iPhone

Madras study done on scribbler on iphone

Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 9:53 AM

I am doing several studies of Madras by Matisse in order to get 'familiar' with her before I attempt my actual size reproduction of her in oil for my master study assignment.

madras wc study

Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 3:19 PM

madras wc study, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

A quick sketch done in Raffine Sketchbook 9x12 inch.

madre y su hijito study 2

Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 4:06 PM

madre y su hijito study 2, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

enlarged image printed onto ink jet transparency film then transfered to Guatemala sketchbook with acrylic matte medium. When dry colored in with layers of color pencils.

Madre con su Hijito.

at 12:38 PM
Madre con su hijito
Madre con su hijito (back)

Life gets busy...

Friday, October 17, 2008 at 9:10 PM
School and life are keeping me very busy.  Last week we enjoyed the beach for a few days, then Sunday in Long Beach for the 5k run which was lots of fun.  Monday began with school again where more assignments were given out in French class and Painting class.  I got the perspective drawing approved and transfered onto a canvas.  I also put together a canvas for my master study which will be 39 x 31 inches.  Rudy helped me put the stretcher bars together and then staple the canvas onto it.  This evening I put on a 2nd coat of gesso and hoping tomorrow to put on the undertone.  I have decided on a Matisse for the study.  
This evening I began my new 9x12 inch Raffine sketchbook.  I began in the back to try it out.  I think I'm going to like it a lot.  I haven't worked a larger sketchbook in awhile so it will be a bit different for me.  Here is the sketch (in the back of the sketchbook) I did tonight.

Studio Stool

perspective sketch

Monday, October 13, 2008 at 8:33 PM

perspective sketch, originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

I have two new assignments in my oil painting class. One is to do a painting based on geometric shapes using one and two point perspective. This was challenging for me to draw out. I still have to get the sketch approved before I can start to add color. Minimum size is 18x24

Le Weekend!

Sunday, October 12, 2008 at 7:57 PM
Yes, it was a busy weekend!  Yesterday we went to the RV show to window shop.  Eerie as the place looked like a ghost one is buying big RVs right now!  Then we went to the Bower's in Santa Ana to catch the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit before it ends.  It was so crowded but I did get in quite a few sketches.  When we finally got to Long Beach and checked into our nice hotel, we just relaxed and enjoyed the evening while I mentally prepared for the 5k this morning.  It was an awesome weekend!

Terra Cotta Warrior

at 7:55 PM

Terra Cotta Warrior , originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

A real man dressed as a warrior. Freaked me out when he began to move and dance!

Terra Cotta Warrior

at 7:54 PM

Terra Cotta Warrior , originally uploaded by mmvgonzales.

A Warrior

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