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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year!!

May the New Year
Bring out the Child in You...

Vincent Van Gogh
Portrait of Camille Roulin

Vincent Van Gogh
Les Alpilles
source: Wikipaintings.org

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Vincent Van Gogh & Paul Gauguin - Finished Work

Contemporary Art
Modern Art
Fine Art

Can you spot the differences?

Did he or didnt he?
Oil Painting on Canvas
by Beatriz Socorro
Finished Work

I added a couple of highlights to the pupil of the eyes.

When I added the sailboat in the horizon, the eye kept being drawn there and staying there. So, I had to add the seagulls. Notice that I aligned the seagulls in a slight curve and that the wing of the upper seagull is pointing towards the main subjects: Van Gogh and Gauguin. This was not one of my lucky accidents. I purposely made a circle for the eye to travel from Van Gogh to Gauguin, to the sailboat, to the gulls and back to Van Gogh.

Also, the seagulls fill in what used to be a large empty space in the painting.

This is called composition and design.

But, then, I personally found the sailboat and the gulls too distracting  from the main subjects. Notice how your eyes are drawn to the seagulls.

So, I wiped them off ! I want Van Gogh and his ear to be the main subject.  I also added a little blood to the point of interest (the ear).  Red is the color that draws the eyes the most which is why companies like Coke, Pepsi, Burger King, etc. use it. It´s not by coincidence that stop signs are red.

So much for composition and design...  :))

A good link to get you started on the subject of composition and design:


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Van Gogh and Gauguin

Contemporary Art
Modern Art
Fine Art

Did he or didn´t he?
Oil Painting by Beatriz Socorro

Well, here´s another controversial painting and more controversial  art history. I will always strive to inform you about the parts your school teachers prefer not to talk about.

There are questions about Gauguin´s bisexuality.

Was the row between Van Gogh and Gauguin really a lover´s quarrel?
Did Paul cut Vincent´s ear off?
Did Van Gogh kill himself due to a broken heart when Gauguin left?

I guess we will never really know the answers...

My advice is:  do as much research as you can on the subject and then you be the judge. Here are some links to get you started...

The Guardian

The Telegraph


Van Gogh´s Women

Van Gogh Letters

Notice that, even though I used a Van Gogh-ish style, I did not make a reproduction. That wouldn´t be any fun.

For this painting, I used as models Gauguin´s and Van Gogh´s self-portraits:

source: Wikipaintings.org

source: Wikigallery.org

 Vincent Van Gogh Gallery


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mona Lisa - The Enigma of the Mona Lisa Smile...Solved!

Contemporary Art
Modern Art

More Works in Progress...by the Irreverent Artist  :))

Mona Lisa after Leonardo DaVinci
Oil Painting on Canvas by Beatriz Socorro
Work in Progress

The centuries-old enigma of the Mona Lisa smile...finally SOLVED!!

Well, I have to admit there are also other versions according to some art historians.

Some think it might be Leonardo´s model and  also lover:  Salai
It is no secret that Leonardo was gay.

Some think it might have been Leonardo himself, in drag, doing a self-portrait, in which case the smile simply means: "If you suckers only knew ".

But I believe that, even if it´s Salai or Leonardo´s self-portrait in drag, the enigma of the smile itself is best explained by my interpretation. I mean, look at the swollen and semi-closed eyelids and the goofy smile. What else could it be?

Here are some links on the subject:

Is Mona Lisa really a male model?

Ovi Magazine

Derek Bair

Leonardo Da Vinci - The Complete Works

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Tree Falls, Cañón del Sumidero, Mexico

Photos by Beatriz Socorro

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas...

Christmas Tree Falls, Cañón del Sumidero, Chiapas, Mexico

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Irreverent Artist - Self-Interview

Contemporary Art
Modern Art

The Irreverent Artist
Self-Interview by Beatriz Socorro

Q. What nationality am I?

A. I have dual citizenship: Mexican/Venezuelan.

Q. What do I think of Chavez?

A. I used to be pro-Chavez until I went back to Venezuela and saw with my own eyes that he is nothing but a traitor and a fraud and even more corrupt than all the previous ones put together.

Thanks to Chavez now the poor are poorer. He must be paying a lot of petro-dollars to the Reuters and Associated Press reporters because the media is not saying the truth about him.

Q. For how long have I been an artist?

A. I´ve been an artist since my parents bought me the first coloring book and modelling clay.  Art has been part of my life ever since.

At age five, my parents took us to the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan and, at age nine, to the Vatican, the Louvre, El Escorial, among others. So, from a very young age I have been exposed to some of the great artists.

At age ten,  I started to receive formal art classes from Sister Celine of the Cross (Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary) while attending boarding school in Montreal, Canada.

For six years she taught us perspective, light and shadow, charcoal and clay sculpture.

At age twenty, I started to experiment with oils on my own.

Q. What artists have influenced me?

A. I developed a love for Museums, Galleries and Art Fairs. Throughout my life I have made sure to visit every Museum and Gallery in whatever country, city or town I happen to be in. It would be accurate to say that I have been influenced, in one way or another,  by every artist that I have been exposed to. From each, I have learned.

Q. How would I describe my style?

A. In the art world, they would perhaps describe some of my work as "fauvist". I, on the other hand, can only call it "expressionist". I can only paint when my spirit moves me.  If I try to paint or even draw when I´m not inspired, I can´t even draw a straight line. This is the honest truth.

I start a painting with a basic idea in mind but even I don´t know what the end result will be until it´s done nor do I know when it will be finished. This is one of the reasons I cannot do commission work.

As far as I am concerned, I don´t have a style nor do I wish to have one. I rather let the creative spirit in me do as it pleases, when it pleases and without rules or restrictions of any kind. To me, that´s what creativity is all about,  what art is all about.

Q.  I have an art instruction blog on the internet where I give free lessons and demonstrations of my work. How did this come about?

A. When I first arrived in Ajijic, I had the good fortune of meeting artist Diane Pearl. I asked her, as a newcomer, to give me some good advice and she generously did so.

One of her suggestions was to give art classes. I told her that I don´t have the patience to teach and that I also talk too much. We would not get any work done. But the idea kept turning in my mind and germinated into what is now this art blog.

Q. What advice would I give young artists?

A. Once, while pondering about the meaning and purpose of life and wondering why God would even want to create all this, questions were entering my mind:

Was God lonely? Did God create everything just to have some company?

An answer came into my mind: God created everything for only one reason: "For the love of it".

Whether this is right or wrong, to me it makes absolute sense:

"For no other reason than for the love of it!"

To young artists I would say, "Do it for no other reason than for the love of it. Let your creative spirit and imagination lead you where it wills. This is one place where you are totally free to be yourself and express yourself...a place without rules or limitations.

Be yourself!"

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Art Gallery Opening - Studio 18, Ajijic, Mexico

Art Gallery
Art Gallery Opening

If you are in Guadalajara, Chapala or any of the surrounding areas, come visit us  :))

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nude Female #3

Contemporary Art
Modern Art

Female Nude #3
Oil Painting on Canvas
by Beatriz Socorro

Please, be sure to read through the whole demo before attempting this one.

Notice that the light and shadow in this nude painting are very sharp and defined.

If you enlarge the picture you will see the areas where after filling in the whole figure with the light and shadow,  I then lightly blended some of the darker hue into the light areas to create a mid tone shade, and added some of the lighter hue to the darker areas to make very subtle highlights.

For the figure, mix:

Light area:  White + dab of Cadmium Yellow Deep

Shadow area: White + dab of Orange


Green: Thalo Green + Cadmium Yellow Pale

Lavender: Magenta + Violet + White

Blue: Prussian Blue

Once I finished the first layer for the the background, I didn´t like it. It reminded me of a flag....a streaker at the Olympics.

Now, there´s a thought worth pondering:  maybe next Olympics I should get naked and run through the field during the opening ceremonies while the athletes enter carrying their country´s flag?

Without a doubt I would make the headline news and be world famous overnight;  after which,  I could charge thousands of dollars for my paintings and people would be willing to pay for it.

Unfortunately, I can´t afford the Olympics so scratch that one.

Female Nude #3
Oil Painting on Canvas
by Beatriz Socorro

So, as you can see, I made some changes. I changed the lavender to purple and to a mixture of white and yellow.

Oh no!! Now it looks like vomit.

Female Nude #3
Oil Paintings on Canvas
by Beatriz Socorro

So, not being one who gives up easily, I waited for it to dry and  painted over it again this time with red and it still looked like a flag...just from a different country   :((

Female Nude #3
Oil Paintings on Canvas
by Beatriz Socorro

I, again,  allowed the painting to dry. 

To soften the harsh contrast between the light and shade in the figure, I made a thin glaze with Pearl paint and glazed the whole figure.

But what to do about the darned flag?

Well, what the heck...why not just let spirit completely take over?

So, with an "anything goes" attitude, I wondered what a turquoise background would look like.

Keeping in mind the thick-over-thin rule, I put some Viridian Green and some White on my palette and added linseed oil to each. 

Then, with a palette knife , I added dabs of Viridian Green all over the canvas and then proceeded to do the same with the White. Pretty much as I did with the "Rose"  background.

Please see:  Rose Demo.


...this time, when it came to blending the background colors directly on the canvas, I used my fingers and my hands while I sang: "Que será...serááááá. Whatever will be...will beeeeee....."

Along the outline of the figure, I obviously used a flat brush. But for the rest of the background, I just let my fingers and my hands do as they wished.

By the way, according to some teachers blending the colors directly on the canvas is a no-no. Shows you how obedient I am. 

This was fun...kind of like being a kid and making a mess without fear of reprimands.

I liked it  :)) 

I liked the end result.

If you click to enlarge the picture, the viewer will open. If you look at each one of the photos progressively, you will notice how just by changing the color of the background, it drastically affects the color of the figure.

NOTE:  I could very well have told you a tall tale. I could have said I had purposely painted the first layer of the background in those colors so that when I painted the second layer the first layer would show through (something I sometimes purposely do).

I mean, that definitely sounds a lot better than telling you that my original background simply sucked.

But, anyhow, as they say:  "All is well that ends well".

Have fun and enjoy!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

How to Paint a Portrait & Hair

Contemporary Art
Modern Art

In all honesty, if I tried to explain to you how I have painted Tesla and the Deer Dancer so far, I would only confuse you to the point where you would give up painting altogether.  So, I will spare you  :))

Instead, I have searched the internet for what I think are, perhaps, the videos easiest to understand in YouTube.

These are top notch artists and definitely much better teachers than me.

So, get your favorite beverage, lean back, learn and enjoy:


Drawing a Portrait

Polarizing 1

Polarizing 2

Polarizing 3

Painting a Portrait

Blocking the Portrait - 1

Painting Portrait- 2

Painting Portrait - 3

Final Touches - 4


Painting Hair

And this is an excellent site for learning how to draw a face and everything else you can think of:

Drawspace - Free Lessons

Have Fun and God Bless !!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Deer Dancer - work in progress

Contemporary Art
Modern Art

The Deer Dancer
El Fuerte, Sinaloa

The Deer Dancer
Oil Painting on Canvas
by Beatriz Socorro
Work in Progress

Well, here´s another one of those paintings that have been hanging on my wall for eons...

I tried to work on this one when I was not moved because I felt I needed to get it finished....and each time I tried, I only made a mess.

So, I finally gave up and let the poor boy hang until spirit moved me.

Well, it looks like spirit finally got on the ball....  :))

Now he only needs the finishing touches: highlights, shadows, seashells around his lower legs, belt....but the main part is finally done.

I intend to leave the background as is, except I might add the shadow cast by the figure on the ground or I might not. Only spirit knows for sure what the end result will be.

I consider myself privileged to have watched this young boy, not more than 8 years old, doing the Deer Dance. He is by far the best dancer I have ever seen!  He was not performing the Deer Dance...he WAS the deer. He became a deer.

I would give anything to capture his true essence on the canvas...but I´m afraid I don´t even come close.

I have to ask  René and Canye Zazueta  in El Fuerte, Sinaloa,  the name of this amazing little boy.

I am also privileged to have had the fortune of meeting Rene and Canye and the wonderful people of El Fuerte and, specially, to be able to count them among my dear friends.

If you want to fall in love with Mexico and, specially, the Mexican people....be sure to go to El Fuerte and be sure you meet the locals. It will be an experience you will never forget and that will continue to live forever in your hearts.

If you want to know more about the Deer Dance follow  these links:

The Deer Dance

Deer Dance 1 - Youtube

Deer Dance 2 - Youtube

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Nikola Tesla - still a work in progress...

Art Lessons
Modern Art


Well, almost....

Nikola Tesla
Unfinished Oil Painting on Canvas by Beatriz Socorro
after  photograph by  Napoleon Sarony
Work in Progress

Poor Tesla has been hanging on my wall for over a year and a half,  patiently waiting for spirit to move me.

Well, he´s finally back on the easel.  Only God knows when he will be finally finished or what he will look like in the end. He still needs  highlights, some darker shadows and, definitely, eyelashes.

One thing I do know for sure and that is that, if I don´t ruin him next time I work on him and I don´t die before I finally get him finished, he will be one of my most famous paintings.

Why will he be one of my most famous paintings? 

Because he is already famous...   :))

He's up there with the likes of Jules Verne and DaVinci...a genius...a visionary. The kind of person whose mind simply blows us away.

Here are some of his inventions...just to name a few:

Nikola Tesla - Wikipedia

Tesla Memorial Society

Hummm....I wonder how much this painting of Tesla will sell for at Sotheby´s or Christie´s after I die.

I´ll probably attend the auction in spirit form and when I hear the price I will scream:

"Not fair!!! Why didn´t you pay ME that when I was alive?"

Now you can see why I don´t do commission portraiture or any kind of commission work for that matter. None of my customers could ever be as patient as Tesla.

Poor guy´s been in the closet for so long he couldn´t take it anymore and wants exposure at all costs...even if he´s still unfinished.

I only paint that which I am drawn to at the time. If I try to paint something when I am not in the mood for it, no matter how hard I try, nothing comes out right. Nothing!

Besides,  I can only paint those faces whose expressions draw me to them...that call me. The expression has always been most important to me. I am still working on that mischievous little grin on Tesla. I wonder what he is thinking. His smile is more intriguing than the Mona Lisa´s.

Nikola Tesla
Photograph by Napoleon Sarony
Source: Wikimedia.org

Oh, sometimes I envy artist Salvador Ortiz (in a good way). He can whip out masterpieces with the same ease as if he were flipping burgers.

I truly admire his talent as well as that of portrait artists who sit on sidewalks or malls and paint amazing portraits of people in an hour´s time. They are definitely admirable artists!

Anything else we paint, whether it be the body, a hand, a butterfly or whatever, does not have to be exact to look like what it´s meant to be. But, in portraiture, even the tiniest little detail can change the likeness of a person. I definitely applaud those artists who have such talent.

Unlike them, it takes me forever to paint a portrait.

AFTERWORD:  Besides admiring Tesla for his genius, what I like the most about him is that he too believed in aliens and was ridiculed  for it.

Let me clarify that statement, I don´t mean I like the "ridiculed" part but, rather,  that he believed in aliens.

Today he doesn´t seem so crazy after all, huh?

I wonder if the men in black had anything to do with his death. He knew too much!!

Maybe like Dr. Wilhelm Reich they needed to be rid of him.

Reich was imprisoned, his works destroyed and he conveniently died of heart failure, in jail, right before he was due for parole.

It´s noteworthy that the government zoomed in on Tesla and Reich at the same time that they started to work on sophisticated weapons and publicly talking about UFOs. The government made sure to downplay the UFO part, take all the research papers away from the public eye and then came up with some other lame reasons to cover up and justify their actions.

Project Camelot

Who Was Wilhem Reich?

Wilhelm Reich and Orgone Energy

One of these days I am going to paint another one of my favorite people: Jules Verne.

And one of these days I´ll write a post about the Mona Lisa  :))

Have a great day  :))

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sergey Zakutaylo

Art Videos
Contemporary Art

If you have not watched Sergey Zakutaylo´s video art demonstrations recently, I suggest that you do.

Put on your favorite music, lean back, WATCH , learn....and enjoy!

Sergey Zakutaylo

Friday, November 16, 2012

And Here´s Some Great Advice from Laurel Gordon

...from Laurel Gordon. I am sure you will find it very helpful and inspiring:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Great Master of Art Living Among Us: Roberto Ferri

I can only stand in total admiration. 

With all respect, I dedicate this page to

A Great Master of Art now living among us:


Bienvenuti nel 21° secolo, Maestro!

His Site

His Blog

Monday, November 12, 2012

Remember This....

Art Lessons
Contemporary Art

This is one of those things that I´ve said before and I´ll say again and again.

The most difficult thing in art, the most time consuming is...
... deciding what you´re going to make or paint, how you are going to create it and which colors you will use.

The painting technique part is the easy part.

It´s definitely acceptable to copy someone else´s work while you learn or have some fun, as long as you give credit to the original artist...but remember that true art is the creative part and that is something that cannot be copied. It can only come from you.

So even if you use someone else´s work for inspiration or reference, be sure that there is always something there that is  uniquely yours and, please,  remember to give the credit due to the original artist.

The customary way of doing this is by adding the word "after" and then the name of the original artist. For example: Male Figure by Beatriz Socorro "after" Roberto Ferri.

Remember this: even monkeys can imitate and elephants can paint (some of them even better than me).

Here are some links about some of the famous artists who have used other famous artist´s work as reference.

As you can see they are not exact reproductions but rather the artist´s own version of the original work.

1. Van Gogh
2. Picasso
3. Francis Bacon
4. Andy Warhol  (starts on  paragraph 4)

If you wish to use someone else´s  Art Work or Photos as reference for your work, your best and safest bet is to use works that are already in the public domain. This way you don´t risk infringing copyrights. You can get these by doing a Google search on images in the public domain.

I also recommend you do some research on artist's copyrights. The more you know...the better.

Have Fun!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Nude Female 2

Modern Art
Painting Lessons/Demos

Female Nude 2
Oil Painting on Canvas
by Beatriz Socorro

Here´s another simple and fun painting.

This will also be an exercise in observation.

Notice that the light and shadows are totally defined.

It was done in two layers.

First Layer

Second Layer

First apply the base colors and let it dry well.

If you enlarge the photo, you will notice that the brush strokes are smooth and long and follow the shape of the figure.

The Colors:

Cadmium Yellow Pale
Cadmium Yellow Deep
Grumbacher Red
Lavender:  mix Violet  + White
Aqua:  mix Viridian Green + Light Yellow
Blue:  mix Ultramarine + White

Notice that the shadow that goes  from the spine to the armpit and the lines that define the lower part of the buttocks are more of a fuchsia color. Just add some red to the lavender  until you get the desired hue.

Once the first layer has dried completely, using linseed oil as a medium, make glazes for each of the different colors you will use for shadow effects. Make the glaze thin enough so that the underlying color shows through but not so thin that the effect is not visible.

Observe the second image closely and you will see where I applied the shadows on the yellow section of the figure. I first covered the whole section with a Light Yellow glaze and,  for the deeper shadows, I used the same Yellow as it came straight from the tube (without adding any medium to it).

Compare both photos and notice how I applied the Orange glaze over the Cadmium Yellow Deep. Notice that I did not apply the glaze over the whole figure.

Make sure you apply the glazes in a way that some of the underlying color shows through.

  • For the Red area in the background and the figure:  use a very  thin glaze of Carmin.
  • For the Lavender areas:  mix darker and lighter shades of Violet + White and glaze as seen in the photo.
  • For the green: mix a lighter hue of Viridian Green and Light Yellow and glaze.
  • For the aqua:  mix a lighter hue of Viridian Green and White and glaze.
  • For the blue:  mix a lighter hue of Ultramarine + White and glaze.

I hope you enjoyed this demo. 
Have fun and God Bless!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Time to Have Some Fun - Modern Art & Minimalism

Contemporary Art
Art Lessons

It´s time to have some fun and play!!

Getting physically old does not mean one has to get mentally old and boring as well.

Modern Art

Andy Warhol
Eat Your Heart Out !

With a nail make three holes in the back of the soda can and drain it.

Pierce three corresponding holes through a 12" x 16" canvas.

Cut 3 pieces of stainless steel wire to a length of about 1 1/2 in. each. Bend then into the shape of fishing hooks (making the hook as tight as possible and yet open enough so as to be able to slide the wire into the can).

Run the wire through the canvas holes into the can.

Glue the exposed ends of the hooks to the canvas and then glue a strip of canvas over the hooks so that they are not be visible.

Study in Minimalism

Quarks, Leptons & Bosons
Oil on Canvas
12" x 16"

No!  This is not a black cat in dark alley on a dark night.

Quarks, leptons and bosons are the smallest particles known to man.  We can´t get more minimal than that at this time.

According to today´s scientists, they cannot be seen because they are confined inside subatomic particles.

So, quarks and leptons and bosons are, in this sense, like God.  Scientists now want us to have faith and believe in that which cannot be seen.

So, please allow the child in you as well as  your artistic self to fly and imagine them in whatever shape or form you so desire...and BELIEVE!!

If you trust 21st century science, then you can be certain that they are definitely contained within the subatomic particles that form this black canvas.

Mini-Interview with the Artist:

Q. Why did you choose a black canvas instead of the standard white canvas normally used in minimalist art? 

Beatriz Socorro:
 For two good reasons:

1. The molecules that transmit the full color spectrum create what we know as the color "white".

The  molecules that dissolve or absorb the full color spectrum produce the color "black".

Therefore, in this study, I have successfully eliminated the full color spectrum and thus added to minimization.

2.  Black offers an interactive, neutral background on which the viewer can allow their vivid imaginations to run wild.

Q. Why did you choose this size of canvas for your study? What meaning were you trying to covey?

Beatriz Socorro:   I really wanted to use miniature canvases such as you see in dollhouses.

Unfortunately,  this past off-season was so bad for local businesses in general (including me) that I couldn´t afford to buy any more canvases, not even miniature ones. This was the smallest size I had at hand.

However, to compensate for the size, I made sure I reduced to a minimum the mental and physical effort required to create the art work.

NOTE: If you wish to learn more about Minimalism, a recognized art form created over half a century ago by  Yves Klein and which has earned a place in the most renowned museums worldwide, such as the Metropolitan, Guggenheim, The Louvre, etc.,  read the post titled:  "Breaking the Rules".

Breaking The Rules


Monday, November 5, 2012

The Painting Demo That Wasn´t

Contemporary Art

Oil Painting on Canvas by Beatriz Socorro
Male Nude 2 after "Orfeo" by Roberto Ferri

Remember in one of my previous blogs when I said this was going to be my next demo?

After I filled in the basic colors and blended the edges, I felt the colors were too vivid. I wanted something softer.

I waited for it to dry and painted over it.

I blended the colors with my fingers and then proceeded to add the darker shadows.

I didn´t like it at all!

Prussian Blue and Thalo Green are two colors which are very hard to remove. They love to cling. So...I just poured thinner over the whole thing and wiped it all off with paper towels and,  of course, it left streaks all over the figure and the background.

Well, what the heck! The painting was ruined. Might as well have some fun and experiment with it.

I liked the streaks...  :))

I was wondering what color I could use to allow the streaks to show through. The Light Gold that I have is pretty transparent. I wondered what that would look like....

I should have taken a picture of the streaks but at the time I didn´t feel like photographing the mess I made.

I wiped off the excess thinner and allowed it to dry.

Keeping in mind the fat-over-lean rule, I added linseed oil to the gold paint and covered the whole figure with it and then with some bronze added some shadows.

I used a flat brush to paint along the edges of the figure but used my fingers to fill it in.

For the background I used a brush to apply the paint.

Once I was done, you could barely see the streaks but here´s the result. Not so bad considering that I was ready to paint the whole canvas white to retrieve it and start again from the beginning.

Oil Painting on Canvas by Beatriz Socorro
Male Nude 2 after Orfeo by Roberto Ferri

This is what you call:  turning a negative into a positive.

So, if you ever make a mess...have fun and experiment.

Note: Male Nude 2 by Beatriz Socorro "after"  Orfeo by Roberto Ferri

God Bless!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Breaking the Rules

Contemporary Art
Art Lessons

The most wonderful thing about art is that this is one place where we can break all the rules and get away with it.

Breaking the rules sets the imagination free and allows us to be creative and original.

Who are today´s most famous artists?

The ones that broke the rules or did something shocking and/or outrageous in their personal lives.

Van Gogh painted with a style which went against all the established rules at the time. He painted what he felt regardless of everyone else´s opinions.
There are now some who question whether he cut off his own ear or if Gauguin did it during a dispute.

Vincent Van Gogh

Gauguin left civilized life and went to live like a native. Maybe he feared for his life after cutting Van Gogh´s ear off?
He was also one of the precursors of post impressionism and other painting styles.

Paul Gauguin

Picasso started a completely new and shocking style of painting: Cubism.
He also created political controversy with his painting Guernica.

Pablo Picasso

Dali painted things that only someone on drugs could ever imagine.  When he was asked if he took drugs, he answered,  "I don´t take drugs. I am drugs".
Historians interpret this as meaning that he didn´t take drugs. I happen to differ.
He combined great mastery of classical art with surrealism.
Add to that the funny little mustache and the eccentric fashion and behavior...
...or was that just a good publicity gimmick to shock and thus sell himself ?
Sorry, Dali, but Madonna outdid you in that department.

Salvador Dali

Read the lives of the great painters and artist and you will see a common thread in them:


Just don´t go so far as to get yourself in jail or in harm´s way.

I remember going to a Museum of Beaux Arts about 30 years ago during one of my travels.

I can´t remember the city nor the name of the artist but I do remember how offended and aggravated I was. I was pissed!!

The artist had three blank canvases on exhibit...at a Museum no less!!

On one blank canvas, he had made one diagonal cut with a knife,  two cuts on the second canvas and three cuts on the third.

For goodness sake!! I was offended! I was insulted!  THIS was hanging in a museum?

I had seen extraordinary artists painting in plazas in small villages and selling their work for peanuts and this guy was in a museum? For God´s sake!! What was the world coming to???

Well, one thing is for sure...he had cojones and he definitely broke all the rules.

Not only that...he also started a trend called  "minimalism".

You go figure....

Here are some links on the subject that will make you smile:

1. Is Art, Art?

2. Half a Century of Minimalism   - this is one article you should not miss  :))

"These works follow a typical trajectory of modern art. Step by step, from reduction to reduction, we make a clean sweep, from figuration to abstraction, to a uniform canvas, to a blank canvas, and then to a blank wall."

Well, I have an idea...let´s not stop there. 

Next exhibit should be in the Sahara Desert  with no building and only one visitor at a time allowed within the surrounding visible area.

The next exhibit should be on an invisible platform floating in outer space or better yet..in a black hole.  Again, only one visitor at a time .

The next minimalist exhibit should be in another dimension.

And last but not least, one exhibit on the other side after you die so that not even you are visible...and, please, remember to turn off the "Light" so that you can get the full experience!

3. Blank Canvas Cartoons

4.      and this is my favorite. I definitely love this guy...  :))))

    Blank Canvas - Art Critics  

    Minimalism in Art

    Art Genius


Have fun and God Bless!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Female Nude
Oil Painting on Canvas
Alla Prima (Wet-on-Wet)
Contemporary Art

Female Nude 1
Oil Painting on Canvas
by Beatriz Socorro

* click on photo to enlarge

This one is going to be fun and easy  :)

The technique is called "alla prima" aka "wet-on-wet".

To learn more about alla prima go to:  Wikipedia - Alla Prima

The paints used are:

  • silver
  • light gold
  • dark gold
  • bronze
  • raw umber.

Note:  raw umber is a good color to use when you want to darken any other color instead of using black.

Notice that the lights and shadow on the figure are defined and sharp...not blended.

Notice that there are 5 different shades and tones.

Whoever said English is an easy language?  Gees!!!

To me a shade is a shade whether it be light, medium or dark and a tint is the different variations of the same basic color. So bare with me. My brain can only grasp so much.

But if you want to know the TRUE terminology and if it really matters to you, go to:   Color-Wheel-Artist

First read through the demo before painting anything and observe the painting above as you do, so that you understand what I am trying to show you.

To get the very light shade of gold, I mixed some silver with the light gold. Apply this to the lightest areas of your painting.

I start with the lighter color and work my way down to the darkest. This way I don´t have to be cleaning the brush before applying the next darker shade; whereas if I did it the other way around, I would have to clean the brush before changing to a lighter color so as not to darken it.

This time, when you apply the paint do not leave a space between the two colors as we did in the previous demos.  Remember, we are not blending. So pretend you´re painting by numbers.

The next shade is just pure light gold, followed by dark gold, bronze and finally (since I could not find a darker shade of bronze at the supply store) I added a little bit of raw umber to the bronze to paint the darkest shade. Don´t add too much umber or you will lose the shine of the bronze and end up with a dull color.

Now, with a small flat, soft brush go over the dividing line between the two colors very gently, barely applying any pressure, barely touching.  Pretend your paint brush is a feather  and just barely go over the line that separates the two shades with long and smooth strokes.. After each stroke, wipe the excess paint off the brush with a paper towel.

DON´T clean it with thinner but DO remove the excess paint. The reason for only wiping the excess off is that in this way you allow a very small amount of the colors to blend.

If in some areas the pencil marks of your sketch show through and you don´t want them to, take a small, hard, bristle brush and rub the line as you would with an eraser but do so very gently. Yo don´t want to damage the canvas.

Sometimes I like to let some of the sketch lines show through. So I leave some and erase some. It´s up to you.

For the background, use the light gold and apply it with a soft, flat brush allowing your hand to make the strokes freely in whatever direction it chooses. As if you were directing and orchestra in allegro tempo.

Allegro  Tempo  = quick and lively speed.

Notice we did not use any mediums this time. That´s one of the beauties of alla prima...no mediums, no waiting for one layer to dry before going to the next !!!

With this technique, the only reason to add oil to your paint would be if it is too thick and you want to make it thinner.

You´re done!! Hang it to dry  :)

BUT NOW, you will have to figure out where to get models for your paintings.

Here are 5 possible ways:

1. If you´re lucky, you can get a beautiful man or woman and have them pose for you either live or for a photoshoot.

2. If you´re not so lucky, then you can go to Google search and look for photos or paintings that are in the "public domain" and use those as your reference photos for your sketch. This way you don´t infringe any copyrights and get yourself into trouble.

Here is a great site to get you started:  Wikigallery.org

3. Take nude photos of yourself and don´t tell anyone it´s you...unless you want them to know it´s a self-portrait.

4. Get a female wooden artist figurine.

5. Get an avatar.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this demo.

Until next time...have fun, take care and God bless!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Nude Male #1

Contemporary Art
Modern Art
Fine Art

Nude Male #1

I was chatting with artist Laurel Gordon and she asked me to show her the first step of what I was working on. So I sent her a picture.

She said to me, " It even looks good as it is".

She got me thinking and I took a good look at it and said, "You know...you´re right !! "

So here´s the finished-unfinished version of the nude male torso...

Graphite/oil Paint on Canvas
by Beatriz Socorro
Nude Male 1 after "Orfeo" by Roberto Ferri

This is one of the fun and definite beauties of art...breaking the rules !!!

Note:  You cannot use varnish on a graphite or charcoal drawing.
Adding a a charcoal/graphite fixative can alter the appearance.
There are pros and cons. Do some research before making the decision.

I chose to spray with a fixative. Be sure to hold the  can about a foot away from the sketch. Sway your arm back and forth as you spray over the surface.  Don´t saturate the surface.

I like to sketch on paper before I transfer the drawing to the canvas. The reason is that this way I don´t smudge the canvas with the eraser each time I make a correction.

It has a secondary advantage as well. I can make as many versions of the same sketch as I want without having to start again from the beginning.

So, this is one time when I will make two versions of the same subject. The finished-unfinished version above and the one I'm still working on and which will be my next demo.

Step 2 of my next Demo

* Nude Male 1 by Beatriz Socorro "after" Orfeo by Roberto Ferri

God Bless!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Finding Your Inner Artist by Laurel Gordon

Contemporary Art

I would like to share with you a blog started by talented artist Laurel Gordon.
May it be an inspiration to you as well.

Become the Artist

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Patron of the Arts: Maureen Seewald Smith

Contemporary Art
Art Lessons


This page is gratefully dedicated to my patron, my best and most beloved friend: Maureen Smith Seewald...
...without whom none of this would be possible; without whom I wouldn't even be here.

Honey, I am eternally grateful. 

You are forever in my heart.

Maureen Seewald Smith

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Oil Painting Lessons/Demos
Contemporary Art

Oil Painting On Canvas
by Beatriz Socorro

As I have mentioned before, some of the photos vary in color, depending on the time of day or whether I have photographed them indoors or outdoors. The true colors are the ones you can see on the above photo (the finished painting).

If this is your first visit, please go to OIL PAINTING LESSONS and read: "Art Notes" and "Oil Painting Tips" and be sure to read through at least the first 3 demos (preferably the first six).
There is important information in the previous demos that I don´t repeat in the subsequent ones.

To see the photo I used as a model for this painting, go to:  Free Photos: Hibiscus


Block in the colors for the background, the flower and the leaves.

Background: Lime Yellow + White + pinch of Yellow Ochre
Flower: Cadmium Yellow Pale + Grumbacher Red + Yellow
Leaves: Emerald Green + Light Yellow

Oil Painting Lessons/Demos - STEP 1 



Mix a darker shade of the same colors previously used for the flower and start outlining the shadow areas.

The bottom petals show how it is first applied. The top petals show how it should look after being gently scrumbled.

Do the same with the leaves.

Always observe your photo or your subject closely to see where the lights and the shadows need to be applied.

Oil Painting Lessons/Demos - STEP 2


Now, using a lighter shade of the same color mixture,  apply the highlights.

The petals on the right show how it is first applied and the rest of the petals show what it should look like after being gently scrumbled.

Do the same with leaves.

Oil Painting Lessons/Demos - STEP 3



If you feel you need to add more highlights or deepen the shadows, this is the time to do it.

Next, with the tip of a paper clip, add the anthers.

For the stigmas, I used the smallest brush I own:  round #00 (which, by the way, is also great for adding your signature). If you don´t have this size brush, then use the tip of a paper clip.

Anthers: Cadmium Yellow
Stigmas: Grumbacher Red

Oil Painting Lessons/Demos - STEP 4


Hope you enjoyed it. God Bless!!