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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!!