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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