The year typically begins to evolve slowly for me. That is quite appropriate because it gives me time to be in production mode and although I prefer to paint with natural light, winter’s short days mean I have to take advantage of the day or resort to painting with artificial lighting. Of course, as an artist with a “day job”, I don’t many times have a choice if I want to be productive ‘after five’.
As I begin to cook up creations at the easel or at the drafting table (or any other surface I randomly come up with when the need arises), opportunities begin to evolve. There are some activities I plan well in advance, there are others that happen.
In 2012, the year began for me with a focus on writing. Poetry and short stories were my preferred mode of expression and though I consider them experiments of expression, I can say I have returned to the word as a mode of expression once again.
More ash-spewing activity from the volcano Popocatepetl in Mexico seemed to remind me I had a filed manuscript. I decided to bring it out for publication. Then, as I combed the manuscript in one of the many editorial reviews I decided I would illustrate the book too.
In the spring I joined the Guiton Street Artists , my studio neighbors, and we opened our studio for our annual Spring Open House. I featured a collection of figure drawings I created over the previous year.
On the verge of summer, I hosted my friend Kimberly Morris for a workshop for current writers with The Essential Workshop for Fiction Writers. It was great fun and we all called for an encore, perhaps in 2013.
My book was in progress. The Lady of the Turquoise Pendant was destined to print. My goal was to complete the artwork and the publication itself before my summer vacation. I decided the illustrations would be portraits of the principal characters in the novel. I had my work cut out for me but that’s never been a deterrent. I focused and got to work.
I left for vacation with full peace of mind. I had a hard cover and a paperback version of the book in my hand and off I went to Europe for the first time! A fitting reward to my hard work.
I returned to an awesome invitation to participate in the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Art’s exhibition: My Journey, My Story/Mi Viaje, Mi Historia: Mexican Art & Culture Exhibition. I am still honored and excited to have been a part of this exciting exhibit that ran from August to December.
I had my first extra-official book reading at Talento Bilingue de Houston. I participated in the Grupo Literario Cervantes-Shakespeare’s peña literaria. To quote my friend R. Clayton McKee, “a peña is an artists’ jam-session” where the members and guests can share their creative expression. The evening included readings, singing and acting. There was also food, wine and camaraderie.
The official book unveiling took place in October. It was an exciting evening at MECA. It was a moment for me when I felt so blessed to see in the audience people from all facets of my life. It felt so right to share the moment with all these special people. I still thank them for making the evening so special.
I created my 7th street mural for Houston Via Colori. The 10 foot by 10 foot pastel piece was a portrait of one of the characters in my book giving me an opportunity to talk about the story and the Aztec culture to hundreds of people attending the festival.
The final book event for the year was at the East End Studio Gallery where I had a wonderful opportunity to read for an audience interested in the cultural background and the story. And the next day I joined them for their Bazaar as well. It was fun to see all the artists and the community come to enjoy the great fall day of art.
Samuel Murcia Carcamo asked me to illustrate the cover of his new and upcoming book: Pasion. This was my first acrylic figure painting and I enjoyed working with the medium on paper. Reproductions of Pasion , the artwork, are also available.
I appreciate all of you who have attended my events and supported my creative work in so many ways. I especially thank Casa Ramirez, Chrissie and Macario are stupendous supporters. I also thank the wonderful venues that hosted my artistic creations and the exceptional people that made those events shine.
As I wrap up the year I am painting new pieces for my existing series of work, and trying out some new things. I hope you enjoy them as I present them next year.