Fall Art Calendar – Final Stretch

Three events to wrap up the year for the holiday season.

  1. Alpine Artwalk. November 18 & 19, 2016
  2. Guiton St. Artists Fall Open Studio Event. December 3, 2016
  3. Author Visit-A Book Event for Girls and Moms. December 10, 2016

studio-110316-100

 

thinking-girls-2016

These three activities wrap up the event year after which I will sojourn to write and paint in my typical winter hibernation habit. We’ll see what the new year brews for us.

 

A Studio Visit

Welcome to my studio!

Welcome to my studio!

Here is an opportunity to visit my studio online. The fall open studio and art sale event came to a conclusion on Saturday night but you now have an opportunity to preview the artwork in my main room via your screen so welcome to my studio!

For this open studio I unveiled the new Big Bend paintings in my Landscape series. Like most of my landscapes, these scenes are inspired from my trip to the park. I use my memory, my sketches and my own photo references to help me capture the image I see. What I paint onto the canvas is the feeling I had when I first saw that particular scene and it captured my eye.

The scenes are of spring in the desert. There had been rain a few weeks prior. Vegetation was present and flowers were still in bloom. Even with cool mornings and nights, by noon, the trails were hot. The undulating narrow paths presented, to my eyes, great vistas at each turn. The sun beat down as I stepped through the dirt trail. Suddenly, I heard a rattling sound I knew in an instant to be a rattle snake. I lunged and stepped as lightly and quickly as I possibly could. From a safe distance I realized it was coiled under a bush only a few inches away from where my hiking boot had been. It was just as afraid of me as I had been of it.

Studio view 2

Studio view 2. Yuccas and salt water marshes.

One of the first scenes that caught my eye was that of the blooming yuccas. In “Yucca Formation“, oil on canvas (sold), I represent the beautiful dessert sky and the rich red dirt to frame a grouping of yuccas.

In this showing I included “Marshes I & II”, oil on canvas. This diptych painted in 2008 allows me to show how my work has evolved to 2015. “Marshes” feature the salt water marshes on the way to Galveston, Texas.

Rio Grand Crossing at Big Bend“, oil on canvas, is an exciting view from the U.S. side of Big Bend Park to the southwest. The sandy bank below is Mexico, across from the aqua colored river, much smaller than I imagined it would be but jewel-like and inviting.

Two painterly windows to Big Bend views.

Two painterly windows to Big Bend views.

The colors of the desert in spring are present in “Mule Ears at Big Bend“, oil on canvas. Blooming prickly pear cactus welcomes us on the path to an amazing vista in the distance. The morning sun rising on the east, not yet in its mid-day prime, reminds us of summer days ahead.

The desert is pristine and though it may appear desolate, one need only spend some quiet minutes in one spot to find life and hues that paint a palette of pastels.

Even the road presents exciting formations and mountain ridges. Mountains are landmarks not found in Houston so the excitement of finding new mountain vistas helps identify the new geography as in “North Out of Alpine-Mitre Peak, Barrillos Dome, Henderson Mesa“, oil on canvas, is just that, a landmark that welcomes the locals home with its familiar silhouette.

Portraits and desert landmarks.

Portraits and desert landmarks.

In this show I included my two most recent portrait paintings. “Portrait with Goatee”, and “Portrait with Red Scarf” present examples of my work, along with the landscapes, exclusively done with palette knife and using water-soluble oils without the use of solvents.

I hope you enjoyed the brief online tour of my studio and hope that you can visit in person sometime soon. You can find out more about my work at my website.

 

 

 

In Appreciation Of A Wonderful 2014

It’s been a year since I launched the ebook version of The Lady of the Turquoise Pendant in January. I was very excited when the first European reader purchased my book.

The Lady of the Turquoise Pendant

The Lady of the Turquoise Pendant, by Lilibeth André

In June I returned from vacation when I learned the book won the Best Young Adult Educational Book Award presented by the International Latino Book Awards in Las Vegas.

The Guiton St. Artists Spring Open Studio was a fun success with my fellow neighbors Bruce Williamson and Caroline Ratliff opening the door to their studio as well. My exhibition was curated by artists Darra Keeton and we called it FACES:Houston Community. It gave me the opportunity to share my art and visit with old and new friends.

I was invited to participate in the Frida Kahlo Exhibition at ChimMaya Gallery in Los Angeles this summer. I was thrilled to reach out to California with my paintings.

Original art by Alpine High School students

Original art by Alpine High School students

This fall I visited with 800 grade school students in Alvin, Texas. We talked about what it is like to be an artists and I demonstrated how I work. I was excited to see that over half of the students considered themselves artists. I also had the opportunity to work with 100 high school students through the Arts In Education Program in Alpine, Texas.

Your invitation to the Open Studio & Art Sale

Your invitation to the Open Studio & Art Sale

The Fall Open Studio was a good way to close the year with new works at the studio. I once again teamed up with my neighbors Bruce Williamson and Caroline Ratliff to open our doors and share new artworks.

The fall in West Texas was fun and exciting. I was honored to be selected to lead a chalk art project for ArtWalk 2014. The painting was at Brown Dog Gardens and I worked with team of talented local artists to produce a sample of ephemeral art.

I am very thankful to Kiowa Gallery for representing my artwork in Alpine!

The Songs Of My Grandfather, Edited by Lilibeth Andre

The Songs Of My Grandfather, Edited by Lilibeth Andre

To close the year I completed my new book, The Songs Of My Grandfather. A tribute to my grandfather, the book gives me a sense of completion and pride to share his songs as poems in this book that compiles his lyrics in Spanish with English translations. I look forward to the official launch of the book next year.

This year would not have come together without the help, appreciation, support, encouragement, camaraderie and love of all of you. I thank you for your inspiration, your motivation, and appreciation for the work that I do to express my creativity. Thank you for letting me share my language of the world, as I see it, inside and out.

I am glad you visited my blog. I look forward to exciting opportunities to share more in 2015.

 

Lessons From Ephemeral Art

Being a professional artist is an exercise in letting go. Letting go of your imagination, letting go of your creativity, and letting go of your creation.

2014 Alpine Artwalk Street Art, Mexican Girl (detail), Lilibeth Andre

2014 Alpine Artwalk Chalk Art, Mexican Girl (detail), Lilibeth Andre with Feather Radha and Skye Valenzuela.

These are fundamental learnings for life itself. Why is that? As we enter the toddler years we learn possession and possessiveness. In some cases we fail to acquire the confidence to grow beyond that, for various reasons.

Being a professional artist includes the art of letting go. How does letting go apply to life? We live opportunities for letting go everyday, they may come early in the form of sharing, letting go of relationships or issues that are not beneficial to us and our well-being, letting go of our children as they grow and require their own space to make their own decisions and learn from them. But why let go?

2014 Alpine Artwalk Street Art, SPR Engine, Lilibeth Andre, with Alexander Costea.

2014 Alpine Artwalk Chalk Art, SPR Engine, Lilibeth Andre, with Alexander Costea, and Mariah Rose.

Possession and control are ways we use to give us the security we haven’t yet developed. We use these attitudes to fill the emptiness of our insecurity. Struggling with possession and control is an unfulfilling prophecy through which we can never have enough to give us the security we lack.

Generosity, trust, giving and sharing are the antidotes to this emptiness. When we make these attitudes our own we can expand our contribution, our self unto the external world that surrounds us. We can share our knowledge and experience, we can give others and ourselves the freedom to go our own way, and we can trust that what we teach our children will give them the tools to make their best decisions and find their own life path.

2014 Alpine Artwalk Chalk Art, Prickly Pear (detail), Lilibeth Andre with Feather Radha and Sky Valenzuela.

2014 Alpine Artwalk Chalk Art, Prickly Pear (detail), Lilibeth Andre with Feather Radha and Sky Valenzuela.

It is not easy. It takes much practice. Nothing could be a greater exercise of this life lesson as the creation of ephemeral art. What is ephemeral art?

The creation of art itself includes an act of letting go. Transferring that idea through our creative language into a materialized expression is the first step. Then there is the act of sharing the materialized expression. This creation is like a child and there can be difficulty in letting it go. Ephemeral art is not only an exercise in producing a materialized expression but it is created with the intentionality that it will not be permanent, it’s existence will be short lived.

Examples can be an ice sculpture, in my case, a pastel mural on pavement, or even a beautiful serving of a tasty dish.

2014 Alpine Artwalk Chalk Art, Mural view, Lilibeth Andre with Alexander Costea, Rachel Maxwell, Skye Valenzuela and Feather Radha.

2014 Alpine Artwalk Chalk Art, Collaborative mural view, Lilibeth Andre with Alexander Costea, Rachel Maxwell, Skye Valenzuela and Feather Radha. (Not shown are Mariah Rose, and Juliana Johnson)

While creating my last street painting in Alpine, Texas with the aid of local artists that included Alexander Costea, Mariah Rose*, Juliana Johnson, Rachel Maxwell, and the very talented and professional Feather Radha, we were also joined by Skye Valenzuela, Brandt Mannchen and three creative youngsters who experienced pastel color on pavement. We were at the 2015 Artwalk.

The question almost everyone had who came to Brown Dog Gardens to see our work was, in brief, How will you make it permanent?

The mural was a 10 foot by 20 foot area depicting a romantic vision of Alpine with its beautiful Twin Sisters peaks, an 1888 Southern Pacific Railroad engine and a beautiful Mexican Calendar girl to incorporate the strong cultural presence in its history, all in the beautiful pre-sunset colors of the West Texas landscape.

Hearing the concept of ephemeral art, people’s next question was, How long will the painting last? The answer was that it was dependent on the elements like the wind and the next rain.

And lo and behold, even the artists were tested when reaching the final strokes of the mural clouds began to form in the dry desert. All artists converged on the remaining unfilled area to complete the mural and beat the rain.

As drops began to fall strokes became more rapid, beautiful people scurried to get a tarp and tents, and I had to tear everyone away when the sky opened up into a generous and needed rain in a still drought-stricken area.

“We can’t salvage it now,” I told them. It belonged to the rain.

2015 Alpine Artwalk Chalk Art, As the rain came down, Lilibeth Andre,

2015 Alpine Artwalk Chalk Art, As the rain came down, Lilibeth Andre,

Everyone stood undercover and watched as the pastel work turned into a watercolor stream that puddled in various directions swirling color beyond our taped boundary.

I have to admit, this is not my first ephemeral piece so I had an emotional advantage on everyone. I can tell  you that it was not easy to grasp the concept that all that hard work on hands and knees in the cool air and hot sun to pour artistic talent into chalk on pavement that would not be there to testify to the effort of two and a half days work was not hard to grasp but to see it diluted in a quick and unexpected downpour before our eyes was tough.

So I smiled and relished on the pleasure of creating this art piece in the company of beautiful artist, surround by beautiful people in a beautiful environment. That I keep with me always.

 

* We heard Mariah had a fender bender on her bike the night before we finished and was unable to join us due to a broken nose. We wish her a painless and swift recovery.

 

New Poem – Train To Alpine

Last month, I took my first train ride to Alpine, Texas. I was traveling to teach a workshop on street painting. My students were high school teens who were very talented and willing to give art a try. This November 21 & 22, I will be participating in the 2014 Alpine Artwalk and on a new train ride to Alpine.

The respite from my day-to-day activities created an opportunity to let my creative mind wander and I came up with a new poem to celebrate the occasion.

Train To Alpine
© By Lilibeth André

I sit by the window.
The night brings nothing but the sound of the train,
With the bounce and the swaying,
Comforting me through the night.

Darkness breaks to purples and blues.
A dot of pink spreads and rides the horizon.
It is morning.

The trees and vines of the bayou,
Left behind.
The chaparral before me,
A reminder,
Of clean desert days.
Rock mountains showing,
Green patches,
A gift of the rains.

The sun begins to set
Coloring the sand,
Coral peaches,
Golden tones that warm the mountains,
The ocotillos and the yucca in late bloom.

Again I see the pastures in the early fog,
The light of purple pinks softened
Sage colored grass,
Red earth and gold.
The Seguin River embraced by green foliage,
Reflecting soft pastels of the morning.

The rumble of the wheels on the tracks,
Takes me home.
The Bayou City awaits,
Patiently,
Active, pulsing,
Sure to swallow me once more.

 

I hope you like the poem!

 

Art In West Texas

I hopped on the Union Pacific Railroad train to Alpine, Texas and with good reason.

Original art by Alpine High School students

Original art by Alpine High School students

This was my first train ride since childhood. I have always wanted to repeat the fun train trips I experienced as a kid and my opportunity came up this October. I participated in the Alpine Arts and Education project. I was the guest artist visiting to teach the high school students a street painting workshop.

Over one hundred students participated and created wonderful pieces of art that allowed them to express their creativity in a new way. The project couldn’t have happened without the fantastic effort of the project coordinators on the ground and the students’ willingness to experience a new art medium. Go Bucks!

In November I will return as the featured street artist for Artwalk. I will be creating a 10 foot by 20 foot original piece of street art at Brown Dog Garden. This will be my first Artwalk and I am very excited to attend and create a special piece of ephemeral art for Alpine.

The Alpine Artwalk takes place on November 21 & 22, 2014, in downtown Alpine.

 

WIP (Work In Progress)

Nothing like a little pressure to get my little motor running! With the dates for my Spring and Pre-summer show set for May 17 & 24, I have no other choice than to hit the easel hard! I love that kind of torture.

Lilibeth André, work in progress.

Lilibeth André, work in progress.

I have to admit that when it comes to motivation, a little focus really gets me to prioritize my time. If I had all the time in the world to just paint I would be doing it all the time but because I have a whole variety of activities I squeeze into my day, week and month, I only have a valuable portion of time I can dedicate to art.

With deadlines set, I readjust my prioritize and drop all deemed superfluous distractions that take me away from productivity. The criteria gets very strict. That is how I can get very close to my easel. These are the times when a little snarling can take place if someone threatens that momentum.

So what am I working on? I have a portrait in progress. Now, back to the easel.

 

 

 

 

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    © Lilibeth André and Art by Lilibeth André, 2009-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this text, images or content without express and written permission Lilibeth André is strictly prohibited. For permission to license, exhibit or purchase any of the artwork, email info@lilibethandre.com. Links to this site may be made with full and clear accreditation to Lilibeth André and Art by Lilibeth André.