I always enjoy visiting Old San Juan. It has a beautiful historical Spanish Caribbean feel.
There are plenty of wonderful places to visit in the old town. We've visited Castillo San Cristóbal and Castillo San Felipe del Morro (old colonial fortresses on the north coast) several times.
There is something about sitting down for a cold Magna beer just down the street from Parque de las Palomas after several hours of wandering the streets of San Juan that can send me into an otherworldly state of mind.
I love to wander the streets of the old city looking for local art. I love local art that has a soul. I don't like things that look like sweatshop knockoffs from a third world country.
If you enter the city from the centuries-old Puerta de San Juan, you will find yourself wandering, like many weary travelers, up Caleta de San Juan towards the Cathedral.
Just before the Cathedral Plaza, when the church is coming into plain view, look to your left. You will find a small shop on the left-hand side called Tres Mujeres at 63 Caleta de San Juan.
This little shop is a cooperative run by, and you might guess if you spoke Spanish, Three Women.
This little shop displays the talent of three local women: Ceramics is the department of Yelin Vivoni, Enid Silvestry is in charge of textiles, and the paintings are brought to you by Dafne Elvira.
The artists themselves staff the shop so you're bound to meet up with one of them when you're there. This week we were able to chat for a little while with Enid Silvestry.
I really enjoyed looking through their shop. If you every get to Old San Juan wander up from the Old Gate and take a peak in their shop.
Go out and make some art!
This weekend we took a trip up to Prescott, AZ. Prescott has a beautiful downtown area. There were two places I visited that were particularly interesting.
The first was an outdoors outlet that sold all kinds of gear for the trail. Then, on our way in to have a beer at the famous Hotel St Michael on the corner of Gurley Street and Whiskey Row. Guests of the Hotel St. Michael have included great icons of the old west like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday. Teddy Roosevelt and Zane Gray also stayed there. It has a real old time feel to it.
The complex that houses the hotel (110 S Montezuma St) houses the studio and gallery of Scot A. Weir. Scot's paintings captured my attention immediately and drew me into the shop. When I interrupted him, he was working on a canvas and talking with potential customers as they wandered in and out of the shop.
Scot was indulgent and humored me while I peppered him with questions. Far too many to put down on this little article. I didn't get hardly enough time to talk to him. I was with friends and I was summoned to move on. I'm sure he's glad they hurried me along.
Scot just recently moved to Prescott from Wyoming. His style of artwork fits the old west. His landscapes are stunning, and many of his paintings have a whimsical twist that I like very much.
His gallery is right in the middle of town, and his shop gets plenty of foot traffic. People were continually in and out of the shop, and he sold one of his original paintings while I was there. Congratulations Scot!
I can see why he's so successful, he puts his head down and get's on with the business. No fanfare, no hoopla, just a hard-working, exciting artist with a great eye, and what I thought was a good heart.
I hope to stay in touch with him.
If you want to see some of his work I'd suggest the following places online.
You might know Danny Boyle as a filmmaker. He's been a director, a producer, and a writer of some very memorable films like Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, and 28 days later.
Why is he here today?
Along with being an accomplished figure in the filmmaking industry, he is a tremendous organizer of things like the Queen's Jubilee and the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.
This year Danny Boyle organized a massive art installation drawing images of soldiers killed in the last days of WW I across 30 beaches in the UK.
The images were drawn in sand at low tide and washed away as the tide came in. It was a moving exhibition to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice.
The reason this exhibition caught my attention was it reminded me of a photo of my Great Grandfather who was killed in action on December 17, 1916, just two weeks after his 39th birthday.
You never know what will draw you to an artist. Most of the artists that I've featured have been what the art world calls representational artists. To me, that means that you can recognize the images in artwork they produce. It represents a person, a rock, a plant, a landscape...
Claire Desjardins is not a "representational artist," her work is purely abstract.
She says, "my paintings make people happy, and that's a nice thing to make people happy."
I'm not always a fan of abstract art but this artist produces work that I like. Claire's work expresses her passion and the expertise. Claire calls the process that she uses "intuitive". I think that means she "goes with the flow". She discovers what the paint does in the process and reacts to how that turns out. It's something you can feel.
I like the colorful nature of Claire's paintings, and it doesn't hurt she's from Montreal! Claire lives about an hour north of Montreal in the most sublime setting. This little video will give you an idea where she lives and how she works.
Making money as an artist is an art all in itself. The way artists sell is changing all the time, and you have to keep up with the times. Claire sells her art online in multiple physical places like art shows and galleries. I like how she embraces social media in what I feel is an authentic way.
It's not all about selling your physical artwork though; there are other ways to profit from your artwork. Claire has partnered with the likes of Urban Outfitters' URBN - Anthropologie, and Microsoft Surface. She is now in the process of launching her first clothing line. The bright colors and abstract shapes make her clothes light up.
She will soon be showing her work at "The Other Art Fair" in Brooklyn, New York November 8th-11th. If you're in the neighborhood, you could stop by to see her live and in person.
I am delighted to introduce you to Claire Desjardins work.
I hope you take the time to visit her on the web. You can find her at:
There are a lot of artists who teach online, and I love artists who teach online. I think the artist I bring to you today is one of the best.
Anna Mason is one of those artists I watch paint all day. Her ability to create realistic paintings using watercolors amazes me.
In most of her videos on YouTube, she will walk you through how to paint realistically with watercolors. Sure, she sells online classes, and other tutorials, but her free videos are insightful to watch as well.
Anna is a self-taught artist that lives and works in England. She says she teaches you to paint watercolors with WOW. Well, I believe her.
On her website, she provides a video that explains how she teaches and there are plenty of examples on YouTube for you to look at as well.
Anna has a presence all over the internet and I would encourage you to see her artwork and watch her videos. I hope you find them as entertaining and informative as I do.
If you like color, if you want bright colors, you're going to love this weeks' artist. Her website is saved in my browser favorites and has been for quite a while. I go back and look at her painting a lot. They please me.
Linzi Lynn is a self-taught artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. Linzi studied theater when she was young, and she says, "both visual art and theater are forms of creative expression, inspiration, and entertainment." They are the different sides of the same coin.
Linzi is a self-taught artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. She studied theater when she was young, and she says, "both visual art and theater are forms of creative expression, inspiration, and entertainment." They are the different sides of the same coin.
I tend to agree with that. We all need ways to express ourselves in this life. Finding a way that suits you can be a very rewarding discovery. I'm not much of a connoisseur when it comes to theater, but I do know I like how she throws down an expressionistic painting.
She shows her work in galleries in and around Los Angeles. I admire how she creates exciting and colorful paintings.
She sells her artwork online at venues such as Saatchi Art Online, iCanvas, Fine Arts America, and Redbubble.
You can also see her art on her Website and her Facebook page.
This week's artist sends me back to my childhood. It sends me back to my teenage years at least when I was taking a cartooning class at Woodside High School. The instructor's name was Paul Buck. Some of you from Woodside might remember Mr. Buck and the art department.
The artist I want to highlight today is Al Hirschfeld. Hirschfeld drew caricatures and his style is quite unique. I was enthralled in my teen years.
When we were at the play last week at the Noel Coward Theatre I saw a Hirschfeld drawing of Noel Coward on the wall. It brought me back to my teen years.
Hirschfeld would "hide" his daughter's name in most of his drawings. He used to put a number to the right of his signature to indicate how many times his daughters name, NINA, showed up in capital letters in the drawing. If there was no number NINA usually only showed up once or perhaps the drawing was done before she was born.
One of the things you strive for as an artist is a unique style. Something that is your own. As Srini Rao might say Unmistakable. When you are the only one you have no competition. Herschfeld exemplifies that unique style. He was one of a kind.
Hirshfeld's drawings were published in a number of publications including the New York Herald Tribune, The New York Times, and others.
Though he is well known for his black and white drawings he also produced many full-color caricatures that were quite unique as well.
If you feel you'd like to take a trip down memory lane, back to an iconic artist of the 20th century, you could do worse than checking out Al Hirschfeld. He's not on Facebook or Instagram or any
You can find his work at The Hirschfeld Foundation website or you could just search his name in your favorite search engine.
He was truly the caricaturist to the stars and I want to thank him for this pleasant flash from the past.
Bold colors and grand gestures are so inviting, aren't they? They are to me anyway.
I'm going to throw a one named person at you today. Let me suggest you explore the artwork of Voka.
Voka's work is often bigger, bolder, and more colorful than life. He creates his artworks with very saturated colors and bold marks. His paintings jump off the canvas (or at least off the screen). His studio and gallery are in the eastern Austrian Alps in a place called Puchberg am Schneeberg.
He is a favorite amongst wealthy investors and cultivates a bit of a celebrity following. He looks bigger than life. When you're in awe of someone's work you're liable to put them up on a pedestal. I don't necessarily think that's a good thing, but it does help him cultivate a pretty decent following.
I don't want to do that. I'm not a pedestal kind of guy. I love the way he uses color expressively and makes paintings on a grand scale. I do like his style.