domingo, 22 de julio de 2012


Fecha: 21/07/2012   
Things in Common.........
GABRIEL, Buenos Dias!! Boy oh boy, lady-- that was a thousand years ago at least-- my days in Miami were days of youthful adventure , writing poetry and "auditing" art classes at UM doing a little painting which I framed with boards from my landlord's fence. Massin stirred me up and met some others. Did not know of the Massin- Sequeros connection but I can see it! I wound up in San Miguel and was there for an indefinite -- rather hazy period. Sorry but can't register on Al Vranas, however, Scornavacca's name stirs couple of synapses.

Gabriel, take a look at my website and page on art restoration/conservation and other goodies. Address-- Tell me what you think. I'll do my best to answer answer any ??? you might have and thanx for reviving so many fading memories.


Both Steve and I had the same art teacher and mentor at the University of Miami. I was Eugene Massin's
personal studio assistant and teacher's assitant in some of his classes at the university. I was also a studio assistan for Al Vrana, a sculptor.
Massin came to Mexico in the fifties, he lived in San Miguel de Allende where he met  David A.Siqueiros
and became his assistant.Siqueiros taught in New York in the forties , to such figures as Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner and other painters. He is responsible for introducing both Jackson and Lee to dripping,  the style of painting Pollock devloped later..

Massin was a figurative painter. When I started my art training, there was a debate in Art education as to what approach /method to  use in teaching art. Whether to use the old academic methods with emphasis on copying or to teach a more creative modern approach of exploring the creative, thru exercises and newer  methods for teaching the newer  languages of contemporary painting .


sábado, 21 de julio de 2012

Walking In The Natural World.......

 Yesterday was a day out in nature. My biologist friend invited me to a place about 2 1/2 hours from Queretaro, Mexico, out in the boonies called El Peral, located at the end of the road behind Zamorano mountain between the  states of Queretaro and Guanajuato. We went to the back, or north side, from where we live, thanks to Google earth, where one can look up  and find these remote areas.  We go and  observe, study, take readings, collect, and set traps, mostly for insects, since Robert is an Entomologist, a bicho man. Bicho is the slang word for Bug in español, his specialty is weavels.
Lately we've been having a lot of rain in the area, so a local person as our guide tooks us to see a beautiful water fall, about 80 meters, in a beautiful setting with huge boulders and beautiful wild flowers around, one in particular that struck me ,was in a shade of a cobalt blue- with a dab of violet, an  incredible color .  The person who took us on this magical excursion told us and showed photos  of the different animals in the region from jaguars, moutain lions, deer, fox, and others. Also neat birds,especially a little one that posed and pranced around for us, red breasted with black and the tips of the tail and wings white, None of us had seen a specimen like him, and I've seen lots of birds, as they are one of my favorite animals. We walked thru oaks, manzanitas, pines, lots of wild plants and a runing stream ,on a sunny day,filled with rain clouds in the sky.

 For me these experiences in the natural world, create unforgetable feelings and memories  that shape my emotions and images from the variety of sources, where shapes, colors, lines, textures in rocks, trees, plants, insects, flowers plus a lot more that is there, aconnection with  the Great Spirit- Source is very valuable to me for
it nurtures, heals  and empowers my being, Reminding me we are part of Mother Nature and she is our Source.

I don’t know how you do this; transport me into a different kind of world when I read your words…
I read your mail just before going to bed. I’ve been feeling ill for the last several days and I went to lie in the dark hoping it would wear off enough for me to get up again and answer you. I sat staring at the tree line outside the bedroom window, silhouetted against the moonlit sky, imagining your life and your world. You draw me into such a different place than my own: in a way you take me to a past life I once lived and find I yearn for in some ways…one in which I lived so much more artistically than I do now. I don’t know how you come to speak to my soul so directly when so few others even know it’s there.  I am grateful, whatever your gift is in doing so, for it feels like a rare treasure. I wanted to write to you in the dark.. I suppose in some way I did, at least in my mind. I can’t remember when last someone captivated me quite as much, with such rich simplicity. It has me wishing we had crossed lives decades ago. Yet somehow too there is a natural realization things happen in their own time.
I’d like to show you something.. and would have you respond in the same way you have asked me to speak to you of your work. It touches your point about improvisation being only achievable and attainable through craft. I believe this too.. acts of self-expression do not an artist make… irrespective of discipline or medium.  The works you will read here are all improvisation.. I think it is difficult for many who visit the site to fully grasp the nature of what this means and people are left unsure how to respond for the most part.   An explanation of the project is there.. and hopefully simply explained. It should give you some insight into my own artistry.  Someone, an art critic told me I think like an artist not a writer… you speak to me as if I am one, rather than a poet. The distinction I know is a fine line… a distinction none the less.. J  I am intrigued by this.  I feel the pull toward making art increasingly compelling and I’ve no idea why.

When I talk of painting, writing being an act of war… I mean it not in the literal sense of violence  or ugliness for its own sake… but in the sense Picasso meant it when he said… painting is not meant to be decorative, but an act of war. It is the truth to which he speaks that is my meaning.. that art, real art, in it making visible the invisible essence of a thing whatever that thing maybe… is always an act of war on the plethora of transgressions committed in the name of art. Being true to material, form, being honest, meaning having its integrity intact.. not selling out… in many ways he too was misunderstood.
Three weeks ago I stood in front of work of Salvador Dali and it took my breath away…  Of all the works I had seen between the basel art fair and dokumenta 13… there he was… spellbinding, powerful in his own subversive act of war. Paint for me at the moment, even still now, never had more meaning.  He stood out among the lot with more relevance and more to say than any bland canvas of dots or a skinned calf head in formaldehyde by Hirst could even manage, whatever the price some moron might be prepared to pay for such meaninglessness.
Gaugin was wise. So are you. The more I see, the more I understand how necessary an artistic act of war has become… Meaning more than ever needs its currency back. Paint holds more virtue than ever, regardless of technology and code. Pigment is still the soil in which visual language is born: whether it is pencil, ink or paint. I think there is a functionality to digital coding and the kind of aesthetic it is generating… but it nothing more than an added discipline, a different kind of tool. It is neither a surrogate or a replacement.
Less is always more.

viernes, 13 de julio de 2012


 Great mind = great thoughts

Your notes are full of charm and an elegance that tastes like fine wine for my tired and distracted mind... thank you, whatever the reason you chose to look up my profile and write to me at all. I long for rain the rich scent of forest and the sea. :) I envy your trips with your Biologist friend, sounds like wonderful simplicity, not least being able to share ideas with such tactile presence. I knew I missed this... your notes remind how much....

I don't mind if you ramble or brainstorm, be random as you please... it's lovely, it somehow gives me a sense of being in a studio with you...and you talk your thoughts out loud to me as you work.. :)) It's funny that I receive your messages at a time where I feel compelled to paint, where I feel so deeply drawn to the process and have already been considering putting a brush to canvas..
I have too a pile of rough marble stones from a trip I made a few years back to the Carrara mountains not far from where I live. they call my name too.. I don't know... it is strange.

I read what you wrote about your father and your studio. we share something in having lost everything... : stories are different, but somehow I sense the heart and strength that grew alive from that pain is very much the same.

I love how you comapre making art to cooking... and music. In a very distant life I was a dancer.. so yes, you speak a language my skin recognises... :) and I am both humbled and honoured by your generosity.. You make me wish I was born a painter.

martes, 10 de julio de 2012


Concepts, Notes and Thoughts about my art.                                         June -July 2012

How would you define your style or art?
The lengthy introduction above had a serious point. I wished to show that I question all aspects of art, and especially painting. I intentionally choose to paint, in the Western tradition, instead of working in the so-called New Media, creating installations, performance art, ready mades, etc. I think that there still is mileage in the Western tradition of painting.
I see my work as totally experimental and a kind of serious research. Not merely in a cerebral or rational manner, but first of all on a sub-conscious level, exploring how we think about life, objects,  feelings & emotions and how we perceive them, and subjective stuff,...  etc
I work piecemeal, slow sometimes fast and  something like a philosopher, exploring every detail of the process of painting, bit by bit. Some of these bits are developed into different series of paintings.
I do not have one single style, but gradually discovered that I unintentionally work in series (of 2, 3, 4, 5, etc). The only other artist I have come across who works in this manner is the German Gerhard Richter. I someone wishes to understand my work better they should study his work (as well as Paul Klee, Kandinsky and the Abstract Expressionists ) as he is my predecessor. I do not follow or copy him, but work in the same tradition as he, and they, did.
It appears as if I do not have one single style and that my work - the different series - are merely random, but this is not the case. The larger picture will reveal that all my work forms one unit, in other words the seemingly random aspects, as in the Chaos Theory, will be shown to make more sense in the totality. In painting as in writing, One thing leads to another.... like threading different marks, lines,shapes  and colors.
Given all the above, I question most aspects of the discourse or socio-cultural-religious tradition of painting, the manner in which our minds (thinking, perception, etc), emotions and consciousness operates - programmed for , that leads to what I termed New Styles, a style beyond one and all styles. I combine styles like a chemist combines different elements to get achive a result.
My work has a deeply spiritual side. Not in the narrow meaning of the word as forming part of a particular religion, but as tuning into the Ground or basis of existence of human beings, the earth and the entire Universe. Or rather the many universes or multiverse, as scientists are expressing it. My work originates on a pre-rational and pre-conceptual subconscious level. Colors ,shapes lines ,textures and as I mature, as a painter I aim for more refinement on certain aspects like the painterliness of a piece or like a musician mastering his instrument or compositions.
All this might appear to be very abstract, but painting and the process of painting is something totally concrete and real. But, by means of paint, brushes, etc I attempt to arrive more and more at the art of Creation, the underlying Ground or basis of all of Creation, of the building blocks of the Universe. This has many similarities to the research of scientists of phenomena that are not visible to the human eye, but that can only be thought in complex mathematical formulae. By means of painting I make Visible, that what is until that moment, Invisible to usual human thinking. Most people think in a dualistic manner (because they are socialized like that), but the non-dual way tells us that the subject who perceives, the object that is perceived and the process of perception is ONE whole (all religions, contemplatives and those who meditate attempt to arrive at this non-dual, direct way of perceiving,. or of being one/d with that what is perceived).
I express the above like this in the context of looking at my work:
Now that you know this please do not treat these images as if they are just more objects or things you look AT, but experience and participate in them.
I always express what I think abstractly in this kind of very concrete manner. And, by this simple example the point of all my seemingly abstract talk suddenly comes together as something very concrete, and thereby shows that matter ( concrete painting and the stuff a painting is made of) and the spirit(ual) is one - merely two different ways of looking at the same thing. Two perspectives on the same thing, like the two sides of a coin, or looking at a house from the front, the back, the sides, above. All the different points of view contribute to one thing. In the tradition of Abstract painting, Braque, Picasso and others tried to express this unity of many perspectives in a certain manner. I explore and express or do it in a different way, its my interpretation of those ideas and concepts
What inspires your work?
I am first of all a painter for the sake of the Western tradition of painting. by this I mean, if it were not for certain painters who existed before me and explored and developed this tradition of painting, I would not have been able to think the way I do, and explore the process of painting in the manner I am doing. I form part of this tradition. To feel part of this tradition is what inspires me to paint - over and over again. As Richter said: one must be passionate about doing this stupid thing of being all alone most of the time, because if one were not passionate about it, then for adults to play around with paint, colors, etc would be nothing but mere idiocy.
I paint because I must, I cannot- Not do it - like some people need to eat, drink, use adrenalin, I must paint. The last part of why is because, I paint for the handful; of serious painters of every generation or century who also feel obliged to paint. Therefore, first of all I paint for a few other members of the discourse or the interpersonal (intersubjective) community of artists or painters. If I could add anything to the discourse of painting, explore, question, modify and develop its interpre. I suppose I, like all serious artists, have a certain aesthetic ideal and vision, and that will be expressed as my work. That is the cherry on top of all the being alone, doubts, questionings, searches, and so on in the painter's life.
I think something does happen in or through my work, because I have come across a number of people who react with: stunning, as it pulls them endlessly into it, and they must look at it over and over again. That, is what a good painting always did to me. I had to look at a Kline, a Rauschenberg, a de Kooning and dozens of others, over and over again, and again return to look at them and study them carefully.
It is as if one is hypnotized by them, one's mind is blown away, one experiences or 'sees', something that has captivated the senses, the mind, the imagination , the poetic , bottom line is, art speaks to all of us in different and personal ways .
Everyday I learn more......

The dynamics and interactions between humans in everyday lfe's activities... fascinate me....I love watching and observing people ,specially here in Mexico where you can  almost stare at people without them getting all freaked out about it....

domingo, 20 de mayo de 2012


I began this series of small abstract  paintings while teaching at the MAQ Museo de Arte in Queretaro, Mexico.
 I started a collection of different size cards announcing  art openings  from all the different cultural centers, museums and art galleries, both in Queretaro and San Miguel Allende area. I accumulated hundreds over a five year period and they were every where around my studio
tables and I began using them as palettes where I would mix colors when painting.
After a while amazing interesting and provocative images  from accidents, drips, smears, brush strokes,collage ,mono printing and color transfers...that began to interest me tremendously. I saw a great potential and venue  for me  to move away from my minimalist work to a more spontaneous and improvisational approach.

At this point they are Untitled pieces  and I think I will Not title them. I want the viewer to finish the piece to interact and be more involved with the image ,rather than have  a title that in many cases has nothing to do with the work. Titles are very arbitrary. As I find many people spend their time looking for the preconceived wording in titles in the paintings  instead of seeing ,feeling and allowing their subconscious to get involved in the deeper meaning of a work.


 A Major issue in todays faster and faster moving world, is how to get your name out there for people to begin to 

take notice of you and be able to sell  your art  work.

 GYST - has lots of free resources as well as a book for artists called "Gettng Your Sh*t Together" which has all the info that our website has for free in case you like to read in bed. Here are some links to resources that should answer 
some of your questions.



The Web for Artists:

Selling Your Work:

This should get you started. Also, check out GYST Radio


There are  many Great Resources out there on the WEB, its mind boggling not to say darn frustrating and so time consuming.

Many of us are at a loss and  lost, even when once upon  a time we had a semblance of  having it together and  making a

 living from our art work , not now with the zillion of proliferating  blogs, websites, and  you name it. that are going up by the 

thousands everyday.

  The overwhelming innundation of images of peoples  art  on the web, have created such an over abundance and  saturation

 of very mediochre level art being passed as such, when in effect its the contrary,and detracting rather than  helping, more 

over   confusing the public which in most cases is ignoramus of what constitutes a decent art piece from the next. 

Not all art  is or was Created Equal....

Another  problem is, the myriad of  images on the WEB, any one with a computer and a printer can down load an image

print it and he/she  now has an image that attracted his/hers attention and in  most cases  the artist work will 

not be bought.

 Even poor resolution imges are enough for those who liked it,and   for what ever reasons they down loaded it  and printed it, which is what a  majority of people  around the planet are doing . Pirating is live and thriving as we speak

There are many issues, unresolved prolblems and  questions and I  thank the internet we have these  venues to Voice our

  opinions and views on the pessing needs to survive  in today's more than ever  cut throat wold at large.

I would like your views and opinions on what you think we should be doing or not doing to help solve and have a better 

understanding of where we are  heading .

Thank you.

viernes, 27 de abril de 2012


Excellent Museum Quality Mask for Sale, U$ 3,0000

Masks are a blend of painting and sculpture that dramatically reflect the creativity of different cultures.That's what appealed to me when I came to Mexico and saw the great and varied  masks from all regions of the country.
This devil mask is more than fifty years old according to the Director and curator of the Mask Museum in Morelia ,Michoacan, who looked at it and said "I wish I had a mask like yours in our collection". This are is  rare  in that its  very large size,craftsmanship,excellent condition and the polycrome paint and finish on the piece.It is a very large mask with real male goat horns and a very expresive dragon /iguana on top of its head . The mask was  carved from large trunk of  soft wood from the state of Guerrero where the mask was also made.

Masks since antiquity have been used by man for many reasons, for they serve as symbols in rites, festival, parades and other festive celebrations reflecting the culture from which they come thus offering a unique perspective on the people who make the masks and the societies that use them.

The collector will find that masks are beautiful objects of art in their own right, as well as fascinating statements  about the people and places from which they come. 

Authenticity is not the only characteristic the mask collector needs to consider. Age, rarity,condition, craftsmanship, and other qualitative factors could  all be important-and will influence the price. If a mask measures to all these, chances are you will have to pay top dollar for it. The good news is that these high quality pieces will most likely appreciate in value.Fakes, reproductions, tourist junk,and authentic-but -inferior masks are not a good investment.    

Authenticity is not the only characteristic the mask collector needs to consider. Age, rarity, condition, craftsmanship, and other qualitative factors could all be important—and will influence the price. If a mask measures up well to all of these, chances are you will have to pay a lot for it. The good news is that these high-quality pieces will most likely appreciate in value. Fakes, reproductions, tourist junk, and authentic-but-inferior masks are not a good investment.

Masks are a blend of painting and sculpture that dramatically reflect the creativity of different cultures. That's what appealed to me when I started picking up ethnic masks at flea markets twenty years ago. These unexpected forms, colors, and textures were very exciting.
A person might point out that masks, which serve as symbols in rites of passage and in festivals of renewal, tell you much about the culture from which they come.Mexico offers a unique perspective on the people who make the masks and the societies that use them.
The collector will find that masks are beautiful objects of art in their own right, as well as fascinating statements about the people and places from which they come.

               The fangs are boar tusks in excellent condition. The large horns come from a goat .The 
              wooden  part of the mask does not have any cracks or damage. The paint is in excellent condition for its age, it is polychromed with many coats of paint to give it the rich and saturated color it has.                
               Of all the masks I have seen in Mexico, Devil's masks are the most creative, imaginative
             and fun to look at, also they are the most ornate and full of small details and these makes them very sought after

miércoles, 11 de abril de 2012


Since  I moved to Mexico I've travelled most of the country by road from Oaxaca to California. 
 I've seen tons of graffiti, murals and  bill-board street art on walls announcing 
 different  shows that had beautiful hand painted  designs,colors  and lettering. Some of these works remind me of that festive -carnavalesque spirit.

acrylic on canvas
46 x 74 cm
U$  1,000

                                                        Leaps and Bounds
                                                           acrylic on canvas
                                                               46 x 74 cm
                                                                   U$ 900

                                                             acrylic on canvas
                                                                 58 x 54 cm
                                                                     U$   700

                                                            Writing on the Wall
                                                              acrylic on canvas
                                                         61 x 77 cm  (each painting) 2
                                                                    U$  1,000  each


I like the Visual  Format of reading from top to bottom like a scroll.
I've repeated both  images as I like to play with multiples.

                                                         Abstract Compositions
                                                               acrylic on canvas
                                                      4 paintings each - 34 x 48 cm
     U$ 600  each


martes, 10 de abril de 2012


As long as I can remember, signs and symbols have always attracted my imagination and curiosity.   My first real encounter  at the age of fifteen with Pre- Columbian Art, Cave Art, Rock Art, and Aborigenal Art, sold me out and ever since I have been fascinated by their sophisticated simplicity, design, color and expresiveness. 

When  was a kid, I first got acquainted with  calligraphy thru  the beautiful neon  signs in  China- town of New York and I inmediately  loved them.  I found these signs  to be very Festive and colorful and had an impact on me visually.

                                     Improvisation in Black,White,Red and Yellow
                                                           Acrilic on 1/8" Masonite
                                                                   70 x 68 cm

                                                        Improvisation in Pink
                                                        acrylic on  1/4" board
                                                                20 x 25 cm
                                                                   U$ 250

                                                              acrylic on board
                                                                  20 x 25 cm
                                                                     U$ 250

                                                            acrylic on board
                                                                 30 x 40 cm
                                                                     U$ 350

                I like the contrast between hard edge and the inserts of abstract -pattern like motifs.
                 In the future I will explore this conbination further with different types of  inserts.                                       

                                            Improvisation-Homage to Mondrian

domingo, 8 de abril de 2012

WORKS SAVED FROM A FIRE because they were not in the Studio... The were at a show in a gallery......

Artist Statement

My multilayered abstract paintings are visual experiments where I combine rich allusions culled from popular culture in film, magazines, music, advertising and consumerism. I am interested in a visual language resulting from  mixing and playing creatively with the different styles of twentieth century art handed down to us for example: cubism, conceptual, abstract expressionism, minimalism and pop art, important movements generating new ideas and concepts in art making.

I work in acrylics over canvas, mdf board or paper. I am drawn to the emotional yet I like a sense of rationality and balance in my work. I am interested in the new and unusual which is why I am drawn to a mixed media technique giving me more choices and freedom in the creative process. I chose fragmented  layered images, as a reflection of  our contemporary style of living.

In 2001 an electric fire caused by a power strip arced while I was  sleeping and  causing a fire on the carpet, it spreading vigurously and rapidly beyond my control
I lost 20 years  of great work plus my own collectionat of at  least 50 excellent pieces.
I was not insured.

 Most of the work on canvas and paper can be sent in a tube,for Safe,Economical and  Easy

 Mixed Media /Acrylic on paper
58 x 98 cm


                                                            Orange and Cinnamon -Honey Moon
                                                                        Acrylic on canvas
                                                                              87 x 120 cm

                                                          Orange and Cinnamon
                                                               Acrylic on paper
                                                                   58 x 98 cm

                                                                     On Target  
                                                               Acrylic on paper 
                                                                   58 x 98 cm 
                                                                    U$  2,700