Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pear Deconstructed


10"x 8" watercolor
Well, here's another first! I've never painted a pear before but I just couldn't paint any ordinary pear. . . . I was making pear "donuts" for the kids and it looked so nice stacked like this. The camera is acting a little funny these days so this image looks a little washed out for me, the painting is more colorful.
Interested in buying it? contact me at: pvlara@sbcglobal.net

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fish Out Of Water Challenge



"Chuey" 16"x12" watercolor by me




"Fish out of Water" 6"x6" watercolor by Chris Beck


So the challenge was called "Fish out of Water" I loved this challenge because it was wide open to interpretation. For me it meant that I would be the fish out water. I never paint animals and I never paint commissions and this painting is both! Talk about nerves! What I love about these challenges is that they push me to paint things I wouldn't normally paint, try new techniques and thought processes. It all goes toward becoming a better artist so I am thankful for the nervousness.


Chris Beck's says she'd been looking for some way to include the fish fabric or the vintage ceramic fish planter in various still-lifes, but she just wasn't inspired by anything she came up with. When the challenge title came along, that was all she needed to come up with this wonderful still life. Check out her blog to get the scoop!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ofrenda 2



"Ofrenda 2" 20"x14" Watercolor

These objects were part of our Dia de los Muertos celebration. The pot is an old precolumbian three footed bowl and I've been dying to paint it. I'm going to use it in some more paintings later.
The flowers are from our garden, I can't say that I really love to garden but I have do a green thumb. Maybe it's just that I hate to weed but I love making things grow.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dia de los Muertos Challenge

They say that Halloween is a night of mischief and mayhem. . . that certainly held true in both Chris' and my house to say the least! Now on to Dia de los Muertos! A night of remembering the ancestors and honoring those that have passed on this year. This one was a challenge that I've been wanting to do for a long time and was a perfect distraction from the Halloween chaos surrounding me! It's a miracle that it was finished in time! Chris Beck really out did herself this time and I'm so in awe of her painting!



"Morty" 9"x11" Watercolor by Me



Dia de los Muertos 12"x 12" Watercolor by Chris Beck

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More Work In Progress again





I've passed the "ugly duckling" stage of this portrait and thank God cause I was worried that I'd lost my touch! . . . . .Not really but it's a good story ;0)

I love seeing the layers coming together. I've said it before and I'll say it again (till I change my mind) that I don't care for working with too many layers. For those who had asked about hair a while ago, you can see the different colors I use before I finish with the details. One eye is almost done and the other one still looks creepy. Can't wait to finish this portrait! (and to show you something else I've been working on).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More Work In Progress

I tried to get a better picture of this but the the full moon must be effecting my camera. I'll try again when the moon's a little less full.



I'm doing more layers than I usually do (or like) but I think it's going to work out fine. Foundation colors for the skin are done, now it's time to work on my favorite things. . .details!



I also usually don't work on the background till I've finished the main focal point because I tend to change my mind on the background depending on the colors of the portrait. I often change original tones to the skin or color of shirts and such. This time since I'm impatient, I just want to get the background in and work on my favorite part. (it still may change a little)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sketch



Just working out colors for a couple of new paintings coming up, and doing a lot of thinking. Fall, my favorite time of year always gets me reflecting on stuff, lots of stuff, maybe too much stuff.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Work In Progress

I realized that I've never put a post on how I do what I do! So, here's one of the new paintings I'm working on. I will say that my process is very straight forward, no tricks, no stretching of paper, no masking fluid, just good ole fashioned paint, brush and paper. . . oh, and lots of water.

First comes the drawing on Arches 140lb coldpress paper.



Next I paint in wet into wet washes colors to create the beginnings of light and shadows.




Stay tuned for more!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Add another Cup of Flower



"Cup of Flower 2" 8" x 10" watercolor
SOLD

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Froggy



"Froggy" 8"x10" Watercolor

If you would like to purchase this painting, please click on the Paypal link below.
Interestedin buying it? Please contact me at:
Contact me for international shipping at: pvlara@sbcglobal.net


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Xiuhtecuhtli



Xiuhtecuhtli 20"x14" watercolor

I met X. about three years ago and knew right away I needed to paint his portrait. He's an amazing young man on the verge of change. His eyes really are the color of turquoise and has a spirit of youthful fire and true depth. May you remain good and kind and discover your history and depth of soul as you grow.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Is summer really almost over? ! ! !




I was very honored to do a demo for the California Watercolor Association on July 15, what a great experience and I will say that I pushed through my nerves to have lots of fun and meet some great people.

This is the one I started that eve and haven't been able to paint that much since then, I'm determined to finish it within the next couple of days (providing the kids will untie me and let me get to my table)

I hope every one's having a great time and out in the fresh air rejuvenating themselves and preparing for what I think will be an unusual fall coming.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

No Name Frog



No Name Frog 8"x10" watercolor

Summer is in full swing here, lots of kids around so I've been working on these little ones, you never know when a stray ball will hit you in the head or land in your water container! I'm not sure I have the hang of small yet but I'm working on it! I hope everyone is enjoying the summer weather and able to get outside a little.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Add another Cup of Flower



"Cup of Flower 2" 10" x 8" watercolor
SOLD
I've been doing lots of portraits lately so I needed to mix it up with a little still life. I had lots of nervous fun painting glass last time with "Cup of Flower" that I wanted to do another one. There's more to come!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Yellow Hammer's Brother



Untitled 20" x 14" Watercolor

Well, I thought I had a name for this one a couple of days ago but it wasn't the right one so it's untitled for now. This is Yellow Hammer's brother, truly a remarkable young man on the edge of change. Everyday he becomes stronger in character and spirit. An amazing thing to witness.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Peekaboo!



End of the school year madness and birthday season has hit us and we are all exhausted but I've managed to keep painting. Here's a sneak peak at a new portrait I'll be finishing very soon. I'm waiting for a name to come to me so for now, it's just details details.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Crop Till You Drop!

This time the challenge was actually the challenge of having time to do a challenge piece so Chris and I decided to take a snippet from a much larger painting and create an image from that. We discovered that both our paintings reminded us of our Grandmothers so this ended up being a tribute to them as well.

A lot of Chris' work comes from memories of her grandmother's things as she explained to me " My grandparents built the house I grew up in -- my parents moved in with my grandfather after my grandmother died -- so there were lots of her things around when I was a young child. She loved her flower gardens and vases and pretty tablecloths. Even though the elements in my painting never belonged to my grandmother, they remind me of her."

I received a lot of positive feedback on the hair in "Xochitl" (pronounced So-Shee-tl which means Queen of Flowers) but I was really more interested in painting the embroidery because not only was it challenging, but it brought me back to days of watching my grandma creating magical flowers with her needles and colorful threads. I could go on and on about Little Shell and all the magic she did, from healing babies to her famous tamales, but I'll save that for future paintings.

"Xochitl" by Me




"Red Anemone" by Chris Beck


Sunday, May 10, 2009

The most courageous person I know




Imagine the courage it takes to send your 5 year old to a new country to live with people you've never met, having faith that they would be safe and taken care of with the promise of getting medical attention needed. I remember well the night my mom told me what was going to happen and feeling safe in her strength and belief that everything would be fine and in her wisdom and connection with God, it did turn out just fine and hopefully so did I.

This is a very special mothers day thank you to my mom Rosy who saw into the future.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cross Challenge Challenge!

This month I am honored to be a part of a Cross Challenge Challenge. Last month, Jelaine Faunce contacted me to see if I'd be interested in joining her challenge buddies in the March challenge of painting an ordinary white paper envelope and I enthusiastically said yes before I realized how challenging it would be.

After a few days of wracking my brain on how to do the envelope justice, my pet rock snatched it from my hands and insisted on creating his own costume and I just happened to have my paints ready to capture the moment. So this is my challenge painting "Ghost Mail"

Please make sure to check out everyone else's blogs for their story behind their challenge painting! I've had so much fun with this one, thank you Jelaine and cohorts for including me in your challenge!



"Ghost Mail" 6"x6" Watercolor by Me



"Saumons en Papier Avec Le Romarin" 6"x6" Oil on canvas by Jelaine Faunce



"Snail Mail" 6"x6" Watercolor by Chris Beck

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Container Challenge

This time the challenge was containers. It's safe to say that Chris and I are both fans of whimsical cute little critters! I know we both have lots and lots of little things to keep us amused around our work spaces, maybe for me to the point of one of my favorite movies "Misery" with Kathy Bates he he he. .
There were lots of ideas in my head for this one but ultimately, I went another direction with it.
They say in southern Mexico that frogs contain the power to make it rain. So that's what I went with.


"Singing in the Rain" 8"x10" watercolor by me

"Colonel Mustard" 6"x6" by Chris Beck

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Apprentice



Apprentice 19" x 30" watercolor

Didn't I say I was never painting this shawl again? Another "what was I thinking" moment for me but am so glad I did because it fits the idea of the painting so well.

Apprentice is about this young woman learning the old medicine ways, the shawl full of traditions and symbols wrapping her up in her new way of life. The colors are bright and shiny just like the young ones who are full of hope and life starting to take on the centuries of wisdom and magic.

I am honored to be the featured artist on "BRUSH-PAPER-WATER" . A blog by the wonderful artist Chris Beck that celebrates watercolor, highlighting some of the best watercolorists around. Please stop by and take a look at some of the finest watercolor artists and also at Chris' own work on what is one of my favorite blog names:

"I'm Painting As Fast As I Can"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sneak Peek




I have a lot of catching up to do! It's been a little crazy around here but this painting is almost finished so I thought a sneak peak was in order just to let you know I'm still kickin'! I've been tagged about four times within the last week too so as soon as I muster up some fun facts, I'll post them too.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Purple Tomatillos



"Purple Tomatillos" 8"x10"

SOLD

Did you ever see a purple tomatillo? I've seen them but never have cooked with them. They have the most beautiful deep purple fruit (?) and that husk was so papery and textural I just had to try painting some. I guess my green salsa won't be green huh!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Food that begins with P

Well, Chris really conjured up some magic on her Asian Pears (I mean Pears Asian) when I think of the beautiful purple under painting she did. You must take a look at that sneak peek because it looks like the finished painting to me!

This really was a challenge for me painting soooooo small! (and not eating the pan dulce before I could paint them) I don't know what it is about painting small that I can't seem to get the feel for. For all the details I tend to put into a painting, I really do love to slop on the paint and push it around and watch it do it's thing.


"Pan Dulce" 6" x 6" watercolor done(and eaten) by yours truly



"Asian Pears" 6" x 6" gouache & watercolor by Chris Beck

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!

I feel like I haven't picked up a brush since last year! he he he. and that's the truth with all the holiday stuff. I did however manage to finish this one just before the madness hit. I have no title yet, just blurry memory of painting it.

I wish you all a very blessed and prosperous year full of change and adventure!