Thursday, August 31, 2017

Shows and exhibits



I have been dealing with an injury in the hip area that has bothering me since March. I believe I am getting closer to find a solution with a new doctor I found. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime, since I cant workout - which drives me crazy- I have been trying to channel all my excess energy into painting.

I am happy that it's working so well. I got accepted to several shows I was hoping to get in!




Click on the image above to see the description of the show "For the beauty of Earth".
The entire show is published online at: onlinejuriedshows.com

The two paintings below are in the show.



At Ease. 8x10.

The Golden Hour. 9x12






Pastels USA 31st Annual International Open Exhibition

This exhibit takes place at A SENSE OF PLACE GALLERY, FRESNO, CA.
From SEPTEMBER 19 THRU OCTOBER 21.
If you are in the area stop by to see the art pieces. They will be excellent.
You can also visit: onlineJuriedShows.  To see all the paintings online.



My painting included in the show is "Gold in the lake" an 8x10 landscape.





The Pastel Society of North Carolina is sponsoring an online competition.
Pure Color:
An Online International Juried Exhibition of Pastel Paintings September 1-30, 2017

This is an online show that will be published September 1st. Thanks to Juror Lyn Asselta for accepting two of my paintings in this show. This is a great show!

The golden hour. 9x12


Summer trail 9x12 (Sold)
















Friday, July 21, 2017

Be protective of your environment to set yourself for success

How do I do this and how do I do that? I get that question a lot. Many people approach me and ask me how I have the energy, the motivation, the drive to do the things I do. Crossfit, Painting, driving to Seattle every day. A day job in engineering. And the reality is that I have narrowed it down to a couple items I will mention below. But what's really hard is not how I do it, but to be consistent and persistent with it. Now, that's something I might have been born with. My mom is very much like me in that. But if you have those traits, then I am going to tell you what I tell all my friends that ask me, hey ale, how can you do so much?

Many books and articles have been written about this subject but... I am particularly going through a moment in my life where this has become more than essential.

Want to be a good painter? surround yourself with the masters. Study their process, how much do they paint? how do they paint? what other activities or accessory work do they do to help them be good? and start doing it. Not only watch them, but start walking the walk, your own walk.
But before you can paint your way, you have to paint like the master whose work you love. Or at least, try to do it. This is not copying, this is learning.
Do it and do it so much that it becomes natural to you. Do this taking from several not just one artist whose work you admire.

Eventually your "style" will emerge. It just takes time. I am still trying, but I can see how it has taken me further already. Closer to my goals, closer to liking the paintings I produce.

Hang out with people that love art, just like you do. If you only go through life not connecting with people that love what you love, you will become confused. You will end up in a spot where you feel disconnected, like you are the only one who cares. This has happened to me many times. To the point that it throws me on a spin of depression and mental illness. Surely enough, when I push myself to spend quality time with people that share the passion, it feels like a super energy boost. Motivation comes back, life feels better. Inspiration comes back. Everything has meaning again.

Yesterday, I drove all the way to Mt. Vernon (a one hour and half from home) to visit the Dakota Art Store warehouse and to spend quality time with my artist friends. I got to see Richard McKinley and talk to him about painting and life. On the way home I was in so much better mood than before.

Lisa, Rebecca, me and Patricia. They are all inspiration to me.



Some random guy I found on the street. He is very funny! :)


I was talking to an artist there about why I have my pastel box clean and organized all the time.
Well... as painters, we do make a mess, and pastels in particular become grayish when in use.
The reason I clean my pastels when I am done with a painting or even before, between sittings, is part of a strategy. I noticed a long time ago, that when they are clean and the colors are vibrant, I get more attracted to come back and carry on with the work. It also helps me get started. If the box is dirty and disorganized it really affects me. It wont stop me, but: it doesn't help.

My studio. Watercolors, pastels, oils, and .... and ....


Want to lose weight? be healthier? surround yourself with people that strive to do the same. If you only hang out with people that don't care so much about those things, you will not do it. Or it will be so much harder you will give up on your goal easily.

I went to my gym and talked with coach Alex, the fittest guy I know.  I asked him how he does it. Yeah, I bought an apple watch and I have to log my food all the time, but guess what: I have lost those pesky 5lbs I wanted to lose for so long. The watch sure makes it fun.

My fridge - relatively healthy food overall.



Whenever I am feeling like I am not making much progress I look for him at the gym and just say hi. That's it, then all we talked about exercise and nutrition comes back to me and I feel supported again. It's like "ok Ale, you are on the right track, you can do it".

So remember, your environment has to support your goals. Be protective of it, find the time to adjust it and make sure you are setting yourself up to succeed.

And remember to always have fun!




"Early Fog" 9x12 pastel.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sale

Paintings are accumulating in my studio, and even though I would like to keep these smaller paintings I am running out of room!


Check them out!


Paintings on Sale

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Mom's birthday, IAPS from the distance and the power of a limited palette

I brought a small box of pastels with me so that I could paint some small pieces and leave them for my Mom. 

I am in "La Plata" my home town in Argentina to visit her for her birthday, take reference photos (for more paintings!) and visit other relatives.

Using only the set in the picture on the left, I worked on 3 pieces of about 9x12 in. each.

Despite the fact that the photos I used were all from where I live (Bothell, WA), and predominance of green is typical of the area, I was happy to see how having a limited set of pastels can make my paintings look so similar. They look like part of a series, instead of separate different paintings.

This was my first time taking paints with me on a trip and I am glad I did and it worked so well.


My sister and mom took me to parks and other spots in town that of course I knew very well, but that now I see differently: the painters eye, ya know. Wherever I looked there was a picture to take and a potential painting. Crazy!

La Plata is a highly populated and busy town known for its green big parks located every 6 blocks any direction you go. These parks are reservoir to many trees and types of birds. Each year, more species come and join the existing ones. Trees can be huge here, they are part of city's history.



My mom with a huge "Jacaranda" tree in the back

I found out a couple days ago that the workshop with Desmond O'hagan will happen in August (sponsored by NPS in Gig Harbor, WA). This is exciting and a great opportunity for me to grow as an artist. I took some urban photos as well- I have to have some good pictures for the class.

My mom and sister posing in a restaurant :)

The IAPS bi-annual convention is happening right now. One of my paintings is in the exhibit. I found out that the painting sold quickly on the first day of the exhibition, thanks to Jacob Aguiar who sent me the picture below. I am going to have to be there next time in 2019. But one cannot be in two places at the same time. So thanks to everyone who sent and posted pictures of the opening. 

Now time to get my luggage ready and go back home. Back to the routine and my day job as a computer programmer. Life will get busy very fast but memories made will always prevail.


"Across the river" at the IAPS convention exhibit


My Mom's new private collection painted by me :)


 




Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I am off the hook!

Since I have been going crazy painting for the last two months, I think its a good time to recap what's happened and what's going on with me in the art world.

This year I got a painting juried into the IAPS show. IAPS stands for International Association of Pastel Societies.

This association has a convention every year in different places. This year is Albuquerque, New Mexico. The convention attracts many artists that take classes every day from master pastelists (you know those guys sometimes I go to workshops to learn from).

At the same they hold an exhibition. This all happens in June 3-6. Only one painting is accepted per artist. I had tried to enter this show twice already. This is the third time and I got in with "Across the river" 8x10 pastel done Plein Air in Duvall, WA.

"across the river"




For the last 4 years I have been a member with two pastel societies in the area:

1) The Northwest Pastel Society (NPS) in which I am pretty involved organizing and promoting.
2) The Pastel Society of the West Coast (PSWC) based in California.

These societies run competitions (exhibitions where you have to get juried in) annually for members and others are open to non-members as well.

I got a notice yesterday that I got two paintings selected in the the society 2) above. This is their online show. And its open for viewing here: https://onlinejuriedshows.com/ClosedShowThumbs.aspx?OJSID=8698

The two paintings that got in here are:
"A moment to contemplate" this painting is SOLD.




and "A glimmer on the marsh"



This show is one I tried to enter a couple times already. This is the first time they accepted me.

The last pull for me was to paint as much as I could to see if I can get selected in the International Open Northwest Pastel society show. The deadline to submit paintings is March 5th. This show runs at the American Art Company Gallery in Tacoma for a month starting May 7th aprox.

So now, that I am done submitting work and painting like crazy, I can take a deep breath and go back to a more relaxed schedule, including some oil painting.

www.alejandragos.com

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

7-day post your art challenge

Since not all of you are on facebook, and because I would like to have it all together here, I am posting the paintings that I showed as part of the challenge.

In this "challenge" an artist nominates you (in my case it was Barbara Jaenicke) to share one painting each day for 7 days.

So here we go:


Day 1:

So today, I am sharing a painting I did in 2015. "Autumn Marsh" is a 12x16 that sold a week after I posted online on Etsy. I love painting reflections in the water and marshes usually have a lot of those.





Day 2:

For Day 2 of the 7 day facebook challenge, I am bringing another oldie. "Bothell Landing" is a 6x18 that sold Christopher Framing & Fine Art. This is a park close to my home, where I walk often usually with Ruby my dog. The reference photo was pretty gray, since it was the middle of the winter. I love this painting because of the colors. I would now use a more limited palette but at that time I was more into exploring colors and value. Enjoy!





Day 3:

Ok for day 3 of the 7 day challenge I am posting something different. "Vigilant" was one of my favorite paintings because the great blue heron is my favorite bird! They are so mysterious and they look almost prehistoric to me. This painting got juried into the Peninsula Art League show at the Harbor History Museum by artist Dawn Emerson. It was my first ever show. It ended up back at Christopher Framing & Fine Art where it sold during the holidays. 





Day 4:

Day 4 of the 7 day challenge: "Lavender Dance" is more recent than the previous work I have been showing for the challenge. This painting got juried in by Richard McKinley into the NORTHWEST PASTEL SOCIETY International Exhibition. I got to meet Richard for the first time before taking his workshop last year. I love this painting because it has favorite colors: purple, some aqua, peach and... because there is a sense of movement of grasses and flowers in the field.




Day 5:

It's day 5 of the 7-day challenge and I would like to share "Across the river". This painting is 8x10 and won "best of show" in the NORTHWEST PASTEL SOCIETY small works show. It has very strong marks and colors. I was into plein-air this last summer after taking a workshop with Richard McKinley. This one was done in Duvall, Washington. It has a watercolor underpainting and you can still see some of that in it. It was a very hot day but very windy. The water is the Snohomish River, and the buildings are some sort of garage shops.




Day 6:

It is day 6 of the 7-day challenge. I am enjoying this, since like I said... no time for painting now (at least during the week).
I would like to post "On the way to Winthrop". This painting was done after our first visit to Winthrop, Washington. Matt popped up the question during that time. So this little painting (6x8) is a little gem for me. The view is from the road, while driving, where the trees are not all evergreens, and the grass is dry and yellow. It was summer and I was trying to convey a sense of summer weather and lots of sunshine.





Day 7:

Last day of the 7-day artwork challenge. Phew! I made it.
I would like to nominate Cheryl Axford so that she can show some of her work here on facebook. I met her in a workshop at Dakota Art in Mount Vernon, Washington. She is one of the sweetest people I know.
The painting for the last day is "Spring is back". This painting is very special to me because it got a finalist award at the The Artist's Magazine s annual competition. This painting was included in the 75 finalists out of about 600 submissions in the landscape category. It marked my first high achievement and got me a chance to get published in a magazine Southwest Art Magazine for the first time. It is hanging at Christopher Framing & Fine Art currently. Barbara Courtney Jaenicke thanks again for nominating me. I really enjoyed sharing my work and write about it during these last 7 days.





Saturday, January 21, 2017

Letting go of PanPastels

I have had these sets of PanPastels at home for a year now, and never used them. Time to clean up and make some room in my studio.

If you know of anybody that would want them please share this with them.

I promise I won't be selling you stuff thru this blog on a regular basis :).

Thanks!


PanPastel Artists' Painting Pastels Set of 80 + Mediums Set of 5 + Metallics Set of 6 for $400
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List price for set of 80 colors: 499
List price for Mediums set of 5: 34.99
List price Metallics set of 6: 39.99
Total list price: 575
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These sets have not been used. I barely tried a couple of them. Tools are all unused and perfectly clean.
I would love to sell it and hand deliver to save on shipping.

















Friday, January 20, 2017

Summer by the pond - progression

Another step by step from my latest painting. The reference photo is from a pond in New Hampshire. It's a place very dear to my mother-in-law's sister, since she lives by it ).





I forgot to take a pic of the drawing oops! So this is the underpainting done with nupastels (hard pastels)



After an alcohol wash applied with a brush... I was a bit worried that it was too dark at first.




You can see here some of the dry pastel applied over the now dry alcohol underpainting.



The struggle with the foreground was real. I didn't want it to be important but at the same time there was this big shade area that seemed too big to leave lose. Here is my first attempt to it. 




You can see here how I reworked the foreground to make it a bit more interesting and trying not to take away from the little house and the sunshine.




Sunday, January 15, 2017

What do you see when you get an email from this blog

Last night I realized that if you are subscribed to this blog and get an email from it, that you are still seeing the old "An engineer who wants to be an artist".

Well, I intended to change that to "Dusty Painting" a while ago, like 2 years ago!

It was after I subscribed myself to my own blog that I realized everyone was seeing the old name.

I hope you now get the new name when you get this.

If you still see "An engineer..." please let me know (you can reply or add a comment at the end of the page).

Hey maybe the old title helped me materialized the dream of becoming an artist... it's all about willing and visualizing after all!



"Bursting sky"




Saturday, January 14, 2017

"Powdery hill" progression

I usually take photos at different stages of a painting but never have the time to come here and post it for those of you that are interested on the process!

The reference photo comes from a close-up crop of one of the many pictures I took up in Gold Creek Pond at Snoqualmie Pass.



Blank board with reference photo and my thumbnail (being a good student here).



Drawing with a grey pastel pencil. Not the best one but can change!



I used hard pastels to define value areas.



Fun part: alcohol applied with a brush letting some drips do their thing.



Some dry pastel application... at some point my tree had way too much snow.



I moved away from the photo and tried to give some character to the lonely fellow.



Finished painting! Available.