Muses from the artistic world of Sonia Mocnik
December 16,2016
Merry Christmas!

Its almost 3 months since I left Rome airport after the wonderful Med cruise.  I'm thinking of all the wonderful guests who journeyed and painted with me during that time.  I hope they are very well and getting into the festive spirit whatever holiday they may be sharing!  I'm also thinking of my many followers on social media and my friends and family in Vancouver and hope they are enjoying the festive looking environment.  I have had a few people complaining of the snow and cold, but it looks absolutely beautiful in the photos that everyone is posting!

I have decorated the small space here in Lake Chapala with fuschia coloured poinsettias and various odds and ends that I have accumulated over the years of coming down here as a snow bird. Why fuschia? Well, the outside of the bungalow is painted partially in a pinky fuschia colour with blue accents and the name of the space is Casa Rosa.  So it goes well with the exterior decor.

Stockings hang by the chimney with care....yes there is a fireplace and right now, it's really necessary.  Actually I have the kitchen oven going as it keeps the place warmer! I have even taking to baking more as to keep the interior warm.  There must be some kind of inversion with the weather happening because of the ash coming from the nearby Colima Volcano.  We can see the haze, we don't see actual ash, but there are online advisories and a web cam of all the recent explosions.  But I digress.....

I renewed my subscription to international artist magazine for the online version. Looking forward to all the great articles!  I renewed my FCA membership and got my website updated and am working on the commission pieces people have been asking for.  

Now i have to look at my list and check it twice to see all the projects I need to get finished!  Happy Painting to all and all a good night!

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December 11,2016
Light, Colour and my artist statement

I have been taking watercolor classes with Migel Nunez Flores in Mirasol.  He is an architect by trade but has a lovely studio and enjoys plein air painting.  His style is loose and he works with a very set group of colors which have really helped me work on my washes.

What I keep being surprised by each time I take the class is the effect a continuous set of washes and glazes can have.  We usually work with cobalt blue, cereleum blue, prussian blue, raw sienna and yellow ochre and a little alizarin crimson.  These create the hazzy blues, greys and greens of the lake effect down here as well as the long stretches of fields and dry grasses.  Its been great to finally feel the painting the way I have been taking photographs over the year.

This is different for me because I tend to love to put in color and enjoy the elements of color and light and whimsy that I create.  These are more subdued paintings, more etheral and if I can combine my love of color with these effects, I hope to create some really interesting work.

Right now, I am continuing to finish some commissions and work on paintings for a set of gallery openings in the new year.  They are all with the Lake Chapala Painting Guild, and this helps the ongoing process of entering open calls for showing work.  I have that still to do as well.  As Hycroft Gallery has asked the Hycroft Painters to submit for the summer gallery again.  I have to get this finished later today.  Everything is updated except for my Artist Statement.  I thought if I began writing in my blog, it would help to get my statement clear in my mind.  

Oh and I almost forgot!  I had my first sale of a print on Fine Art America this week.  A person from Birmingham created a tote bag from one of my paintings.  I really hope they enjoy it or that it brings pleasure to whoever they bought it for!  Great idea!

Happy Painting!

Misty Lake Chapala

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December 07,2016
More Papel Picado

Poinsettas abound here right now as the Christmas season gets busy in Ajijic.  I just went and purchased something like 10 plants to put around the Terrace. There are so many varieties to choose from, but I enjoy the fuschia colored the most as they blend into the fuschia walls of Casa Rosa.

The demonstrations at Galeria Sol Mexicano on Calle Colon #13 in Ajijic last week were so much fun.  The first day started with a little bit of a delay.  Although all festivities had finished in Ajijic, the Plaza and surrounding streets were still blocked off from local traffic.  I thought I had figured out how to maneouvre my way around the back roads and find a spot to drop off all my gear.  Unfortunately, I realized I would have to drive up the wrong way on the street, so I just didn't feel comfortable doing this.  I took another sweep around the village and found a parking spot that required me to move inside the car from the driver's seat to the passenger seat because the driver door would not open against the high curb.  Succeeding in this escape, I got all my gear out and walked the 2 blocks to the gallery.  Awaiting me were 5 interested budding artists who were very keen on watercolors.

We started with a nice set of washes for a sunset over Lake Chapala including the mountains across the lake in a very nice Ultramarine blue.  I worked with a very wet paper and let the watercolors mix where they may.  Then we tried a different set of techniques, expressionist, but on dryer paper. There was a wonderful tree filled with glass ornaments - hummingbirds, angels and dragonflies.  They were on mobiles with little price tags hanging below.  Behind this whimsical creation was a deep orange wall of the gallery.  The blue glass of the angels and the complementary color of the orange wall just begged to be painted.  It gave a bit of an opportunity to talk about painting reflections in glass. The demo was too soon over and the first day finished.

Day two saw three attendants come back and many friends come by and stop to chat or observe for a bit.  I was able to video some of the demonstrations and put them later on social media in various facebook pages and even twitter.  I worked on a second whimsical piece of the glass ornaments.  The dragonflies had so many wonderfully colored wings.  As I proceded with this demo, I realized that the ornaments were made of a different metal - bronze and not silver as the angels were.  Well, that changed the effect of the picture as it became much warmer and maybe just not enough contrast.  I completed the shadows darker as well, and framed the piece.  Both are now part of the display on at the Gallery.

My final piece of the second day demonstration was a wet and loose demo of Angel Tears, or Trumpet flowers.  One of my favorite flowers to paint and a great way to show the effects of water and color.  Pictures can be view on my social media pages.  Everyone had a great time and some of the guests purchased my coloring pages that are also available.

Saturday was PAINT OUT AJIJIC sponsored by the Lake Chapala Painting Guild.  We had several entrants and lots of visitors watching the plein air painters have a great time!  The weather was a bit of a concern in the morning, but it cleared up and stayed beautiful until about 3:30 after the People's Choice was announced.  Then the wind picked up and we were concerned easels and materials would blow away. By six the same evening, we had rain - which is so unusual down here at this time of year.

Well, now that all those events are over, its time to get to work finishing commissioned pieces and getting ready for the show in January at the Ajijic Cultural Center.  More painting news to come as I get some new pieces online!  Happy Painting!

Fiesta Ajijic No. 2, Papel Picada series

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