From the Studio, 2-6-15

Lots of things happening in the studio this week. New ideas to paint over huipil, the ornate and beautifully crafted garments that Mayan women wear.


Originally I had the idea to paint over the huipil in one color drawn from the embroidery to create a minimalist piece. I may still do that. But then I decided to intricately paint over the embroidery in the color of the thread to create a textural impasto surface that would simplify the patterns.

A lot of what I am doing right now is designed to get me a little closer to understanding the local Mayan people and getting to know their culture through the materials, clothing , food etc that they use every day. This relates to my endeavor as a conceptual realist to recreate things that occur daily in my life, my families life and my friends lives. This is what I hope to create in future projects through various mediums such as film, sculpture, music, 3d printing and more.

My designs using pita, the local name for the colorful nylon twine used for all kinds of things, is a little bit on the back burner and I hope to move forward on some of these pieces in the coming weeks.

Pita pieces in progress.
Pita pieces in progress.

Making the pita paintings is hard on my assistant, Efrian, as the pita, when worked with the hands for several hours, starts to cause cuts and burns on the fingers. So I try to balance Ef’s work load by alternating the building of stretchers, doing the pita pieces, doing jobs around the house and doing wood construction projects among other things. He works quickly, has an intuitive understanding of what I want done and his craftsmanship gets better daily. He can build 2-3 large stretchers in a day, or a whole bunch of small ones.

Efrain with Iza at the easel he built for her. One of her favorite things.
A puzzle for Iza.

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Working a lot on the “Emptiness” series which I have written about. Here is a past blog that better describes the series.


Finding the right way to prep the surface of the canvas is the biggest challenge. I am trying to create these beautiful floating grey rectangles and the it is important at this stage to represent these without brushstrokes and flaws. I see this series growing in the future into different painting methods, sculpture, video and other medium.

Below is the original inspiration for the series.


Here are some new wood constructions that will either become pita pieces or small paintings for the Emptiness series.

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A large triptych canvas i have been staring at for about a week.  This will be a different series of gestural abstract paintings I think. I still love to do these types of paintings and hope to make them affordable to people that can’t drop 5-10k on a painting.


While I was working in the studio, Ventura, our guardian, gave me some these flowers while I was working. He said to fry the petals with eggs and eat them.

Edible flowers.
Edible flowers.

Also, the flowers near a desk Ef built for my computer work. I got it goin’ on.


Finally, the pathway lined with flowers on the way back to the house.

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