Sunday, November 1, 2009

Challenge #5...


Dia de los Muertos, 12" x 12"
watercolor
Chris Beck

Morty, 11" x 9"
watercolor
Pablo Villicana Lara

It's been a while since Pablo and I shared a challenge. Between our summer schedules and my father's declining health and recent death, it was tough to find the time. This past week, we both *made* the time for this challenge.

The Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) has fascinated me for years and, like Pablo, I've wanted to do a painting on this theme for a long time. For me, the timing on this was meaningful -- the idea of celebrating death as another part of life is not one that most people in the U.S. are raised with. The joyful way of remembering loved ones during this holiday and the profusion of colorful and even humorous images is refreshing and delightful.

Typically, families create altars for departed loved ones featuring favorite foods and things that represent them. Candles are lighted in memory of the departed and fragrant flowers are placed on the altar. Pablo's painting features an angel holding up a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe and also the roses that were a favorite of his grandmother's, although the painting is an homage to all of his loved ones.

I've combined a fun fabric (a Museo Mundo design from Andover Fabrics based on the tradition of lively, happy skeletons) with a vase of marigolds, a traditional flower of the holiday. Together they represent memories I have of family and dear friends who have passed on.


17 comments:

  1. What a fabulous first painting after a long break - doesn't look like you ever stopped painting! I remain amazed by the intensity of color you manage with watercolor - the whole painting just vibrates, and I just Know I can reach though my computer screen and pick those marigolds!

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  2. Thanks, Terry!! This painting went remarkably well, considering it has been a while since I've picked up my brushes.

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  3. Love the contrast from the flat humorous figures in the fabric with the amazing rendering of the flowers! Nice to know you haven't lost the "magic touch".

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  4. Excellent job on this challenge from both of you. The fabric is delightful and the marigolds look real.

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  5. Thanks, Myrna, Vicki and Sharon!! Glad you like the paintings. I feel like I'm back in the zone, finally!!

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  6. Chris!

    The Day of the Dead is an awesome holiday!

    Wait a minute. Are those actual marigolds or are they painted? I thought for sure they're real!!

    Beautiful paintings by you and Pablo!

    -Dean

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  7. Well, they were real marigolds, Dean, but now they're painted ones!! (It's all done with smoke and mirrors!) Glad you like them.

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  8. What a colorful, fun, and well crafted painting! You came back with a bang :) The marigolds look so real and 3D = excellent!

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  9. Gee, Chris - why not try something hard for your first attempt back!!! WOW!!! I wanna paint like that when I grow up!!! Glad you are back!

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  10. Thanks, Rhonda! It's good to be back online!!

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  11. Fantastic - I always enjoy your bright and fun paintings, but that top one especially wows me!

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  12. Thanks, Deb and Angela!! Deb, I not only jumped in with both feet -- I was up to my eyeballs with this one!! I had my moments when I wasn't sure it would come together, but I'm very pleased with the results.

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  13. Hey Chris! This was a fun challenge! Can't wait to do the next one!

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  14. Ditto, my friend!! I'm really looking forward to seeing what you come up with!!

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