Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Diego Rivera; San Francisco

The first painting titled "Riches of California" hints at Diego's political beliefs. The artwork was commissioned in 1931 by the San Fransisco Stock Exchange and painted in an exclusive men's club. The club's decor, which was excessively lavish and regal, cost a whopping third of a million dollars to complete. When put into historical context (the Great Depression), you can better understand Diego's sensitivity regarding the "haves" and "have nots". Although not always subtle, Diego would include political and social propaganda in his murals. This particular painting shows smoke stacks with dollar signs near the top right of the painting. Another of his more famous images was eventually destroyed by its patron Nelson Rockefeller because it included a portrait of Lenin.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Misc. images from our trip

Here are a few pics from our drive up the coast! It was incredibly beautiful.

Day2 Fresco painting

Wow, fresco painting is challenging! Day two was a tad better but Leslie and I still felt pretty clumsy. Here are some some pics showing the progression of the works (in reverse order so start at the bottom and work your way up!) 

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Painting Frescos

Preparing and painting our first frescoes was a humbling experience. As a new medium, its capabilities and limitations were challenging. These images show a bit of the preparation. More to come later...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fresco School

Our first two days at the Fresco School were exciting and packed with information. These pictures show Mike mixing the plaster, which is made from slaked lime(calcium hydroxide) and river sand. Mixing the plaster by hand was physically demanding.

The second two images show us grinding the paint pigment into water. 

Monday, July 16, 2007

Painted Desert and Petrified Forest

Vigil's "Assumption of our Lady" Santa Fe, NM

Fredrico Vigil is a celebrated fresco painter from New Mexico. His painting titled "Assumption of our Lady" is located in the Rosario Chapel off Old Taos Road, Santa Fe, NM. Special thanks to the people at the Rosario Cemetery for allowing us to view the work after hours.

Vigil's "La Creatividad es la Prenda Incondicional del Creador" Santa Fe, NM

Fredrico Vigil graduated from Santa Fe College, where he later painted "La Creatividad es la Prenda Incondicional del Creador". This translates to "Creativity is the unconditional gift of the creator". In addition, Mr Vigil helped to create an endowment scholarship for the school.

Vigil's "Cosmos HIstoria, the Haromonious Process" Albuquerque, NM

This is Fredrico Vigil's "Cosmos Historia, the Harmonious Process". Special thanks to Pattricia Risso, chair of the history department, and the University of New Mexico for allowing us to study the work.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Vigil's "Santa Madre Tierra y su Alma"

Our first desitination! This work, created by master fresco painter Fredrico Vigil, is on permanent display at the Albuquerque Museum in Albuquerque NM. Both Leslie and I were amazed at the transparency of the fresco paint. It appears as though Fredrico uses the raw white plaster as his lights.

If you look closely in the first picture you can see a seam. This seam which is called a "Giornata" represents the end of ones days work and the beginning of the next. Keep in mind a fresco painter must work on "fresh", or wet plaster. The average fresco painter can finish a 3'x4' section before the plaster dries. The Sistine Chapel ceiling, which was painted by Michelangelo, is comprised of dozens of smaller sections. Like most fresco painters, Michelangelo concealed his seams ("Giornate") along the natural contours of the objects in the painting. This could be the side of a figure or even where the sky meets the earth in a painting.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

On the Road

The fresco trip has just begun! We left St. Louis at 7:30 am and have recently arrived in Amarillo Texas to spend the night. Tomorrow we will drive three hours to reach our first destination, Albuquerque New Mexico. Check back tomorrow for some pics and info on fresco master Fredrico Vigil's work in the Albuquerque museum.

having fun,

Mike and Leslie

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Diego Rivera's 1931 Fresco

One of the frescos we will see on our trip is this famous Diego Rivera work completed in 1931 at the San Francisco Art Institute on Russian Hill.

The Planned Route

From Bowling Green Kentucky and St Louis Missouri we are off to the Southwest.
First to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico to study the following works by master fresco painter Frederico Vigil.
"Santa Madre Tierra y su Alma," The Albuquerque Museum
"Cosmos Historia, the Harmonious Process," Mesa Vista Hall, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
"Brother Miguel Febres Cordero, FSC," Meditation Room, College of Santa Fe San Inez de Campo Chapel, San Acacio Street, Santa Fe "Asumption of our Lady," Rosario Chapel in Rosario Cemetery, Old Taos Highway, Santa Fe

Next, travel to Los Angeles, California to study the techniques, process and pedagogy of buon fresco painting. Master fresco painter iLia Anosov at the Fresco School offers a private lesson in buon fresco

Finally travel up the coast to San Francisco to see works by master fresco painter Diego Rivera:
“The Making of the Fresco” 1931, San Francisco art Institute
“Allegory of California” 1931, San Francisco Stock Exchange