Category Archives for Mexico

“Flower Girls” come to San Miguel

Samantha Wiley comes from a long line of Texan artists. She will join us here in San Miguel de Allende for an exhibit of her recent work, “Flower Girls,” oil paintings of southern belles from Galveston, Texas.
Samantha’s portraits have a luminous, elegant quality that brighten a room. The “Flower Girls” bring a fresh feeling of innocence and the feminine spirit to mind. The bright flashes of flower petals in the sun-spangled hair of the “Flower Girls” feel right at home in SMA, even if Ms. Wiley’s ladies are imported from coastal territories.
The “Flower Girls” will be on show at Studio Antonelli on Thursday, June 29th. Be sure to mark your calendar now for a lovely evening with floral touches and musical entertainment throughout the evening.

Would you like to be able to paint like that?

Nab your chance now while Samantha is in town! A graduate of the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Arts in Painting, Samantha has honed her craft studying under contemporary masters and will be sharing her wealth of oil-painting knowledge during a weekend workshop.
June 24th & 25th, Samantha will demonstrate her painting techniques and take you step by step through painting a portrait from a live model.
Email jessica@jessicaantonelli.com if you are interested in joining this short but powerful workshop on capturing light and likeness in your oil portraits. 

 

Kid’s Art Day Camp Summer 2017

Click here to download our Studio A Art Camp Brochure (o info en espanol-> Espanol Art Camp Brochure)

Camp Overview:

For kids ages 6-12
 Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm
 Dates: 
  • Week 1: June 12-16
  • Week 2: June 19-23
  • Week 3:June 26-30
  • Week 4: July 3-7

​Studio A’s day camp for kids is more than just art. Spanish classes, field trips, jewelry making, dance, community service, cool science projects, and more will fill our days, and tasty healthy meals ​will fill our tummies.

Fun will include but is not limited to:
-Create your own comic books
-Learn what secret ingredients you need to make your own slime
-Create a paper-mache volcano, then make it explode!
-Games, painting & sculpture building
-Visit the park, Plaza Civica, and the Botanical Gardens

Sign up now and reserve your child’s spot with a deposit. Each week is limited to 20 students max.

Price: $350/week per child (*ask about sibling & local discounts for SMA residents) 

Reserve your campers spot


 

WANT TO HELP?
We’re looking for local students to be nominated to join us who would love an art-focused camp where they could open up their creativity and build problem-solving skills.

Do you know a SMA student who would be just perfect for our camp but might not be able to afford it?

-Send a short paragraph describing your nominee and why they would be a good fit for our camp to: jessica@jessicaantonelli.com
-Students between 6-14 will be considered, english helpful but not required for scholarship. Up to 6 campers can be selected for this scholarship

Want to help send a local student to camp?
-Just $150 will send a student to camp for a week thanks to a generous matching funds donation.
-Donations toward sending a kid to camp can be small or large, we’ve got up to 7 more spots available

Sponsor a scholarship for a student from our nominees.

Make a kid’s summer this year by donating below (or email us back)
Donate $5 (lunch and snacks)
Donate $20 (art supply kit)
Donate $150 (one week)
Donate $400 (one month)

Contact Jessica at jessica@jessicaantonelli.com for more info

CAMP RECYCLED MATERIAL DROP-OFF
Your trash is our treasure! If you have old magazines, empty toilet paper rolls or other fun things we would re-use for camp, please drop them off for us to use to create with the kiddos! The importance of recycling, our planet, and coming together as a community are a big part of our camp.
June 1st
swing by between 10:30-4:30pm at #18 San Francisco
phone 415-109-8670

About Us:

Camp director Jessica Antonelli ran the successful “Growing Place Summer Camp” in Galveston, TX, and is a certified K-12 art teacher. Our staff includes wonderful bilingual counselors from here in San Miguel.

Past Summer Camp:

Click here to view the brochure from our past day program, The Growing Place Summer Camp  in Galveston, Texas.

And a few pictures from our fun with the kids!

James Richards “Sketching the Energy of Places” Workshop

 

We were so pleased to have renowned urban sketcher James Richards teach his workshop “Sketching the Energy of Places” at Studio Antonelli.

Check out his blog here and see his photos of the trip, and some great sketches! He also offers a wonderful online sketching course and teaches workshops all over the world. Highly recommended!

www.jamesrichardssketchbook.com

 

“Postcards from San Miguel” Art Opening * Make-your-own-Postcard Party

“Postcards from San Miguel” 3-7:00pm Wednesday, March 15th

We’ve had the pleasure of having artist Shannon Troxler teaching Plein-Aire and Life Drawing classes this past few weeks at Studio Antonelli.

 She’ll  be exhibiting thirty small paintings at the gallery, a collection of oils, sketches and watercolors that capture the everyday moods of San Miguel. The paintings are small and informal, small enough to tuck into your suitcase and take home, just like a postcard.

Join us for the opening, 3-7pm Wednesday the 16th, and have fun making your own postcards in watercolor.

We will provide watercolor-paper postcards and all other materials. Shannon will work on a small painting of the lovely view of San Fransisco Church. Come by and enjoy the fun!

More on Shannon:

Shannon lives in Jackson hole Wyoming where she has been a professional artist for over twenty five years. Troxler started visiting San Miguel eight years ago in search of brilliant light and saturated color. Shannon enjoys painting the intimate corners of San Miguel. Her paintings are full of bustling cafes and restaurants, arches and fountains, church facades and rooftop views. She paints from life, and can be found in out of the way corners of cafes or perched on doorsteps, sketchbook and paints in hand. Her style is impressionistic and she loves loose, painterly brushstrokes  that evoke the fleeting passage of time and capture a particular moment.

Check out her work at www.shannontroxler.com

 

 

Quiz: To Paint or to Draw?

Are you feeling the urge to create, but don’t know how? Studio Antonelli is offering a drawing workshop and an oil painting workshop for 10 weeks this coming July 4th through September 9th. Compare the descriptions of the drawing class in pink and the painting class in purple to see which medium best suits you.
Choose the description in pink or purple that best fits you or what you are interested in learning.
Inline image 1
If you chose mostly Drawing (pink)
Have you noticed that you have been doodling on the side of the important notes you were supposed to be taking lately? You have got line and design on the mind and you are ready for a workshop experience where you can fast-forward your drawing skills to a new level.
-You are a beginner or intermediate drawing
-You are interested in getting really really good at making the thing you are looking at come out accurately in the drawing
-You haven’t taken many (or any) classes but you’ve always enjoyed drawing on your own
-You want to know how to hold your pencil for best effect, or how to use different media like charcoal and inks
-People always tell you you’re a good artist (even if you don’t believe them)
-You want to be able to capture the beauty (or the rough sides) of life in SMA
-You want to be able to draw what you see…and have it actually look like the darn thing
There are loads of great teachers all over San Miguel, but people say Jessica’s classes are really great.
 
If you chose mostly Oil Painting (purple)
Colors, colors everywhere and not a drop of paint. You feel good about your drawings (most of the time anyway!) but pen and pencil isn’t cutting it anymore–you want gobs of color to express in color the world around you. Although the detail of drawing is great, you’re ready to learn about big-picture skills like composition and color theory. 
-You have taken art classes before
-You may have worked in acrylic or oil before
-You know that there are different techniques to use with oils but haven’t tried more than one
-You are looking for feedback and workshopping of your work from peers and teacher guidance 
 
No matter what creative pursuit you are interested in, studies have shown mental health benefits of drawing and painting, including that they help dealing with chronic pain, and improving brain plasticity.

The Story Behind the Painting

I am thrilled to be a featured artist in San Miguel de Allende’s Lokkal online magazine, terraanima.org

Click here to read the story from the Lokkal website and to check out the other fabulous artists who share the stories about their work, or enjoy the story behind the painting “Antonia in the Jardin” below.

Antonia in the Jardin

I was walking through the jardin, gazing up in admiration at the Parroquia, when I looked down and the image in this painting stopped me in my tracks. There, on the stones before my feet was a perfect lace-circlet of shadows cast by the freshly sculpted trees. I snapped photos, promising to find the right painting to showcase this San Miguel secret.

At the time I was working on my Ladies of the Night exhibition, inspired by the history of San Miguel de Allende’s Casa de la Noche BnB. It was once a high-class establishment until public houses of prositution were made illegal in 1961.

I found Antonia’s picture among the aged photographs of the girls, class of 1936, which hang in the entranceway to Casa de la Noche. The photos were taken from the girls’ health certifications, which licensed them to work. Although she looked almost flirtatious in her photograph, my initial painting of her came out steaming, oversaturated with red…she looked angry.

I paint with a series of layers to build up depth of color and it was time for the next glaze to change the tone. Still, I felt she needed something deeper than a glaze of naples yellow.

Looking into the eyes I was painting, I sensed her energy coming across the canvas in waves of enmity. Touching fingertips to the canvas, I sensed the same fury that would be seen in the eyes of a jaguar in a zoo. She had also been caged, trapped her situation. Intuition told me that this woman had yearned for nature, that she resented cities and their trappings for failing her, for letting her fall through the cracks to end up where she was.

I love to create stories through my portraiture through collaging images that speak to the life of the subject. I chose to place Antonia’s image over the hills of the high desert visible from Umaran street, a bar dotted street she would have been sure to walk down on her way through the jardin.

Perhaps my story of Antonia is simply a conglomeration of my own feelings after researching the lives of women like her world over. But whether it was a whisper from the painting itself or inspiration from within, I knew that the laced leaves from the Parroquia’s trees were for her, like an olive branch offered in peace.

Much thanks to Lokkal Magazine for the invitation. This piece is the completed version of one of my 10 paintings in 10 days challenge, and was featured in the Ladies of the Night art opening in September 2015 in San Miguel de Allende.

Day Ten: 10 Paintings in 10 Days

 

Though it is still in progress, I present to you my final painting of this challenge.

Thank you, yes you, for following along with me. Your views and comments and likes and shares lit a fire under my butt to keep on painting. I learned about myself and the practice of painting, painted some of the best paintings I’ve done, and I couldn’t have done it without you.

This painting is another from the Storyville prostitutes, whose lives across the border mirrored the lives of their Mexican counterparts.  The women would all dance in the hall, turn a trick, and more often than not sit and play cards when business was slow.

Although this is a New Orleans sourced photo, I’ll be using the designs from traditional Mexican handicrafts for the pillows, and work in photo references from our Casa de la Noche show for the girls.

Now it’s time to finish off these paintings and get them ready for the show!

September 12th, 5-8 at the Bordello Galeria in Casa de la Noche, #19 Organos, San Miguel de Allende.

 

 

 

Day Nine: 10 Paintings in 10 Days

Eureka.

I have figured out what was flummoxing me in my initial paintings of these ladies of the night–texture. The gorgeous and CHEAP handmade canvas, with it’s almost 3 inch deep frame and pre-toned primer applies, has a very different texture than the usual plastic-wrapped sort I’d get at El Pato or art supply stores in the states.

The toothy, richly toned canvas is ideal for a dry brush technique, where just a tad bit of paint is scrumbled, painting in a circular motion. I originally discovered this on day 5 of the challenge, but I added too much paint and lost the lovely, delicate quality of soft-toned skin that I had fallen for just a few brush strokes ago…

That’s why Day 6 of the 10 paintings in 10 days challenge produced one of my favorite works of late-I applied what I learned in day 5.

I used the same approach for today’s painting.

maria

 

The internet here in San Miguel seems to be taking a siesta…or more likely tipsy on tequila, since it’s past midnight as I clock in day 9, so I can only load this one photo of the process.

This dama  had a challenging, and yet resigned look in her photo. I was inspired to put the stamp of the San Miguel health inspection stamp on her card behind her head like an off-kilter halo. She immediately became Maria for me, a fallen angel, a very different manifestation of virgin mother…or perhaps more Mary Magdalene? Her breast is bared to offer sustenance, like each Mary did in her own way, and as all women offer themselves in one way or another to create life in this world.

I’m going to cut myself a break and add all the gold I want on this one. The Klimt influence gets to flirt with italian renaissance representations of the divine feminine. Loving that learning from my mistakes this past ten days, and learning how to use my materials, has led to the creation of this Maria.

Day 8: 10 Paintings in 10 Days

10 Paintings in 10 days? What was I thinking?

I have to admit, I jumped into this challenge without really knowing what I was getting myself into. I had adopted a looser, faster style recently, and felt confident that I could at least make a really strong start on all the pieces for the show coming up in TWO WEEKS.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…

One thing I love about this challenge is that it is keeping me painting in the studio, as non-stop as I can manage between teaching and celebrating life, like you do in Mexico (it’s a requirement here, like sitting in traffic in the states).

I think of painting like working out, you go to the gym and it hurts every time and you sweat every time…but each time you get back in there, you’re able to lift heavier and heavier weights.

But I gotta admit that painting is HARRRD.

I tell my students that, if they’re lucky, they will like 1 out of every 50 pieces of their work. Most often, we see what we want to fix, or what needs work, not the nice painting others see.

For day 8’s painting I revised a canvas I had all but cast aside

I went back to the studio, and knowing that I HAD to paint something tonight, I revised a painting that is very special to me that I had set aside months ago in frustration.

This painting is a gift to the wonderful host family I lived with my first 10 months in San Miguel, a portrait of their 3 fantastic kids.

Breaking my own rules of painting

Unfortunately, when I began the painting, I was out of practice drawing and broke all of the rules I use now. In fact, I learned my rules from my mistakes with this painting: now, I draw the subject at least 2 or three times before painting–the more I draw studies, the better the final painting.

20140824_205124

Rule 1: Do practice drawings first! Or else…

 

I began this painting a year ago, no drawing studies, little practice. But I did them! Although I wasn’t satisfied with the original lay-in, the drawing in paint that sets the stage for the final piece, I continued on. So today, I had to work on reframing the faces and fixing some basic drawing issues I had in the beginning. Next, I need to add color so they don’t look like vampires and do the background.

20141012_233748

this might be ok if the painting looked like the girl on the right. but it doesn’t…

I may still have a few more visits to the art-gym before I finish this painting, but I’m grateful this challenge has pushed me to keep working on it!

20150901_005423

getting closer

Day Seven: 10 Paintings in 10 Days

parlor girl

 

 

Painting number 7 is a big step away from what I had envisioned originally for this series. I have gotten away from the pure portraits of the ladies, which were taken from their health registration photo IDs, and I now want to show them in context of their life. The more I study this subject, the more fascinated I am by the daily life and social position of these women.

When I began painting them, I felt sorry for the shady ladies of San Miguel’s past. However, a book I’ve been listening to (audiobook style while I paint, a big time addiction for me) documents the lives of 1860s-1930s harlots from Colorado, and it has introduced me to a new concept of these women’s life. The book, Brothels, Bordellos, and Bad Girls, talks about how many of the ladies of the night were not victims, but wild child types who did not want to live the formulaic, oppressive life of pious mothers with a hoard of children to support. They wanted to get drunk and dance and sleep around, be independent and make their own money. In many ways, the average female U.S. college student has a lifestyle more similar to the bordello girl’s than to the proper social lady’s life a century back.

Anywho, here I used a reference photo from the infamous prostitute shots from Storyville, a 1912 New Orlean’s brothel where photographer E.J. Bellocq got intimate with the madame and was able to peek inside the lives of his muses when they were working, playing, and relaxing.

Parlor girl 2

 

I’m having so much fun putting the ladies in context–although the scene is from 1912 New Orleans I will be using a face from the San Miguel girls, and with Mexico being a little bit behind the fashion the states I think it is still very fitting. More importantly, these girls shared the connection of their profession, their status, and in this photo in particular, one might imagined that there were times that they enjoyed their job.

Painting this gave me a much bigger appreciation for the composition. Although I loved the photo at first glance, only after I took the time to look deeply as an artist did I notice just how MANY patterns and designs liven up this image. The stockings are the focal point, of course. Love it!

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