Archive for November 20, 2011

Artist of the moment….. David Alfaro Siqueiros


this artist was born in Mexico in 1874. He was born in Chihauhua, Mexico. He became known for his murals but also made fine prints.

He was also a member of the Mexican Communist Party that tried without success to kill Leon Trotsky in 1940.Trotsky was a president living in the country who was still largely unpopular with the people. Trotsky survived the attack on his house partially led by Siqueiros but died later that year by an assassin who used a pick axe to carry out the killing.

The artist was the 2nd of three children. The family was quite well to do whose lineage traced back to the Alfaro family of Portugal.  Before the artist was 5 his mom died, so his dad gave the children to the grandparents to raise. The grandparents didn’t approve of the way Dad was raising the kids moved the kids from the country to Mexico City and also enrolled them in private biblical school.

Below is a clip around 5 minutes showing many of the artist’s work on canvas as well as his murals.



The artist was very modern in his approach to murals as far as dimensions and different techniques used to apply paint as well as enhance the perspective. Rather than making a picture work from standing in front to getting  his works to look nice from wherever the viewer is standing.

As a teenager he was inspired by Dr. Atl, he told all artists to develop a national art looking all across the country and to previous cultures for inspiration. The artist joined some military groups and while on travels around the country he was able to get a great grasp of the various ways of life in his country.The artist took off to paint Europe in 1919.

In 1922 the artist returned to Mexico City to work for a new revolutionary government as a mural artist. The artist saw his art as a perfect way to express his political feelings. He thought art should be public, educational, and ideological.

The artist died in 1974 in Mexico.

I enjoy those artists from the Mexican muralist group as they have so much emotion and meaning. Similar to Kathe Kollwitz in their depiction of pain and suffering of the masses.

Happy painting!


Artist of the moment…. Christopher Reilly…

The artist was born in New Rochelle, New York in 1967.

this artist does encaustics (working with wax) but instead of using oil he glazes with watercolor.

He works on very large canvases or boards sometimes as large as 76 inches on one side. Most of the works don’t have a horizon line and rather focus on the movement and growth of a flower or a branch across the picture plane.

He wants the works to be both ancient and modern. His method includes wax and watercolor in the background followed by paint and scraping in between layers. He usually works on 8 to 12 paintings at one time. It takes multiple months and layers of paint.

He enjoys carving flowers and leaves out of the build up layers of wax.  Trying to show the dying, growing, and beginning of a plant or flower. The artist is influenced by Buddhism and the circle of life.

As a painter who likes to try new ideas and ways of applying paint, this artist is the first artist I have seen that paints with watercolor whilst using an encaustic method!

Try painting with wax for something different. You can really make your focal point stand out!

Happy painting!