Saturday, September 30, 2017

Recent drawings

Over the past month I've started drawing again.

It was a nice change from painting. The focus on line and sometimes shadow, within 20 minutes at the most, was liberating and also challenging. I haven't drawn the human form in a while and it was a delight to rediscover its complexities and incomparable beauty.

Here are a few selections:




Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Recent paintings

I recently completed four paintings (all acrylic on canvas, 24 x 36 inches) at the National Academy of Design.

These paintings featured profiles and a bit more of the models' torsos, which is a departure from the large scale headshots that have been the focus of my work over the past few years.

These paintings are also more realistic, less glitchy, and in the case of the last two, I also tried to use a brighter palette and abstraction in the background.

Sadly, the National Academy has closed its doors until it finds a new location. But I will continue my studies at the 92nd Street Y next month. I look forward to a new chapter in my art practice.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Courage and Disturbance

I'm happy to announce that three of my paintings are featured in Linus Galleries' online exhibit, "Courage and Disturbance":
This is a combined online art show of two different themes: Disturbance and Courage. We feel that almost every artist comprehends and feels on a different level than most people the concept of Disturbance. It’s a feeling or thought that creates a dissonance in spirit. But isn’t that what creativity evolves out of? Disturbance can be discontent, a different perspective, a conveying of hard truth, horrible unrest, or a reporting of injustice. In this open art call we asked to see what disturbs the artist.

These are times of real courage, of strength, of protest, and resilience. We asked the artist to take those thoughts and emotions and express through their art the concept of Courage in this call for entries.
I hope that you'll have a chance to view the inspiring works in the video.

Thursday, June 1, 2017


My painting Connie 3 is featured in Top 45 Traditional Art Bloggers by Artfixed, a blog by John Thatcher.
Once a year Artfixed handpicks its favorite artists across categories. These artists stand out for their work or contribution to the arts. These are primarily artists who embrace traditional mediums and conventional tools- gouache, colored pencils, acrylics, watercolor, charcoal or ink. Although they might not limit themselves to only these tools.
Thanks John for the kind words! I hope you'll all get a chance to explore John's wonderful site.

Friday, May 5, 2017

National Academy closing on August 6, 2017

I was a bit shocked to get this email yesterday. I guess it's time to move on, but I hope that the National Academy will find a new home soon.
May 4, 2017

Dear National Academy Faculty and Students,

It was great to see many of you at this afternoon’s special meeting in the Assembly Hall. For those who were unable to attend, we wanted to share an important update regarding the school’s upcoming hiatus in preparation for the relocation of the National Academy.

As you know, in order to re-envision the Academy’s future and create a strong, sustainable financial base, including the first-ever permanent endowment in our 192-year-old history, the museum and school facilities were put on the market over a year ago. The Museum temporarily closed to the public on June 1, 2016, to prepare for the pending sale and relocation.

Since then, we have worked diligently to be able to continue classes at the school, but must now prepare to move out of the buildings this coming fall. We had hoped that a real estate deal would allow us to remain in the properties for at least 18 months after closing, but this has proven to not be possible, and the National Academy Board of Governors elected yesterday to temporarily suspend classes beginning August 6 in order to allow us time to prepare for the transition to our future home. We are sharing this news as soon as possible to give you, the students, faculty, and administration as much time as possible to resituate in advance of the fall term.

If you are a full-time and/or F1 visa student, we would like to help you transfer to another program and continue your studies uninterrupted. School Administrative Director, Mary Fisher, can provide you with information on how to apply to another local art school. The Art Students League, the New York Studio School, and the MFA Studio Art Program at Montclair State University in particular are all eager to welcome you into their programs.

As to future plans, the staff, Board, and our members, the National Academicians, continue to search for opportunities to reactivate the school during the hiatus, as well as identify the Academy’s next location while we assess and re-imagine the educational and museum offerings in this new home. These strategies are part of the Academy’s long-term plan as we enter our third century. We will fully resume activities once a new location has been identified, and very much look forward to sharing news with you as soon as we are able.

We are all so appreciative of the talented and dedicated school staff, faculty, and students, and thank you for your understanding and support as we plan our institution’s bright new future.

Sincerely yours,

Tim Walch, Board Co-Chair, National Academy
Walter Chatham, Board Co-Chair, National Academy
Bruce Fowle, President, National Academy

Here's a comment from Tom Griffin, Director of Admissions at the Digital Film Academy:

Hello Francisco,
aside from the schools listed above, our school has also been of interest especially for international students at the National Academy Museum & School. We hope the National Academy will find a new location quickly and seamlessly. In the meantime, any students interested to take their studies in a more digital media / filmmaking direction are very welcome to reach out to us to arrange a visit.

Tom Griffin, B.B.S.
Director of Admissions
Digital Film Academy
630 Ninth Avenue
New York NY 10036
Tel: 2123334013

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Connie 3

My painting Connie 3 (acrylic on canvas, 11" x 14") is being featured in Claudia Hajian's Portraits and Pets Art Show.

Claudia is one of NYC's iconic models. I have painted her many times (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), and look forward to doing so again.

I hope you'll get a chance to explore her wonderful blog which presents a model's take on the art world here in NYC.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Head Study in Blue

My postcard-sized watercolor "Head Study in Blue" will be a part of the Twitter Art Exhibit 2017 supporting Molly Olly’s Wishes in Stratford upon Avon, UK, April 2-19, 2017.

From the charity's site:
Molly Olly’s Wishes supports children with terminal or life threatening illnesses and their families to help with their emotional wellbeing. We grant individual wishes and donate therapeutic toys and books to both children directly and to hospitals throughout the UK.

We are professional and personal and never forget that those we help are going through extremely challenging times. We always strive to be empathetic and compassionate.
The opening reception is tonight, April 1, 2017. From Eventbrite:
TWITTER ART EXHIBIT (TAE) is being held in the UK for the first time! Next year it will be somewhere else in the world supporting another worthwhile charity.

The Opening Night of TAE17 in Startford upon Avon is a great opportunity to buy some amazing art from our TAE17 artists from all around the world and, at the same time, to support the charity Molly Olly's Wishes who help support children with terminal and seroius illness and their families. This year TAE has had it's biggest uptake since the event started 6 years ago with 1300 artists registered from 62 countries!

Artist David Sandum will be attending the event from Norway and will be giving a presentation about how and why TAE was set up and about the charities it has helped over the years and what the future holds for TAE.

You are invited to the OPENING NIGHT on the 1 April 2017 in Stratford upon Avon and we hope that you will invite others you know who could enjoy the event. Please come along to purchase the cards and help us raise funds for Molly Olly's Wishes. (Cost of cards - £30 each of 4 for £100). ALL the proceeds from the sale of the cards goes direct to the charity. If you are attending the sale, it would be most helpful if you could bring CASH if you are planning to buy any artworks, to help speed up the process!

There will be an AUCTION of a wonderful original etching doanted by Norman Ackroyd RA and a sketch by Sir Ian McKellan and Gok Wan on the night.

FREE entry. Light refreshments available. Disabables access and facilities.
Date and Time:
Sat 1 April 2017
18:00 – 21:00 BST

The ArtsHouse
14 Rother Street
Stratford upon Avon
CV37 6LU
United Kingdom
If you're in the UK, I hope that you'll be able to attend TAE17, support a wonderful charity, and take in the work of Twitter artists from around the world.


I'm happy to report that my fellow Twitter artist Cathy Thomas purchased Head Study in Blue.

Cathy lives in Chester, UK and specializes in portraiture. I hope you'll click on her Twitter page and explore her amazing work.

You can view photos from opening night here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Arternative Facts

My paintings Crystal, Esteban, and John 5 will be featured in The Road Gallery's Arternative Facts show from March 16 to June 30, 2017:
Questions about what constitutes truth and fact are more pressing today than ever. In a post-reality world of fake news, spread pandemically by social media, accuracy and honesty are rare commodities. Getting to absolute truth has never been easy. Perception and reality are uncomfortable bedfellows. They don’t play nicely together. However, we are living in unprecedented times of unscrupulous misinformation, epitomized by those immortal words, alternative facts.

Ever since the Trump administration has taken office, we've been increasingly concerned about censorship, rights and freedoms. We’ve also been thinking about art’s place in the political arena and the impact art can and should have in society. At The Road Gallery we strongly believe in the power of art and artistic expression to provoke reaction, ask important questions, create dialogue and inform the debate. With this in mind, we our proud to present our Artnernative Facts show. We invited artists to submit work that:

- Portrays an alternative view of current realities.
- Portrays alternative perspectives on the current political landscape.
- Rethinks, reimagines and challenges commonly held beliefs and assumptions.

We were astounded by the responses from around the world. What quickly became clear is that artists want their voices to be heard and have a lot to say. There were some deeply personal responses, some deeply political responses and some deeply socially motivated responses. After carefully reviewing all the submissions, we have curated over 60 pieces from 19 artists. Most of the works are accompanied by information about the artist and an arternative fact - their insights about the piece. We encourage you to read these as they add a great deal of richness to the images.

10% of all sales (and 100% on some pieces) will be split across the following non-profit organizations: ACLU, Planned Parenthood and The International Rescue Committee.
I hope you'll get a chance to explore the featured artists' responses to the current political climate as well as The Road Gallery's awesome website.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tengo un sueño

In response to the current political climate, I've been experimenting with text-based art inspired by Barbara Kruger and Shirin Neshat.

The model Esteban is Mexican-American. I painted a 30 x 40 acrylic portrait of him (above), then digitally added a Spanish translation of an excerpt from Martin Luther King:
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

Tengo un sueño que un día esta nación se pondrá en pie y realizará el verdadero significado de su credo: “Sostenemos que estas verdades son evidentes por sí mismas: que todos los hombres han sido creados iguales”.

The concept of art as a form of protest is completely new to me - unnerving but also empowering. I hope that other artists will be inspired to explore it.

Monday, January 9, 2017

"Male Torso 12" at Metro Pictures

My postcard sized watercolor, Male Torso 12 (4" x 6"), will be on view at the Postcards from the Edge exhibit from January 13-15, 2017 in Chelsea. The exhibit will benefit Visual Aids, an organization that supports HIV+ artists.

From the site:
Postcards From the Edge offers a rare opportunity to acquire original, postcard-sized artwork from internationally renowned and emerging artists for only $85 each. Offered on a first-come, first-served basis, over 1500 works are exhibited anonymously, and the identity of the artist is revealed only after the work is purchased. With the playing field leveled, all participants can take home a piece by a famous artist, or one who's just making their debut in the art world. Nonetheless, collectors walk away with something beautiful, a piece of art they love!
I hope that you can attend the preview this Friday, January 13, 2017, 6:00 to 8:00 pm , at Metro Pictures, 519 West 24th Street, NYC. The show will also be on view this Saturday and Sunday, January 14-15, 2017.
Postcards from the Edge 2017
Hosted by Metro Pictures
519 West 24th Street
New York, NY, 10011
Preview Party: January 13, 2017 6-8pm
Benefit Sale: January 14-15, 2017