Greetings from beautiful Puerto Vallarta! We are here to enjoy some sun and sea and to do some artwork at the fantastic Art Vallarta studio in Old Town. Here we are at the door of Art Vallarta, with Frida mural by local artists Tony Collantez and Quetzal Cuatl.
In the facility is a great show of Valentine’s Day-themed and Frida Kahlo-based artwork curated by Nathalie Herling, featuring art by 40 international and local artists, and other pieces, including paintings, pottery, and murals.
All the work is so colourful and fills the space with energy and joy. Nathalie showed us around as we waited for the watercolour course to begin.
On display are several clay tagines by my clay maestro Froylan Hernandez, very whimsical animalistic pots.
Nathalie is converting the building’s gym into a painting studio; already oil and acrylic classes are taking place here.
This piece is a take-off on the famous Pre-Raphaelite painting of the Lady of Shalott by JM Waterhouse, featuring Frida in the lead role.
Here’s a picture of me wearing one of Nathalie’s Easter bonnets.
Local artist Veronica Rangel is the watercolour teacher and the four of us had her all to ourselves.
She started us off on a exercise in which we painted a seaside scene, using washes and masking.
The classes include paints, brushes, and paper and each of us were given a palette with the same selection of colours to create our landscape image.
I was moderately happy with my work, until, in a frenzy of impatience, I ripped the masking tape off my edges and tore a strip off the paper.
As you can see, Barb and Kathy were pretty happy with their creations.
As well as the landscape exercise, Veronica also showed us a staining technique, which Janet demonstrates below.
Below is my second attempt at the landscape. It looks like a rogue waterspout. Barb decided for her second attempt that she would try a volcano.
Here we are at the end of the class, three hours of fun, and very happy with our productions. Veronica is very lovely and a patient teacher.
See more photos here.
For more info on Art Vallarta, click here.
If it’s Wednesday night in PV, the Centro Art Walk is the place to be; the five of us grabbed a cab from Amapas that whisked us first to the bank to withdraw some needed cash, then to the first stop on the art trail, the Colektika Galeria of contemporary Mexican folk art.
I hadn’t been to this gallery before – it is huge with many rooms and a courtyard out back, run by a guy originally from Toronto who came here to study Spanish.
They have some really fabulous stuff, like this painted wood unicorn, and the skulls below with objects atop. I love these.
The Gallery also has a small section of old artifacts in a glass case, presided over by a grinning skeleton.
Galeria Corsica was next on the tour; here Barb and Maggie are admiring the large impasto portraits.
This gallery, too, has a lovely outdoor sculpture court.
Janet tried out her swimming stroke …
I really love these photographs of figures with faces caked in mud and other organic materials.
My favourite gallery for really contemporary art is the Galeria Omar Alonso, kitty corner from the Cafe des Artistes. Right now it has some fabulous white clay sculptures, as well as knitted wire and chain pieces.
This figure, made from clay, looked like it was constructed from hundreds of white golf tees. The piece below comprises wooden chains dropping from the ceiling to touch a mirror on the floor, making it look as though they drop away to infinity.
La Pulga Gallery didn’t have much going on, but it has a beautiful outdoor space where we stopped to enjoy some pretty good white wine.
Galeria des Artistes, right next door, has some interesting paintings of male figures in lucha libre masks.
One of the most interesting spaces we visited was the Starving Artist Studio Gallery, started by Rodolfo Blanco, seen below, a really nice guy who chatted to us about the place and his projects.
See more pictures here.
We finished the evening with some tasty nibbles at Florio’s on via Galeana, just off the end of the Malecon, an Italian-Argentinean pizza place with an artsy vibe. Good Times!