Painting Tenerife: San Cristobal de La Laguna 01

Painting Tenerife: San Cristobal de La Laguna 01


In February 2013, I spent 3 weeks painting the Canary Island Tenerife. My first two posts about that island were referring to places called “Los Gigantes” and “Garachico”. Today I will present here some watercolour and ink sketches from San Cristobal de la Laguna, a town in the Northern part of the island.

We had visited the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the day before and were a little bit disappointed by most of the town. Then I had read that San Cristobal was the former capital and that La Laguna’s historical centre was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. Consequently, I thought that there might be some interesting motifs for me.

Unfortunately it was quite a grey and even rainy day and the light cast on the town really wasn’t motivating me to paint. As we began meandering through the town, I became worried that in fact it wasn’t going to present me with anything interesting at all, but as we happened upon the bustling Sunday market, I quickly found a number of motifs, the first ones being quite funny. I did the ink drawings on the site, adding the colours later at home. The first one represents a fish stand.

To be honest, I hate fish. I mean, I hate dead fish, and wherever dead fishes are, I run away, unable to stand the smell and the sight of them. It might be because I was a passionate diver in the past and spent many hours playing with lovely, living fishes in the depths of the seas, that I firmly believe that is where they belong! Anyway, that day I found that motif so funny that I had to draw it. But believe me, I did it very fast, as I gradually started to feel very sick in my tummy. But I understand that true art demands its sacrifices…

You might think that I exaggerated the size of the big fish in the foreground.. perhaps I did… but really, not that much, as it was exactly that which drew my gaze, the contrast between him and the hundreds of little fishes laying in rows behind him. That guy, although dead, really looked for all the world as if he was thinking: “How did I land here?” Which is what I am often thinking about myself on this Earth… that painting could well be a self-portrait!

You might also believe that I invented the next motif… I swear I did not!

So hilarious… and I would have given the world to know what was going on inside the head of the nun… and of the pig! The chickens had lost their heads, so at least they hadn’t any thoughts, presumed chicken usually think with their heads…

What attracted me in the flower stand above, besides the many flowers which I anyway love to paint, was the woman herself. She stood there for a long time, totally immobile. I myself stood quite a while there, sketching and observing, and I could not find out who that woman was. I first thought she was the shop owner, but would she have a bag in her hand if she was? Was she a client? But where was the shop owner then? And why didn’t she move at all? I am not even sure if she was alive!

Later that day, I painted some more motifs from the town itself, as it finally stopped raining and the sun came out, coinciding with our discovery of a pretty part of the town, and I will present these sketches in my next post. But for now let us end with a well-deserved “Churros and Chocolate” treat!

Now, for those who don’t know what Churros are, and still don’t understand it after looking at my sketch, here is what Wikipedia has to say:

“…A churro, sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut, is a fried-dough pastry—predominantly choux—based snack. Churros are popular in Spain, France, the Philippines, Portugal, Latin America (including Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands) and the United States. There are two types of churros in Spain, one which is thin (and sometimes knotted) and the other which is long and thick (porra). They are both normally eaten for breakfast dipped in hot chocolate or café con leche….”

Well, these churros from San Cristobal were a killer.. not only in quality but also in quantity!

The paintings of San Cristobal de La Laguna presented in this gallery are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards, in my FAA Gallery. Please press the link below to access it.

Buy prints online!

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating which painting you are interested in and in which size. Go to Goodaboom Boutique to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

 

Happy New Year and Happy Valentine’s Day!

A Painting to celebrate Valentine’s Day


I had many people from around the world looking at my blog post, “Happy New Year 2013″, publishing funny New Year artworks. It became almost viral. Quite scary in fact: I had the feeling that my computer would explode and fireworks would whoooosh out of the screen into my face!…

It was comforting to see that so many people were searching for FUNNY images. We all need fun and a good laugh, especially in hard times, and I am glad to see that we are all still able to understand that, and search for it.

New Year festivities are finished now, the 1st of January 2013 has gone forever in every place of the world (a dreadful thought, isn’t it?), and it is time to think of the future. Soon will come the time to celebrate a feast which gives much warmth to my heart:

Valentine’s Day

I personally don’t care if it has become too commercial, at the end it depends on what you personally make out of it.

And to do it my way, with fun and love, today I publish a painting I did about 2 years ago: a still life featuring gifts which my rocking partner Kev Moore brought me back from Germany for Valentines, returning from a gig near Hamburg, just in time to celebrate love with me – something we do all the time anyway!

I think the theme makes a great transition between Christmas, New Year and Valentines, with all those chocolates, bubbles and hearts going on! It is drawn with China ink, and painted with watercolour. With a little bit of red pastel chalk on the chocolate hearts inside the box, simply for enhancement. I don’t know about you, but when I look at this painting, I feel like partying all the time!

This painting, and also other paintings to celebrate Valentine’s Day, are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper, canvas and metal, and also as greeting cards. Please click on the button below to access my FAA store

Sell Art Online

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating in which size. Go to

Goodaboom Boutique

to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

I also sell A3 posters (297mm x 420mm) as high quality digital prints on a Heavyweight White 350gsm paper, each packed in cello with card stiffener.

Poster Price: 50 euros.

They are a great alternative to the Giclee prints, to a more affordable price.

(the price does not include packing&shipping)

 

Who Are You Today?

Who are you today – watercolour painting by Miki

Everybody should know by now that we have a huge collection of coffee mugs and that I love to paint them. Well, when we were on on our last trip, through Cyprus and Crete, I started a new series of mugs paintings, featuring the most important and interesting coffee breaks we had along the island roads. The idea came late to me though, we were already quite at the end of the Cyprus trip, and I developed it mainly in Crete. But in Cyprus I did some in our last stay, in Limassol, both featuring Starbucks mugs.

The painting above represents one of our coffee breaks in a Starbucks Cafe in Limassol.  I was especially attracted by the table and the words written on it in the form of a spiral.In case you can’t read it on this small image it goes like this:

“Hello… who are you today?”

“how, not who,  I answer quickly… fine thank you”

and many other philosophical considerations, which I can’t remember and also can’t put back together from the painting as the essential words are covered by the mug itself.

In that cafe we also bought a new mug for our collection and I featured it later on at the hotel in a funny painting:

Starbucks Coffee  in Limassol – Watercolour and ink travel sketch by Miki

The fish itself was inspired by a painting I saw on the wall of a little cabin on the beach. He seems to be calling forth a Rainbow Genie from the mug!

By the way Kev Moore has created a great piece of music called “Coffee Cup Mambo” and put many of my mugs paintings in the form of the following video. The result is great, have a look!

My Limassol Starbucks mugs– and all others too – are already available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Just click on the widget below to access my FAA Gallery

Sell Art Online

Sell Art Online

The Last Post

Watercolour painting - by Miki

I mentioned it earlier this week, we leave today on a six-week trip.

Destinations: Cyprus and Crete.

I have never been to either of these places, so loving everything new,  I am quite excited . Of course we live in a wonderful place, and I would not need to travel very far to find great motifs, but one knows how it is: one does not look at home with the same curious eyes, the brain works in a very different way. When I am somewhere else, my brain is in acute discovery mode and my hand wants to paint everything my eyes see.

And if contemplative immobility does not overrule artistic eagerness, I should come back with loads of sketches to share.

Close Encounter of The Fourth Kind - Watercolour, by Miki

Time to make the last travel preparations now, the most important being: making sure that I have all my painting stuff,watercolours, pens, sketch books. Unfortunately I won’t be able to take my watercolour tubes to refill the pans,  as security at the airports would take them away. Well, this gives me an idea… I could take 2 tubes:  of the probably most needed colours there, yellow for the sun and blue for the sea… and put them in my toilet bag among deodorant, tooth paste, mascara and so on! It would at least make the bag look much more attractive!

So, I will say Bye Bye for now… I wish you -and Kevin and me!- a great time, and see you again at the end of April… with a new post!  :-)

As usual, these artworks are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Just click on the widget below to access my FAA Gallery

Photography Prints

Photography Prints

And if you are bored, you can have a browse through my Enchanted World, plenty of artistic magic there!… just click on the image below. , there is loads to check out !

Miki's Enchanted World - Paintings Gallery

A Dog Called Pushkin

I have a dog. His name is Pushkin. A strange name for a dog, one would think. Alexander Pushkin was a Russian author of the romantic era and is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet. Now, my dog has some Russian ancestry, and when he was drunk, he got really poetic and romantic. I use the past tense here, because Pushkin is old now, he does not drink so much any more and his poetry has become very solid again, hard to get it out …he is still a romantic bugger though, and tells me very often how much he loves me when I hold him in my arms. Pushkin has learned English and Spanish in the meantime, but when it comes to such deep feelings, he goes back to his native language… and blushes much, as you can see on his portrait! The green thing around his waist, in case you wonder, is a kick boxing green belt. I’ll tell you about it later.

Anyway, a wonderful Russian lady called Ludmilla gave me that dog many years ago. She was the mother of a Russian painter with whom I had an art Studio in my previous life. I felt lonely quite often and had thought to buy a dog. Now, some Russian friends of Ludmilla wanted to get rid of one, not being able to deal with him any more especially because of his alcohol problems. This is how Pushkin became mine!

Now, I love to have a drink from time to time, red wine, champagne, beer, but I really don’t like alcoholism, it does change the people in a very bad way. So I decided to try to cure Pushkin. I could not face sending him to a detoxification home though, so I tried with him the only way I knew: sport! At that time I was learning kick boxing, and I simply took Pushkin with me. He really got into it, and we gradually made our belts together. And as soon as he got his yellow belt, I gave him the most wanted job in the world:

Miki’s Body Guard!

Rude Boy Pushkin - by Miki

He took his job very seriously, especially when I was sleeping. He sat by the side of my bed, the whole night long, without closing one eye -at least I think-, holding a big banner, and written on it:

“Careful!

Rude Boy

Miki’s Body Guard”

“Rude Boy” is by the way the  label of a Spanish company selling stuff for kick boxers. It is an incredibly cute name and label, I love it! On the painting above you can see Pushkin proudly taking care of Miki (at the bottom of the sketch is written is Spanish: “Miki duerme aqui…”,  Miki is sleeping here..  I obviously had no room left on the page to draw myself sleeping!)

In the meanwhile Pushkin is much more advanced in kick boxing, and is a green belt now, like me. But we both stopped our kick boxing career as I met Kevin, thinking I didn’t need to learn self-defence any more, and even less employ a body guard! So, green belt it is, and green belt it will stay!

As I said at the beginning, Pushkin does not drink so much any more. But it was a long process to get him clean, alcoholism is not really easy to cure, especially not when you are a Russian dog. Sometimes Pushkin fell back again, and instead of guarding my body in the night, he drank a whole bottle of champagne. In the morning I found him there, holding with a shaky hand a banner stating that he was sorry, that Rude Boy was drunk…  poor thing, he looked so tired, and so guilty, I always had to forgive him!

Drunk Pushkin - by Miki

I have many more stories and sketches of Pushkin from that time. I was focussing on learning drawing, especially portraits. Having no children, I often took him as a model…

His glorious days of body guard and model are finished now, but I still love him loads and he still spends his nights by the side of my bed… both eyes closed now!

Bear’nadette

Bear'nadette - Watercolour portrait, by Miki

Allow me to introduce my new baby:

Bear’nadette!

And to tell you how she suddenly stepped in her new life with me.

Well, sometimes I get fed-up… who knows why? I don’t! I can’t even say that it is because of my feminine condition and its monthly bloody attacks, as I am already too old for that. But when I get this way, I am quite a tough challenge for Kevin, and he always try by all means to get a smile on my face. But when the situation is really dramatic and his natural charm does not work, he goes out and comes back with a present, usually something pink, for The Rosa Baby… The result being that I have quite a collection of lovely pink stuff at home.

But don’t get me wrong though, I am not misusing his generosity and getting nasty on purpose!

Now, yesterday afternoon was one of these serious moments. I felt quite down, without any tangible reason… boredom probably… but it became worse and worse with time passing by and Kevin intuitively felt that some drastic measure was called for. So, as usual he went out under the pretext of buying some bits and bobs, and came back with…

Bear’nadette!

You should have seen the expression on my face.. an immense delight!!! Don’t ever say again that men don’t understand women: my guy always know exactly what I need  and at  exactly the right moment!

I spent ages cuddling my new pink baby -she is really such a cuddly thing, all peluchy and tender! – and this totally calmed me down. But as soon as I put her down, Bear’nadette started to inspect her new home. She of course found my pink collection and claimed some of the stuff: my favourite pink New Orleans shirt, my Converse pink bag, my pink mug of fine China porcelain with the lovely red roses on it, and even my Animal pink hat. I fought a little bit, but that girl has got really a strong will and I gave up. I just tried to persuade her that an Animal hat was perhaps not appropriate for her, or better said, too appropriate, but Bear’nadette answered,

“I am an animal, and I am proud of it!”

So, not only a strong will, but tons of self-consciousness apparently!

Anyway she put the all stuff on, and asked me how she looked. Amazing, I said. She then declared that she wanted me to make her portrait! With the mug on it! Seeing a good occasion to complete my mugs art series, I agreed, quite worried though about the whole pink business, wondering how I would make the difference between all these pink things. Really not easy for me who loves contrasts! She even wanted me to get her pink contact lenses, but I categorically refused, and got her some blue instead, much better for the portrait and the contrast. I also managed to convince her to put a green ribbon around her neck, instead of the original pink one. This made my painting job easier!

So here she is, my new baby, in all her splendour! I wanted to pour some milk with grenadine in the mug, sure that she would love the colour match again, but she wanted coffee with milk, like us. Well, being a big fan of freedom and knowing nothing about children’s education, I gave her coffee. Caffeine-free though… so please, animal protectors, don’t come now and insult me!

I am glad that she didn’t insist on getting pink curtains on the window behind her, but as you can see, all that pink is already starting to rub off everywhere…

But still, it is very much pink on that portrait… I hope you will be able to find out where Bear’nadette starts and where she stops!

And if you want to get a Giclee print of her portrait, it is out in the business world now, and  you can get one in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Just click on the widget below to access my FAA Gallery

Sell Art Online

PS: Don’t be misled by her cute appearance: she is a tough businesswoman.  She only allowed me to publish her portrait if we go fifty/fifty on the sales! She said she needs new pink stuff for her wardrobe…Needless to say, I agreed.

I Wish I was Pink

I Wish I Was Pink - by Miki

Inspired by my last Love Mug painting, Today I decided to make some more art work for my series “Coffee Cups”.

Some of you will think

“Oh, NOOOOOO! Not her bloody mugs again!”

Well, sorry, but YES! I love my mugs. I love to drink hot milk coffee out of them all, and I love to paint them. Apart from the new Valentines Love Mug, our collection has become bigger since I painted my last mug, and it is really time to give some of them the honour they deserve: being immortalized in a Miki painting!  :-)

Now, today something very special happened with one of my mugs, one more reason to grab my brushes. While I was working in my atelier, Kevin had prepared a coffee for me, as he always does. He is the coffee chef in the house. In fact he is the everything chef here. He likes to say

“I must be the only guy in the world with a French woman who cannot cook!”

Anyway, I left my atelier to go and look for the coffee. Kevin had prepared it in that wonderful mug he had bought for me in a fine arts shop in my home town Tarbes, in the French Pyrenees, as we were on our way to Italy last year. In fact the mug and its little matching plate with room for a cookie, was not for sale. It was exhibited in the shop as an example of stuff they did in their ceramic classes. The mug had been created and painted by the shop owner, and was not even ready to use, not having passed through the oven yet to fix the paint. But Kevin wanted it for me. I love pink, and this one had such an amazing unusual shade of pink, and such a great design on top of it. He took some effort and many charming smiles to persuade the woman to sell it to him. The mug and its plate travelled for 6 weeks with us,  all the way to Tuscany and back, and as we were back home Kevin put it in the oven according to the instructions given by the woman. A long cooking process, certainly more complicated than these fabulous gratin dauphinois or crepes au fromage which my mother, a perfect French woman, sometimes cooks for us when we visit. No, I am not losing my marbles right now: just mentioning it  because very soon we will go to my parents again and although we hypocritically say to my old Mom:

“Please, don’t cook for us, it is too much work!”

we secretly hope to get one of her food wonders!  :-)

Anyway the mug works fine now, the pink colour is coffee- and even dishwasher – safe. This afternoon it was waiting for me next to my computer, with one of my favourite cookies on the plate, one of these fabulous “double-choc biscuits” with tons of chocolate inside, a real chock for the senses! But they were not alone there. A little rainbow pig stood next to the mug, starring at it with wide-opened eyes. First I had thought the pig was after the cookie, but when I asked him what he wanted there, he just said

“I Wish I was Pink!”

If you like my new pink mug and the fancy pig, they are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Just click on the widgets below to access my FAA store

Photography Prints

If you are interested in seeing more of my Coffee Mugs art, please click on the image below

Coffee and Cafe Art Gallery - By Miki

And more generally you can see ALL THE STUFF I paint by going to my gallery “Miki’s Enchanted World”. Just click -gently!- on my face.

Still Life in Albufeira 02

Still Life in Albufeira 02 - by Miki

I wrote yesterday that I might do another watercolour painting based on the wonderful sculpture I saw in Albufeira, Portugal during our last trip there early in February 2012. Well, I did make an effort and here it is. All the persons featured in the painting were part of the sculpture, except the fish in front of the dog, and also the fish in the hands of the woman. The woman was holding something, but I don’t remember what it was! So, I gave her a fish too, like the dog… I just hope I won’t get any hassle from the feminists!   :-)

Also the dog was from another breed, short on its legs though, like its mistress….

I don’t remember either if there were palm trees in Albufeira, on the beach or anywhere else, but I thought it fitted to the subject and we’ll put it in on the account of my artistic freedom.

And in case you don’t understand: the big blue mass in the foreground are fishing nets, and the guy is just fixing them. Also I beg forgiveness if the nets are not blue in Portugal, I just can’t remember, and the sculpture was made out of colourless stone… but most of the nets are blue or green in Spain, so I assumed they were there too… correct me if you know better!

I won’t start with the other elements of the painting: the fishermen, the buildings, the beach, the boat… any dissimilarity is coincidental!

In short: everything might be wrong and have hardly anything to do with the real Albufeira! Well, it was meant to be just an impression, and above all an artistic memory of that beautiful place. I hope, this at least is right!

The painting above is available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Just click on the widgets below to access my FAA store

Art Prints

If Portugal interests you, you can see many of the sketches and paintings I did there on some different trips. Just click on the image below and you will enter my Portugal Gallery

Portugal Paintings Gallery - by Miki

And more generally you can see ALL THE STUFF I paint by going to my gallery “Miki’s Enchanted World”. Just click -gently!- on my face.

Still Life in Albufeira 01

Still Life in Albufeira in Portugal 01

As I announced  in one of my last posts, we were recently in Portugal to watch and support our under-17 National football team playing in the 2012 Algarve Tournament. And of course we were especially interested in two of the lads, Mason Bennett and Will Hughes, playing usually for Derby County, our all time favourite team in the English League. Perhaps not the best team – at least not yet  :-)  – but surely with one of the most honest and likeable managers Nigel Clough, son of the famous Brian Clough!

Well, the Kids did a great job,  England won the Tournament and one of our two Derby players even scored a goal. We were over the moon! I wished our Derby players had scored yesterday evening too, in the Championship… I hate that they they lost against Reading, spoiling my so far so wonderful Valentines Day!

Now the games took place at different stadiums all over the Algarve, and we had to travel a lot. Apart from that, it was freezing there, like never before, at least not in my lifetime! No much chance really to make some sketches on-site. But I still wanted to remember that wonderful little trip in some paintings, somehow. I always do it. For me travelling is painting, and I can’t really deal with having been somewhere without having some painted memory of it.

So, I just made this watercolour, inspired by a wonderful statue of a fisherman I saw in Albufeira. It was not on the beach, but in a town square, not far from the beach though. And in fact there were many more figures involved in that “still life”, and if I can find the time, I will try to make another painting where one can see them all. They are surely worth it! I am not generally a big fan of statues and sculptures, but the Portuguese have a very playful and creative way with that particular artform. And one can see them in many places, outside, in town squares, on roundabouts, etc. Much more interesting than to see them in museums… it makes them look almost alive!

For those who don’t know where Albufeira is, I attach a Google map

Albufeira in Portugal

The painting above is available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Just click on the widgets below to access my FAA store

Photography Prints

If Portugal interests you, you can see many of the sketches and paintings I did there on some different trips. Just click on the image below and you will enter my Portugal Gallery

Portugal Gallery - by Miki

And more generally you can see ALL THE STUFF I paint by going to my gallery “Miki’s Enchanted World”. Just click -gently!- on my face.

Afternoon in Bloom

Floral 01 - by Miki

Painting in mixed technique: gouache, pastel and ink

I took a little time time to revisit my past yesterday… not that I like to do that, I never look back normally. But well, there were days when I didn’t promote my art on the internet, and most paintings from that time are not published yet, and have hardly even been seen.  So sometimes when I need a change, I go through all my folders and “piles of coloured paper”, until I find one which looks like it is worth to be seen.

Yesterday I found that ‘one’ among them and thought it looked beautiful. I don’t say it because I painted it, that’s really not me! Anyway, I hardly have an emotional connection to whatever I did in the past, especially my art: it is as if that stuff had been painted by somebody else.

It is “only” flowers, I know, but, as I have said many times, a beautiful flowers painting is just divine, like nature itself. I don’t care if it is not contemporary art, all abstract or shocking or rebellious or political or hyper-realist or microsimplistic or cadaverous or whatever bollox artists and critics might categorize their art.

For me, it is always time for flowers, they will never become unfashionable.

Of course, one can paint flowers in more or less modern styles. The bouquet above is more in a classic style. The one below, featuring loose wild flowers, might seem more modern. And again, created in the dirty room, with water and paints flowing through space

Wild Flowers 02 - by Miki

 Painting in acrylics

You can see my -so far- published collection of flowers and still life in my FFA Gallery clicking on this link.

If you are interested, You can buy there directly on line, prints of these paintings in many different sizes, on different kind of papers or canvas, or as greeting cards. Just click on the widget below

Art Prints

Photography Prints

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