Art

2019 San Diego Comic Fest

View of Artist Alley from the third floor at the Four Points by Sheraton.
My new mermaid magnetic prints.
On my drive home from San Diego, I couldn’t help noticing the famous California “Superbloom” of wild poppies that have sprung up all over our hills and mountains due to the abundant rain that has fallen over the past few months.
I even got out of my car to see our beautiful California poppies up close.

Tales From La Vida in Columbus, Ohio

Highlights from my trip to view the “Tales From La Vida” art exhibit last weekend in Columbus, Ohio.

The art exhibit took place on the grounds of the Ohio State University at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. There were beautiful banners hanging outside around campus.
Standing outside, in front of the museum.
The first wall on the left, with an intro to the exhibit. It’s a wall version of the book cover art by Jason Gonzalez, it looks fabulous!
Professor Frederick Luis Aldama, the editor of “Tales From La Vida” gave tours of selected artworks, after giving a short presentation which was part of the Community Festival which raised funds for CRIS and ETSS.
There I was! My selfie next to my contribution. I didn’t want to leave, it was amazing to see the works exhibited together.
Some of my other works on display alongside the TFLV Anthology.
TFLV artists Ivan Velez and Juan Argil showcasing some of their other works.
Artist J.M. Hunter with some of his prints and other works.
After the show, I stopped by the “Melt” bar and grill for one of their famous grilled cheese sandwiches, I had the Macaroni & Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich…Can you say AWESOME!
Before leaving, I absolutely had to stop by Jeni’s Ice Cream for a scoop of goat cheese & cherry ice cream on their home-made waffle cones with a hint of sea salt. I love Ohio. I can hardly wait to return.

Tales from La Vida Art Show

I wanted to share this walk-through video and art show information of the “Tales from La Vida” art show, currently on display at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. I am super-excited to be a part of it and plan to fly out sometime before March to see it. Click on the image to link to their webpage.

Dates/TimesNovember 3, 2018 – March 31, 2019 (Closed Mondays, during exhibit installations, and holidays. Before your visit, see hours for all closings).

LocationRobinson Gallery, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
Sullivant Hall, 1813 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43210

This exhibition features autobiographical short stories situated within the language, culture, and history that inform Latinx identity and life. The work showcases the huge variety of styles and worldviews of today’s Latinx comics creators, including such legendary artists as Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Roberta Gregory, and Kat Fajardo. The exhibition is presented in conjunction with the publication of Tales from la Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology, edited by Dr. Frederick Luis Aldama and published by the Ohio State University Press.
My contribution to the work, look for me in Chapter 6!
And here is my framed work in the show!

Check out a walk-through of the show, mine is at the 1:36 mark!

2018 Christmas Chalk Walk

I had an awesome time last weekend at this year’s Christmas Chalk Walk, chalking the Peanuts gang.

And so it begins…my favorite beagle.
A little more progress…
Chalking Charlie Brown.
Finished, after adding a little bit of glitter.
Thanks to my friend Lori, for capturing this picture without the shadow of the tree.

Check out my time-lapse here:

 

 

2018 Twenty Nine Palms Chalk Festival

Last weekend I had the honor of participating in the Annual Twenty Nine Palms Chalk Festival. I decided to chalk up some Fisher Price little people…good choice, I won two awards, 2018 Mayor’s Choice and 2018 Most Colorful.

The beginning of my chalk square.
I am in “the zone”, chalking away.
Making progress towards the end of the day.
Finished!
This is my picture with my two awards, 2018 Mayor’s Choice and 2018 Most Colorful.
Close-up of my awards.

Check out my time lapse here:

Tales from la Vida

Tales from la Vida – A Latinx Comics Anthology Edited by Frederick Luis Aldama

I am super excited to have contributed art & story to this anthology. In the Latinx comics community, there is much to celebrate today, with more Latinx comic book artists than ever before. The story worlds of these artists reach and transform visual and storytelling genres. Tales from la Vida celebrates this space by bringing together more than eighty contributions by extraordinary Latinx creators. Their short visual-verbal narratives spring from autobiographical experience as situated within the language, culture, and history that inform Latinx identity and life. Tales from la Vida showcases the huge variety of styles and worldviews of today’s Latinx comic book and visual creators.

Frederick Luis Aldama is the author, coauthor, and editor of over thirty books, including recently Long Stories Cut Short: Fictions from the Borderlands and Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics. He is Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor, University Distinguished Scholar, and Director of the award-winning LASER (Latinx Space for Enrichment & Research) at The Ohio State University.

My compliments to Jason Gonzalez (La Mano del Destino) for the incredible cover art. Check out his work here: www.CastleAndKeyPublications.com
Look for me in Chapter Six!

Order your copy here:

Ohio State University Press

Warsaw, Poland

Today is the last day of our vacation, tomorrow we board our plane back home to the United States. We chose to spend our day with Chopin.

Poland uses Polish złoty for currency, it is really pretty. Don’t worry, the amount I took out is only around $75. I figured I would buy some souvenirs on my last day!
Our first stop of the day was to see the Chopin Statue. The monument to the outstanding Polish composer Fryderyk Chopin (1810–49) is the best-known Polish sculpture in the world. Situated close to the Belvedere Palace on Aleje Ujazdowskie, it was designed by Wacław Szymanowski, a prominent artist, sculptor, and musician from the turn of the twentieth century. In 1940, the monument was destroyed by the Nazis. It was broken into pieces and sent to foundries to be melted down. The reconstructed monument was unveiled in 1958.
The bronze monument depicts the Polish composer sitting under a weeping willow. The branches of the tree are falling as if swept by a strong wind to create a picturesque setting. Above Chopin’s head, they take the form of a hand palm. The artist’s figure seems to blend with the tree, while his coat is flapping in the wind. Chopin was shown as a musician seeking inspiration, slightly tilted back, engrossed in the sounds of nature with his eyes half-closed. His right hand is raised in the air – as if above the keyboard of an invisible piano, just when the artist is looking for the right tone. The whole composition reminds of a monumental harp.
The park has a Chinese Garden, situated in the northern part of the Royal Łazienki, it was designed according to existing historical models from Prince Kung’s Mansion in Beijing. Here I am with my cousins enjoying the Chinese Garden, it was beautiful.

 

Scenes from a walk, leaving the park.

 

More scenes from a walk through Warsaw. This was a children’s playground. The gate has an angel at the top.
The see-saw has a religious figure on the top.
I thought this playground was cute.
Afterward, we took an Uber ride to the Chopin Museum.
Where’s Waldo now? Oh, she’s standing next to one of Chopin’s pianos in Poland.
After the museum, we went for a walk in the old part of town.
On the right is the Royal Castle in Warsaw that formerly served throughout the centuries as the official residence of the Polish monarchs. It is located in the Castle Square, at the entrance to the Warsaw Old Town. The personal offices of the king and the administrative offices of the Royal Court of Poland were located there from the sixteenth century until the Partitions of Poland.
We stopped for lunch at Gosciniec Polskie Pierogi, where I had fired potato dumplings, with stewed pork, mushrooms, and peppers. It was so cold, I also had a warm elixir made with hibiscus, raspberry, orange, cloves and rum. It was good.
After lunch, we continued our walk exploring Warsaw. The Old Town was established in the 13th century. Initially surrounded by an earthwork rampart, prior to 1339 it was fortified with brick city walls. The town originally grew up around the castle of the Dukes of Mazovia that later became the Royal Castle. The Market Square was laid out sometime in the late 13th or early 14th century, along the main road linking the castle with the New Town to the north.
The Mermaid of Warsaw is a symbol of Warsaw, represented on the city’s coat of arms as well as in a number of statues and other imagery. There are several legends about the mermaid. The City’s literature and tour guides say the mermaid decided to stay after stopping on a riverbank near the Old Town. Fishermen noticed something was creating waves, tangling nets, and releasing their fish. They planned to trap the animal, then heard her singing and fell in love. A rich merchant trapped and imprisoned the mermaid. Hearing her cries, the fishermen rescued her. Ever since the mermaid, armed with a sword and a shield, has been ready to help protect the city and its residents. Sometimes this legend is expanded to say the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen the Warsaw mermaid’s sister and they went separate ways from the Baltic Sea. Another legend states she helped a prince lost hunting and he founded the city in her honour. I LOVE THIS!
I always pick up chocolate from my trips to bring back for my family. This chocolate was so beautiful, it reminded me of chocolate postcards.
Ended the night at “Bydlo i Poidlo Meat-ing Place” where I had the house burger with a Polish beer. It was a 7 oz burger with plum jam, nuts, goat cheese, lamb’s lettuce, and walnuts. It was delicious.

Last Day in Prague

I made the best of my last day in Prague by hanging out around the Town Square. I got up early and walked up to the St. Charles Bridge so I could enjoy the bridge all to myself, I was surprised to find people out there already, they were mostly photographers trying to capture the sunrise.

The St. Charles Bridge is a historic bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague. Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV and finished at the beginning of the 15th century.
The avenue of 30 mostly baroque statues and statuaries situated on the rails forms a unique connection of artistic styles with the underlying gothic bridge. Most sculptures were erected between 1683 and 1714. They depict various saints and patron saints venerated at that time. Beginning in 1965, all of the statues have been systematically replaced by replicas, and the originals have been exhibited in the Lapidarium of the National Museum.
View of the Vltava River. It is the longest river within the Czech Republic, running southeast along the Bohemian Forest and then north across Bohemia, through Český Krumlov, České Budějovice and Prague, and finally merging with the Elbe at Mělník. It is commonly referred to as the “Bohemian sea” and the “Czech national river”.
I always see brides getting their wedding photos taken all over Prague early in the morning when there aren’t any people out in the square or the bridge. Today I saw 3 brides in the Town Square. I also always see couples taking their engagement photos as well.
After getting ready, I had another Trdelník ice cream cone. This was the “Chimney King” with vanilla ice cream, nuts, a brownie, chocolate sauce, and salted caramel.

The production of trdelník has a long tradition in the Slovak town of Skalica near the borders with Czech Republic. The original recipe was brought to Skalica at the end of the 18th century by the Transylvanian cook József Gvadányi, a retired Hungarian general. Check out this clip, I took it inside the Good Food Bakery shop.

 

After having my ice cream, I crossed the St. Charles Bridge again to visit the post office where I mailed off my watercolored postcard to a friend in the United States.
On the way back I stopped at the John Lennon wall. Once a normal wall, since the 1980s it has been filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatles’ songs. It is located in a small secluded square across from the French Embassy, the wall received its first such decoration following the 1980 assassination of John Lennon when an unknown artist painted a single image of the singer-songwriter and some lyrics.

After my visit to the wall, I crossed back to the Town Square for lunch. I had “Old Prague Ham”. Old Prague Ham is a type of brine-cured, stewed, and mildly beechwood-smoked originally from Prague in Bohemia (Czech Republic). Check out this short clip of the cooking process.

Old Prague Ham is traditionally served in restaurants and from street vendors with a side of boiled potatoes and often accompanied by Czech beer. This is how I had it. It was delicious.
Before leaving Prague, I had to have one more Trdelník chimney cone! This was a pistachio cone with orange prosecco ice cream. I ate this by the bridge, you can see the lovers’ locks on the gate in the background.
Goodbye Prague, I had a lovely time here. Now it’s time to board the train for our next destination.

Prague, Czech Republic

We arrived in Prague today around 8 AM. We took the metro to the Old Prague Town Square to check into our Airbnb apartment and then had the best time ever in Prague.

Old Town Square is a historic square in the Old Town quarter of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. It is located between Wenceslas Square and Charles Bridge. Our Airbnb apartment was located in this square.
The Astronomical Clock in the middle of Town Square. The oldest part of the clock and astronomical dial dates back to 1410 when it was made by clockmaker Mikuláš of Kadaň and Jan Šindel, then later a professor of mathematics and astronomy at Charles University. The first recorded mention of the clock was on October 9, 1410. Later, presumably around 1490, the calendar dial was added and the clock facade was decorated with gothic sculptures.
This was our Airbnb apartment.
This is the view out of our apartment windows. We are very close to the Astronomical Clock.
The first thing I did in Prague was to visit the Alphonse Mucha Museum.
Alphonse Mucha, was a Czech painter, illustrator, and graphic artist, living in Paris during the Art Nouveau period, best known for his stylized and decorative theatrical posters of Sarah Bernhardt. He produced paintings, illustrations, advertisements, postcards, and designs which became among the best-known images of the period.
Moët & Chandon Crémant Impérial, 1899.
The Mucha Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to the life and work of the world-acclaimed Czech ART NOUVEAU artist Alphonse Mucha (1860 – 1939). You can see many of his drawings and posters here.
On the left: Fruits. On the right: Flower. Both are from 1897.
The first Absintherie that I visited today.
I had distilled Absinthe and a “Merry Berry” which was made with fresh blueberries, blueberry jam, sage, lime juice, and sugar.

Here’s a short video of the absinthe, it was beautiful. I didn’t really like it but I already knew I wouldn’t and that’s why I also ordered the Merry Berry.

After the Absintherie, I walked down to get a “Chimney Devil”. It was an activated charcoal ice cream with coconut inside a trdelnik cone.
Banknote designed by Mucha: 500 crowns. Mucha was keen to do whatever he could to help the creation of the new state and readily agreed to design the first Czechoslovak stamps and banknotes. The first banknote came out in 1919 and many others followed in later years. Besides banknotes and stamps, Mucha designed all kinds of paraphernalia for the state, from the national emblem to police uniforms.
After eating ice cream, I took a walk across the St. Charles Bridge. It was amazing.
Here I am with the medievil Astronomical Clock.
After walking around the St. Charles Bridge, I went with my cousins for an absinthe shot at another Absintherie.
It had beautiful murals painted all over the bar.
Here I am with my cousin Caro, looking for the green fairy.
Another beautiful mural.
This time I had the “beetle” shot (Bohemian style) and a “Raspberry Bramble” which had Absinthe, lemon juice, fresh raspberries, and raspberry syrup.

The Bohemian-style absinthe is poured into a glass, and a sugar cube on a slotted spoon is placed over the glass. The sugar cube is then soaked with absinth and is set on fire. The cube is then dropped into the absinthe, setting it ablaze. Then water is poured over the flame until it goes out. Check out the bartender preparing it in the video clip below.