Saturday, December 26, 2009

'Atotonilco Afternoon'

This is a new painting for our group show of San Miguel de Allende to be held at the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Massachusetts. The show opens January 12, 2010 and runs through February 28th.

Atotonilco is a small quiet town about 6 miles from San Miguel de Allende. It is the site of one of the holiest sanctuaries in all of Mexico, Santuario de Atotonilco, the "Sistine Chapel" of Mexico as it is sometimes called. The day I was there with Frank Gardner, Ignat Ignatov, Colin Page and Scott Burdick, it seemed like a very quiet, dusty little village. I liked that and chose to portray a scene of daily life.

'Atotonilco Afternoon' - oil - 20x24 - © Marc R. Hanson '09


'San Miguel de Allende Nocturne'- oil - 9x12 © Marc R. Hanson '09
I painted this one today as my second of two pieces for the Museum show. The first night we arrived in San Miguel, Frank and Julissa walked us into town, to the square, el Jardin. There was a party going on, not sure what it was about, but there were people in celebration everywhere. I knew that we were in a special place at that point. I did some picture taking and was captivated by the black shapes of these musicians. This isn't a large piece, but I am happy with that I stuck to my original concept. That was to paint the crowd designed as a large dark shape with a minimum of 'details' added and to still keep the spirit of that night in the painting. I am happy with the attempt to do that.

Now I'm done, this needs to dry, then framing, crating and shipping.


Frank Gardner said...

Great painting Marc. Captured the "feel" of the town. Pleasantly calm mood in this one.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Frank, coming from you and your familiarity with the area, that is a very welcomed comment! Thanks friend.

Frank Gardner said...

yeah, I love seeing such a familiar place through new eyes. Juli says she likes it too.

James Whitehurst said...

My new favorite. Very nice!

Jo Castillo said...

Just wonderful! I have never been there, but have visited other parts of Mexico. These both have a nice feel to them. Good luck at the show.

adebanji said...

That crowded scene is excellent! Just love it!

Anonymous said...

love the way you ahve handled the colours in both paintings. excellent work! wishing you all the best at the show. r.

Tim said...

WHohoo Marc, way to knock it out! Those edges man, there so crisp and nice, great key and deep darks combined with an overall haze work great.
Whodathunk a back of a lorry could be so interesting! But the drawing of the edges is what I like the most, and is something I struggle with in my pleine airing (and I think a lot of other people too)

You are definitely in great company there too!

I curious to know how you worked this one from start to finish. I assume it wasn't a full pleine air, but did you do prel. sketches on the spot? Photos?

Cheers Tim

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thanks James.

Thank you Jo. I love Mexico!

Adebanji I truly appreciate that! Thanks so much.

Thank you Rahina! Color is my love.

Hey Tim... Thanks man! I really appreciate your looking in depth at it and making the comments.
Both of these are studio paintings. We were there for almost two weeks painting every day. But for the show I wanted to develop some ideas that I didn't have a chance to actually paint on location. Photos are not a problem for me to work from, though I hate doing it. I trained as an illustrator and spent many years working from photo reference. The digital age, a large wide screen iMac sitting on a shelf at my eye level is nearly like working from life. Once I get over the cabin fever after a spring, summer and fall of being outside almost all of the time, painting these other ideas from photos is pretty enjoyable.
The 'Atotonilco Afternoon' piece was painted in a number of layers over a week or so. I would let areas dry and come back into it with a lot of scumbling and even a little bit of glazing. Then again, a lot of it was painted alla prima, the figures for instance.
The second one, 'San Miguel de Allende Nocturne' was painted in about 2 hours or a little bit more, completely alla prima. There is such an extraordinary night life there that we experienced but didn't paint. It left a pretty good impression on me.
Thanks for asking. God nytt år!!!

Kami Mendlik said...

Love both of these pieces! LOVE LOVE The nocture piece!! The warmth and richness in this painting is incredible. You did such an excellent job keeping the beautiful dark shape together, it says everything without saying 'everything'! :) Good job painter!

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thanks Kami! :) I didn't go too far with finishing the dark shape you don't think? I tried to not add anything, but couldn't help it. Detail in that shape, other than the really light value objects, the collars and cuffs, is really minimal.
I appreciate it 'painter'. :)

Solvay said...

Came over to see it better on your blog......
Love the two light sources, particularly the implied on on the right. And, not only the dark mass of people, but the collars and cuffs and movement, and the lines of the buildings, and the light on the path....everything. It's as great in closer view as it was in my OHMYGOD moment when I first saw it. Wonderful. Thanks!

Solvay said...

I didn't comment on the upper painting, Marc - so sorry. I so enjoy the crispness of it - the air smells clean and fresh and the people seem care-free. I like the atmosphere so much! And, the strand of flags: the festivity in the ordinary. Lovely!

And, now, regarding the show. I looked up the gallery website and was confused about the listing of two seemingly different galleries, and two sets of dates. Plus, Frank says the paintings get pulled down as they sell, so were I to go at the end of the show for the reception, perhaps the painters will be there but little or none of the paintings??? I looked into flights, today - I am dreaming big about going to this show......but, do I dream about going for the front end or at the back end?

: )

michael clark fine art said...

Marc these are great. I really like the nocturne it has an old masters kinda feel to it. On the first painting you posted was it on a hand primed canvas? In the high res it looks as though it was gessoed or leaded by hand.

John Baker said...

Hey Mark, thanks for the pictures and for the invitation to spend this year of painting with you. The April marathon was fun and the blog posts since have been inspiring, instructive and encouraging.
These paintings are wonderful and all the stronger for your obvious love of your work. I look forward to seeing what will come next.

William R. Moore said...

I think I saw the first painting in an earlier post. You really captured the casual less hurried movement of the figures in a rather calm less busy day. Nice space to suport.

The second painting San Miguel de Allende Nocturne' is fantastic. Great composition and depiction of this group in a dark nocturn. Also very reminicient of some of Sargents paintings in low light conditions. Nice rich darks here.

Hope the comming year is as fruitful and rewarding as this past year appears to have been.

Bruce Sherman said...

Hi Marc!... Both of these pieces are small sumptuous feasts for the eye! While they depict totally different subjects... they retain a rich flavour of the influence that your visit had on "You"!

I am particularly drawn to the Nocturne. Your juxtoposition of dark and light masses really works ... and the faces melt into a crowd. Just small glints of what lies within the dark crowd mass protrude the guitar fretboard!That passage of floor with the curb driving the eye to the musicians is the fulcrum of the whole piece!

Magnifico!These are the best I've seen from "You"... say goodbye...neither is comin' back from the exhibition! Good luck with it!


Julianne said...

Hi Marc! Ooooh, these are wonderful! I especially love the nocturne. No, not too much dark (well not on my monitor anyway), has a real classic feel to it and really captures the spirit of the moment!

Nice to see what you've been up to. All the best for the new year!

Bruce Trewin said...

Marc, I was struck by the similarity in atmosphere to some of the Rembrant night scenes such as the Night Watch....a field of black with just the white collars identifying individuals...great atmosphere.

The Windrush Gallery said...

Very nice paintings of this magical place. I have come to know the place through the eyes of Frank Gardner's paintings of the area. Love the subject matter and crispness of the top piece as well as the energy of the night piece.

Dennis Dame said...

Very very nice indeed Marc! Love them both! The nocturne looks like it belongs in a museum hanging right along side the old masters. Very impressive to step into a painting like that - you really have to know what you are after and have the confidence to pursue it. Bravo!!

Fernando Pena said...

Marc, nice to have found your blog, wonderful painting

Eugene Veszely said...

Marc I love your use of colour, darks and edges in 'Atotonilco Afternoon'.

The colour of 'San Miguel de Allende Nocturne' has a real Rembrandt feel to it.

Great couple of paintings to end the year on. Cant wait to see what you do in 2010!