painter_homeDecember 2013 ● Art in México and New MéxicoI had been looking for a change in my painting for months. I strived to innovate, but my creativity seemed restricted to subjects only; my brushstroke and my colors felt boring to me, always more of the same. Impatiently I delved in my long art book collection. Among the many, one jumped out which I had bought a few years ago yet never really read: Kevin Macpherson’s “Fill Your Paintings with Light and Color” I picked it up and browsed through the photos, finding the brushstrokes fresh and spontaneous. Read more

painter_homeNovember 2013 ● Solitude, peace and LoveOn this occasion I was unable to sit by my computer and type because I was out in the boonies, on a small acreage I bought from a farmer, which has no electricity –I don’t have a lap top; in addition to this computer I posses only an old Underwood, which I inherited from my grandpa, which I used for my homework when I was a kid and which I will take to my remote cabin! Yes! Read more

painter_homeOctober 2013 ● Night CallAmong the humble privileges of painter artists is to have a totally flexible schedule. Although one must work hard, its not like in the Medical Profession; there are no night guards and there is no compulsory need to carry a cell phone in case of emergencies, nor to take night calls. Artists are not bound to a strict production and sales program as are business executives, although we may admire the discipline and efficiency in other professions, in general artists enjoy a certain easiness in their ways and means. Read more
painter_homeSeptember 2013 ● Escape VelocityThere once was a boat called Escape Velocity. While sailing on it with dear friends, I often thought about the name and what it meant. Sailing is not exactly a fast sport, so I had a hard time relating it to the defined “speed required to escape the atmosphere”. It seemed nonsensical; so I pondered other possible meanings. “Adequate speed is essential in all of life, as is in sports. Life is time, so to live wisely we must manage time…” Read more

painter_homeAugust 2013 ● Places to live, places to eat – On occasion, I get nostalgia as I remember places I have lived in. It usually happens while I eat. Food seems to have such evocative power… This morning for example, as the weather has become hot, my tummy took me to the heart of Dixie and I suddenly wished I could add some grits on my fried eggs…corn bread, black-eyed peas, okra, hush puppies and then a peach cobbler suddenly poured into my culinary memory. Read more
painter_homeJuly 2013 ● Toy BoatThere is a park in México City called “De los Espejos” (Park of the Mirrors). Many dreams of mine were formed there which later shaped my present life style. This beautiful park is in the fashionable Polanco, near Reforma Avenue and Maximilian’s Castle. It has many trees, an outdoors auditorium, a large aviary, a skating ring and two large “U” shaped ponds for model boating. Read more

painter_homeMay 2013 ● Flowers in my HomeThere are always fresh flowers in my home. My wife buys roses, gladiolas and lilis, mostly in red and white colors. “Red is for sales” -she says. Although I am not sure it is that which brings customers for my paintings, this season there have been plenty –thank God!  It’s a good thing to have a wife who is an optimist anyway. Read more

painter_abrilhomeAbril 2013 ● A Not So Peaceful OutingMy wife and I enjoy visiting little towns. For a brief period we lived in Malinalco. This beautiful colonial town, one hour away from Mexico City, was in its time an important military observation point for the Aztec empire. In addition to its quaint architecture, its traditions and customs, its temperate climate and its people, we were attracted to the Augustine convent with remarkable murals not only in the main church, but in all of the vaulted ceilings along the many rooms and corridors. Read more

painter_homeMarch 2013 ● Tours to SpaceDeparting every night at about 23:00 hours, these tours do not require much technology. Although I do have a few telecommunication gadgets, such as a satellite radio connection, plus hardware at my fingertips to tune in more than 100 stations, with a micro control to optimize reception, even from faraway AM stations, strictly speaking none of this is absolutely necessary. Read more

painter_homeFebruary 2013 ● CrumbsEver since I had to wear glasses I begun to see more. When I had perfect eyesight I was immature and tried to see through my eyes only, therefore, my painting was realistic and detailed to the point of stiffness, obstructed by my demanding architectural precision. Now I am able to see more, since I combine eyesight with heart-felt insight, I can get fresher, more spontaneous results. Read more

painter_homeJanuary 2013 ● Color Theory – Practice 1You certainly do not have to be an artist to enjoy art. Artistic enjoyment is freely available all around us, at least in Vallarta. I hereby suggest the following practice. On one of those occasions  when movie theatres offer nothing worth seeing, take a car ride anyway: at around six in the afternoon is a good time to start. Read Article

painter_homeDecember 2012 ● About an Old LoveAmong the visitors to my Estudio-Café, there was a couple of retired Americans. They sat near the water, overlooking the channel and ordered hamburgers. As many other older couples, they enjoyed each other while looking at the sailboats and the view. Read Article

Paintr AdventuresNovember 2012 ● More on New York, PleaseI could write most of this book about my adventures as a painter artist just about New York. You would think other cities offer great opportunities to artists, and they probably do, but it took me more than a month to sell my first painting in Dallas while 24 hours after  arriving in New York I had sold four. Read Article

Painter AdventuresOctober 2012 ● New YorkNew York ought to be, at least once in the life of every artist a compulsory destiny. It attracted me unexpectedly, like a magnet.  Still deep into Mexico’s  1994 economic crisis, and while I painted my version of Stary Night (a chair and a palapa on the beach under the stars) I was listening to  Richard & Wendy Musk’s “Present Dreams” album. Read Article

Painter AdventuresSeptember 2012 ● The Model She arrived five minutes before the hour. Walking through the garden she came in, smiling. Raúl was not there; he was usually in time, but today he would not come. After checking her tiny, feminine watch she took it off and left it by her bag, took a few steps behind the folding screen, then appeared again, naked. Read Article

Painter AdventuresAugust 2012 ● Credit CardsThe year 1994 was a violent one in Mexican politics. The assassination, among others, of  the ruling party´s presidential candidate, and the guerrilla war that exploded in the state of Chiapas made the Mexican peso tumble into a free fall. By the end of that year Mexico found itself in an economic crisis that paralyzed the sale of art. Read Article

About the Author of The Column:
federico_linkFederico León de la Vega: His career as an industrial designer and entrepreneur in time gave way to artistic inclinations and painting gradually became his full time profession. Initial shows brought commissions from architects and interior designers to produce murals in large homes, restaurants and institutions. Federico has shown in various well-recognized galleries in Mexico City, New York, Miami, San Diego, Guadalajara and other cities. In 2000 he established in Nuevo Vallarta, building his own gallery by the water: the “Estudio-Café”.

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