'on my EASEL'

Hey guys... it's Loren Fidalgo here and it's time for an 'on my EASEL'.  This is a series where I discuss an early painting and I talk about what the thought process I went into to create it.

'TIME TO OPEN UP'   18x24   oil on canvas    (c)   Loren Fidalgo 2010
I painted this piece back in 2010, however, I love it and the subject matter in this painting is titled, 'TIME TO OPEN UP'. and it is still current for me today.

When I was creating this painting, it began from a normal still life set-up.  I decided to shift the arrangement around and create something that would speak to me in a deeper way. I changes the arrangement and the colors.  I took the 'umbrella' and painted it on top of the mannequin to illustrate a figure/woman with an 'umbrella' as her head and face. It kind of makes one want to ask, "what is under there?"  The 'umbrella' is symbolic to me for the ability or inability to open up one's mind and heart. I chose to move the mouth off of the face on the 'umbrella' to hanging it from the bottle to suggest that this soul is suffering from being shy and not able to speak or open up. Thoughts and feelings from the mind, don't reach her mouth. The mouth however, doesn't go far and it is 'hanging on' to it's possibility to be able to speak by being in arm's reach. The eyes look on mysteriously and they are glancing out at you to express that she is so deep in thought and feeling and communicating, "I have so much to say!" While I was painting I knew I needed the courage to step into this new experience.

At the time I painted this piece, I was personally going through a lot of changes in my life and feeling like I needed to express myself in a deeper and more meaningful way. This painting was done about a year and a half after I began painting and my head injury.  If you would like to read about my 'destiny' and 'calling' into painting, please read HERE.   I was challenging the direction I was heading in with my artwork and my life in general.  I was asking myself questions and struggling while trying to make the changes that I knew would make major differences in my life. Although I wanted the changes, they were still overwhelming and somewhat difficult to encounter.  I knew nevertheless, it was time to try and open up, to speak out, to let it be known that I had a lot of thoughts and feelings that needed to come out. The 'umbrella' image in this painting was a perfect icon for expressing all this without words.

I love creating this type of painting with so much meaning and intense content.  It reaches and touches my soul in a profound way.  I love being able to express something with visual imagery, as well. Since I have began painting, I have been on a journey to dig deep inside myself and to be true to myself.  This painting was one of the paintings that was created in the beginning of this process.  I am still learning and experiencing intense changes.  It has all been good and welcomed.

Please feel free to leave a comment and to let me know if you have ever struggled with having the ability to speak up when needed?  I am happy to hear what you have to say.
'HERES LOOKING AT YOU, KID!'  2012  oil on canvas  (c) Loren Fidalgo 2012

Well, it's time for an 'on my EASEL' painting to be featured on my blog and this painting is a little different than I usually talk about.  Maybe it is because I posted my painting, 'CHUNKY, CHUNKY GIRL' yesterday and it just put me in a funny and light hearted mood? Yeahhh..., yesterday's painting post,  it's still cracking me up!   So here goes another round...

When I first started this painting in 2012, I was really interested in faces and depicting the human face in my sketches and paintings. I usually love to add these big super huge cheeks to illustrate the delight and charm of my characters.  That's not to say that my faces are always happy and elated.  Sometimes they are somber and suffering with despair.  (that's a subject for another post) For this post, I will be focusing on this particular painting 'Here's looking at you, kid!' and the joyful nature of this girl and her suitor who came to give her his heart.

In one of my painting classes I was taking at the time of this painting, I was doing a lot of sketches in my book and the idea was that they were supposed to be from my imagination and/or a memory from something I saw during my day.. In this class, I learned to draw from lightly scribbling on the paper and watching until eventually something would emerge from the scribbling  Maybe it was from my imagination or maybe even a dream?.  Well, most of my scribble drawings I drew became faces of people with a lot of interesting features that had a lot of character.  When I first started painting, I would paint large red and round circles for cheeks and then around 2010, I started creating these paintings with these round, ball cheeks that seemed to be popping out of the faces and off the canvases..  What the large cheeks truly meant, I did not know however, I kept drawing and painting them.

In this painting , she has really large cheeks as I have mentioned  and she seems to be just thrilled with who she is and what she is about. (so I think.  I haven't asked her!).  She is delighted with the little male bird has chosen to make it's way over to her to give her his heart.  He reaches his beak up to her while holding the little red heart as symbolism  for his literal heart. This bird surely wants to give himself to her.   The excitement on her face is clearly evident and it reminds me of the place I was in emotionally when I painted her.  She seems somewhat coquetious, and a little kooky as if she is so proud of herself and why shouldn't she be?  I wasn't feeling in the same mood when I painted her, so I don't know where I pulled this image from my mind, that has such a euphoric tone. Possibly, it was from another part of my mind that I was not accessing at the time I was painting?  That happens to me sometimes. Maybe it happens to you, too?   For me, I will paint and just be in the 'zone' so deeply that may not be conscious of what I am expressing.  Sometimes, I don't know for months or years as in this painting what it is truly about. And the colors...I also don't know why I chose to paint with the colors I did?

This painting is in oils and in this painting the colors are Naples Yellow, Cadmium Red, Titanium White, Cerealean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Ivory Black and Cadmium Yellow.  I love to paint faces in yellows and warm colors.  I especially love to use Naples Yellow in my faces.  I know it can be tricky color to use and sometimes it can be overused, but at the time I had seemed to be taken to it and loved the buttery consistency and texture. .  I used Utrecht Brand oils then and I still do. I love them and they meet my needs.

So that's a wrap up for 'on my EASEL'.  I hope you enjoyed this one?  I think I am still discovering what my paintings are all about and I like to share the journey of discovery with you.  Keep reading my posts and please feel free and easy to leave a comment if you would like?  I'd love to hear what you are thinking and feeling?

Cheers for now,

Time for a new 'on my EASEL' painting to be discussed on my blog. This is where I talk about what went into creating a painting.  Basically, it is about how and why I created this featured painting..

'SEARCHING FOR MEANING'   oil on canvas  18x24   (c) Loren Fidalgo 2010 

The painting I am writing about is titled, 'SEARCHING FOR MEANING'.  It is 18x24 and oil on canvas. I really enjoyed creating this piece and I liked the opportunity to dig deep into what goes into the struggle when one is looking for purpose in their life'.  I believe that the seeking and searching may be something that most of us go through some time in our lives. Whether it be addiction to drugs, alcohol, mental illness, emotional loss of a loved one, divorce or trauma or just simple 'existential questioning'.  We may ask ourselves questions... we may tell ourselves what seems to be lies that "we can handle it." With this painting, I am asking, "How do we find the reason? How do we find joy in life, when things are not going our way or we are in pain? How do we find hope?" 

When I began this painting, I had a strong image in my mind about what I wanted to express.  I had the concept in my thoughts about a woman and her struggle to find the reasons for living and why she is here. I wanted to express how it is usually the little things in life that are often missed when one is depressed and feeling like there is no hope. Elements like the flower and butterfly were thought of to  help portray my concept.  I wanted to depict this idea by playing off of a simple phrase that is often said to someone to let them know how they are not valuing the simple things in life.  'Take time to smell the flowers'.  Possibly, people might think that one is not grateful for the little things and they need to take the time to look and see what is right in front of them? For this woman, to smell the flowers is her symbolic way to express her desire to feel what she is missing, the 'joy of life'. She is looking, seeking, hoping and longing. 

 I painted this in a subtle cubist like style and use thick, textured paint. The cubist style helped me to convey the ambivalence that this woman is having in her life.  The woman's eyes are disjointed and each one is looking back out at 'YOU'. This is her way of saying, "I see you, I'm looking at you looking at me and I see that you are wondering what is wrong with me and you are wondering, "why I am 'searching for meaning?" I decided to depict her nude so she is in her most vulnerable and fragile state. The colors I chose are purples, greens, oranges, yellows and reds.  I like the way the colors interact with each other, such as the oranges and greens and purples and yellows.  I used a palette knife to sculpt this entire painting. I stroked the knife on the canvas, moving it in many directions as I carved into the paint. You can see this in the swirls of her hair and the texture in her body.

 In closing about this painting,, the question is inevitably asked, "Does this woman find her meaning?  Well, that is for you to decide.  What do you think?

 I hope you enjoyed the in-depth look into this piece?  If you would like to, please leave a comment or question.  Thanks for reading this post and stay tuned in for the next one.

Hey guys... it's about time for a new 'on my EASEL' painting to be 'looked at up close'. This is where I talk about a specific painting and the thought process I went through to create it.

I am excited to write about this painting because it is an earlier conceptual/fantasy work that I did and it is interesting in texture and subject matter. Let's get to it...
'OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND'    18x24   oil on canvas  by (c) LOREN FIDALGO 2011

The painting I have chosen is titled, 'OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND'.  It is 18x24 oil on canvas.

When I began this painting, I had my concept in mind and I knew I wanted to create a image of a girl pulling her eyes out of her head. "Why" you might ask?  I don't know exactly, but I had this image in my mind for weeks and I had to get it on to the canvas. I knew what I wanted to express however, I didn't know how I was going to do it, so I started by painting the background in a flat bright color of green and yellow.  I drew the outline of the figure and I painted out the girl's face with a palette knife in a textured and layered style.  I liked the contrast between flat blended color and the highs and lows in the texture.  As I was painting her face, the rest of the painting was coming together in my mind and I decided I wanted to create character's faces with vacant eyes missing from her bright red cheeks.  As I painted up to the top of her head, I began to imagine more and more faces with hollow eyes that would be coming out of her ' head', her 'mind' and her 'subconscious'.

I was thinking about how the young girl seemed to look so 'cartoonish' in nature, somewhat surreal/fantasy like. I liked the juxtaposition of this and the reality of the subject matter.  Her face shows her smiling and yet at the same time, she is crying only able to reveal one single tear. Her eyes, as well as the other characters eyes are as if they are on a strand of string which is being pulled from the heads and out of her mouth. One eye after another, then another, are coming out . 
This illustrates the title that she is 'out of sight', i.e.' she and they have lost their eyes and 'out of mind' because she has lost her mind to the characters residing in her head.  All the missing eyes are windows to the soul to this captivating girl and those who live 'upstairs' with her.

The technique of the textured effect was painted in layers beginning with the dark colors first and solely building up to the lightest and brightest areas on top.  I used a palette knife to lift the paint off the palette and lay it down onto the canvas.  I 'pushed and pulled' the paint around the canvas to the desired areas and I carved and sculpted right into the layers of paint below.  This could look random, however, it took some patience and time for the layers of paint to dry to allow for the additional layers of paint to be put on top. The end result is this combination of 'a little bit of paint and a lot of paint' all in one painting.

Well, this is a wrap up for this ' 'on my EASEL' painting.  I hope you enjoyed the new subject matter and the different technique from my other works?  If you have an interpretation of this painting that is different from my own, please by all means, share.  I would love to hear what others think about this piece.  I will be posting another piece with a similar technique some time in the future.

Thanks for checking in to reading about this piece and please feel free to leave a comment if you would like to.  It is greatly appreciated.


Hey guys...it's time for a 'on my easel' painting to be featured on my blog.  This is where I share with you the how's and why's of how I paint my paintings.

This posts painting is titled,  'The bombs bursting in air 9 11'.  This painting is 24x30 and oil on canvas.

The Bombs bursting in air  9 11    2013        oil on canvas   24x30       (c) Loren Fidalgo
When I first began this painting, it was totally abstract and there were no recognizeable images.  As I was making the curve on the left side and making the circle below it, I began to see a face on the canvas looking back at me through the palette knife marks I had made..   I decided to try to reveal what was beneath the marks and realized the face looked like myself.  It was becoming a self portrait of sorts and I knew I felt that I needed to follow the image and see where it led me.  After I unearthed the portrait, I began to see that the image was weeping with blood red tears below her left eye.  I stroked the paint down from the face with a palette knife and the tears just poured out of it's eyes.  I was not sure what was happening with the painting. I also started to recognize long painted strokes that seemed to be shooting out of the forehead of the face that resembled The Statue of Liberty which was weeping with tears pouring out from her eyes.  Then out of somewhere in my consciousness, I recognized the tall building in the background where I had stenciled some square patterned shapes on the surface, It looked as if there were fire and smoke coming out of the stenciled windows. I knew that was not an abstract painting any longer. The painting began to open itself up to me as The Statue of Liberty weeping as the towers burned and then ultimately fell to the ground.  You can say that this was not a 'happy' painting.
I was also stunned at what I had created on the canvas.  It was not planned nor was it intentional.  It just flowed out of my hand and brush and onto the canvas without consciously thinking about it.  If you might ask," how did I really create this experience in this painting"?  I can only tell you, "I do not know" What I do know is that something was channeling through me about the horror and sadness of that day 9 11 and it appeared on my painting. I was just the vecihle and I had to paint it on the canvas.

Thanks for reading this post.  Please feel free to leave comments or messages.  It's greatly appreciated. 
If you are interested in a print of this painting, please contact me through the message box on the left side bar of this blog.  If for some reason you can not leave a message, you can leave one at my etsy shop www.lorenfidalgoart.etsy.com.

Hey, folks.  I'm starting a new section on my blog called 'on my EASEL'.  This will feature new work that I will be creating, as well as recent abstract work from 2012 and some earlier works that I have yet to feature on my blog. I thought to create this section to share with you the whys, the whats and the hows about my process of painting. The hows and whys about  coming up with the ideas, colors, forms and the how I approach a painting from technique to thought process.  

I think an artist's thought process is so important to get to know the artist's inner soul.  It helps you to get to know how the artists thinks and feels.  I thought I would like to start this section to give you a 'play by play' of the world that I go into when I am creating.  I will talk about what I am inspired by.  It could be colors, shapes, memories of certain experiences, patterns and emotions/feelings. conversations with other people, reading, looking out my windows at nature and so on...  For me, when I am approaching a conceptual piece it always starts with a feeling or idea in my mind.  When painting abstract, it starts with some things more ambiguos like colors, shapes and patterns that I am imagining in my head.  Some days are  feeling like a yellow day and some days a crimson day and so on.... Some times I see a beautiful color and need to paint it out to see how it feels. Some times circles or squares keep nagging at me until I put the paint on the canvas. I never know what will capture my attention and be in the fore front of my mind when I am painting or creating anything so follow along with me as I try to explain my unexplainable process of creating art.

Check back to see what's 'on my EASEL'.  I hope to see you here again!


                                            'SUNRISE SUNSET'
Hey folks... new painting is featured on my first 'on my Easel' post.  For this post I will be writing about my painting 'Sunrise Sunset'. This painting is a triptych (meaning three separate panels).  The size is 33 x14 total.  Each separate panel is 11x14 each.

When I first began this painting, I was unsure about the direction I wanted to go in.  I knew I wanted to do a triptych, however I was in uncharted territory. I was using acrylic latex paint (known as interior room paint) and I was a little unsure about how it handled. I had a vision in my mind of the way I wanted these paintings to look but I was not sure how I was going to get there. I started by creating a starburst on the canvas with my three colors.  I was using buttery, creamy yellow, bright fire engine red and textured sage green paint.  The green paint had texture because the glitter that was in it had disintegrated into something like a sand or gritty feel. The green paint was really cool and interestingly textured so I knew it would make the painting look different than I was used to working with.

I started with a canvas and I painted a starburst pattern with the yellow paint and then I went over it with the red which created somewhat of an peachy pinky color. You can see some of the starburst pattern on the outside edges of the canvases and underneath the top layers. I used a brush to swish the paint around because it was runny and was flowing quickly on the canvas.  After I finished the starburst pattern, I decided to take the leap and began to pour the paint onto the canvas because I couldn't wait any longer to get to a place that I felt comfortable with.  I have only poured my paint a couple of times however, I felt that it was a safe way to go. I poured the green textured paint onto the canvas first and around the edges of the canvas, then the red colored paint and the yellow color.  I let the red and yellow colors drip down as I started to see what I wanted to happen with the colors.  I began to turn the canvas every so often to control the flow of the paint.  The trick was knowing when and how to turn the canvas. This was key. It took some time and I patiently waited for the colors to run and integrate with each other.  I then took my palette knife and stroked the paint as I moved it into a different direction as it flowed.  Again, I turned the canvas.  There was a lot of paint on the canvas at this point so I had to balance it out all over the canvas so it would not be too thick.  I moved the paint around some more and I turned it again.  Whenever it dripped too much, I'd turn it so it would go the other way. This enabled me to create these beautiful patterns on the canvases.

To finish up with this painting I used a palette knife to create more texture by mixing the colors together around the canvases.  The tricky part again was creating three canvases that would look good together as well as good on their own. I scraped, scratched and then just turned them every which way until I felt they looked the way I had seen them in my mind.  I painted the sides yellow and put my signature on the side of the third panel.  Then it was finished!

Ooops... I fibbed a little about how I created this painting.  Although this is section is called 'on my EASEL', I did not create this painting solely on my easel.  I created it a little on my easel and a little on a table and a little on the floor.  Please forgive me!

If you are interested in purchasing this painting, please visit my etsy shop here


Hey, guys it's time for a post about a new painting. It's long over due.  This time I had a lot of trouble deciding what to write about mainly because I have so many paintings that I've done in various mediums and techniques, that I was not quite sure what I should tackle first. I am somewhat stuck. I am tossing back and forth with what paintings I have listed in my etsy shop and on Facebook.  Since I began painting before I began this blog, I have a lot of work to talk about.
In the past year I have been working mainly on abstract experimental painting and still life paintings.  I like to work on both because it keeps my skills up and I am constantly learning new things.  I also find new ways to manipulate the paint and brushes.  I think I am getting better but hey, who am I to judge?
I'll let you be the judge.
Well, let's talk about this new painting...
'Heading towards the light'                       24 x 30                       oil on canvas              Loren Fidalgo
Just recently, I sold this painting, YEAH!!! and I would like to talk about it before it leaves it's current home.  The title of this painting is 'Heading towards the light'.  It is 24 x 30 and oil on canvas.  I really love the 24 x 30 size canvas to paint on.

I began this painting shortly after I began painting abstract back in the beginning of 2012. I think it was my 3rd or 4th painting.  I still felt new to abstract and unsure of my direction when I stumbled upon this painting style.

I began this painting using oil paint and by laying down blocks of color in Cerealean Blue and Ultramarine Blue squares in the bottom left hand corner using a palette knife.  I used various shades of these colors next to each other.  I dragged the paint around the canvas and dropped the palette knife down on the canvas where I decided the colors should go.  To merge colors, I dragged the color to the left side into the color in the right side with the flat part of the knife.  I used a lot of Alizarin Crimson as the dominate color around the canvas and especially on the top.  The Crimson color worked it's way into the shape that is painted in a curve.  This is a contrast to the square/ blocks of color.  The curve in Crimson sort of tucks you into the yellow areas of light almost like it is hovering over the yellows like a archway to a bridge or some kind of animal pulling your eyes into the painting.

There are two areas of light, in the blues on the bottom and in the yellows on the middle right side.  The Cadmium Yellow really brings your eye in to it and it looks as if you are heading towards the light starting at the bottom left corner of blues and moving up into the yellows.  In some ways. it reminds me of a landscape sunset with water on the bottom. Do you see it??

Although there are many colors in this painting, when I look at it, I see Crimsons and Yellows.  The other colors kind of recede for me.  They are secondary.  I wanted to show the interaction between many colors all grouped together on one surface.  I had a vision in my mind and at the same time I wanted to just let the colors flow out of me.  I didn't want to judge it while I was painting.  The title came to me right away and I knew what I wanted to say with it.

Well, I have to say "good-bye" to this piece as it will be leaving me soon.  I know it will go in an  awesome home, so I am so happy about that. I created another painting like this one.  I will feature it somewhere down the road.   Leave a comment if you would like to share something about this painting or my work in general.  I love to hear from my readers.

Live life!

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