Category: painting

March Challenge wrap up

My older niece has a sense of humour

Retrato II | final

Retratos I final

My March Challenge consisted of painting every weekday of the month, be it 30 minutes or 3 hours. It was a very good project for me, because the constancy that it required bore its fruits.

Most of the days, I started to paint first thing in the morning, not only to start off with a great and pleasant activity, but also to be able to take its results (colour mixing, for instance) to the work I would later develop during the day.

Painting works for me as an experimental field whose results can be applied and transfered to my graphic design
projects in ways that I mostly don´t anticipate. Composition, texture, colour combinations are some of the things I experiment on canvas that I can later incorporate into ongoing design projects.

Also, as my painting is self generated – there are no clients´ requests – it genuinely feels like I´m playing, just playing. Being in contact with those colours and textures, getting my hands full of paint and hearing the brushes touching and scratching the canvas is just… amazing.

Mondays were the worst days: breaking the habit during the weekend has a lot more impact than I anticipated.

During the challenge I started and completed three portraits and started – but did not finish – a fourth one. Now I must find a way to incorporate painting into my daily routine, without feeling that I must do it because of a challenge. Instead, that I want to do it just because.

If you feel inspired to do the same, let me know.

Second portrait

Retrato II | final

March Challenge is underway here and so far it has produced very unexpected results. First, I finally tried my hand at portraits; second, and most important, I´m enjoying painting portraits very, very much. I didn´t expect that!

Then, I found out that Monday is the worst day to go and pick up the brushes. I don´t know if it is the weekend effect; I just know that I found numerous excuses not to start painting. But finally I did, and those few minutes were precious. Not only they were a bit like therapy, they were also a victory of sorts against the little red laziness devil that was threatening me. Beating that resistance was actually very rewarding – it´s amazing how difficult it is to keep good habits.

Now we´re past the middle of the month and I´m loving this self-imposed “obligation” of painting every day. It´s amazing how it is beneficial more beneficial than words can describe.


First portrait

Retratos I final

This was the first of the paintings done during my March Challenge. It is also the first time I tried my hand at portraits, and I loved it.

It´s acrylic on canvas, 60cm x 80cm (23.6in x 31.4in).

I´m now working on my second portrait and I´m enjoying it so far. As for the challenge itself, I have to say that today was a really hard day. I found numerous distractions and kept pushing the painting time forward… was it the famous weekend effect? I stopped for two days and then it was hard to go back? I don´t know.

I finally got to painting, and the session was productive enough. I´m glad I made the effort, but boy, today it was an effort. Good habits are difficult to gain!

March challenge so far


The other day I mentioned my March challenge, to paint every weekday of the month, be it half an hour or three hours. Sticking to it has been more or less easy (last Friday was a challenge, I must admit) and the increased productivity is surprising. I mean, how surprising can it be? I´m painting more often, more canvases come out of it. Quite predictable, but still surprising to actually see it.

My first canvas is almost ready and it was something new: I tried portraits for the first time. I was a bit nervous about it, since there´s always a temptation to comparing with the depicted person, but I´m glad I tried my hand at it. I´m definitely going for more, as soon as I finish this one.

Have you set any challenges for yourself? Do you have any strategies to tackle the task when you really feel like doing something else?

March is for challenge

March is for painting

I challenged myself with painting every weekday during the month of March. So far, so good, and the fruits of this challenge are obvious: I spend more time doing something I really love and my brain, my eyes and hands get challenged as well.

Spending more time painting also works as a sort of practice, or ground testing, that I later incorporate into my professional activities.

Yay for painting, for the doors (in my mind, in my life, in my work) that it opens.

Goal #3: accomplished!

all set up

Junglewood gallery in Casco Viejo, Panama City

Getting ready

My first solo art show!

One of the 12 goals for the new year – as seen in the January issue of my e-zine – was to have my own art show. I can now happily say that I did accomplish this goal last Thursday, February 3rd, in the event Artblock Panama.

I was lucky to have been assigned a very nice gallery space in Junglewood Gallery (in calle 6, Casco Viejo, Panama City), where there would be live music with a band playing south american music.

Setting up was clean and easy and, mostly, fun. Then the show started, lots of people started coming in, taking pictures, sitting down and listening to the music and looking at my paintings. It felt good – and weird – to feel exposed like that, to walk up to people and hand out e-zines and business cards, meeting new people and making new contacts, a totally social evening, actually. It felt good, and again, weird, since I´m new in Panama and, although it´s quite a small circle, it´s a bit difficult to get into the art circuit.

Anyway, I loved the experience and I´ll definitely try and participate in other events.

And the cherry on top of the cake? I sold my first painting. It now lives happily in Austin, Texas.

Thanks to Kimberly, who gave me this opportunity, to Zita and Nathan and everyone at Junglewood gallery, to Cristina for telling me about the event (obrigada!), to everyone who showed up, to Jimmy from Texas, who enabled my first sale, and to Paulo, of course, who always helps me achieve my dreams.

More photos here.

Life in Panama

The other day I was painting away on my balcony. There´s plenty of sea view (I can even see the entrance to the Canal) but there´s also this view:

see our "neighbours"? :)

And as latin as Panama is, everytime I step on the balcony (be it to water my plants or hang clothes to dry), I hear the men working there whistling and shouting comments. This may sound like I´m bragging, but hearing the comments you´d know that I´m not. Just not.

Anyway, so the other day I was painting and I start hearing this guy shouting and shouting, and repeating the same word over and over. Normally I just ignore it as white noise and concentrate on the waves, but this time it surfaced to conscience.

I pause. I look over.

There´s this guy, holding his protective yellow helmet on one hand, waving and shouting: “paint me! paint me!”.

I wonder what he´d think if I asked him to model. In the nude.

Anyway, I finished my first canvas here in Panama:

It´s finished!

(…and I really, really need to replace my camera. It will be 6 years old in February.)

After many, many months…

I´m painting again

…I´m painting again and it feels so good. I missed all the brushes and colours and the freedom they contain in themselves.

Painting makes me happy.

(more photos here)



With the end of the summer break, painting classes resumed in the beginning of March. We started with a fixed pose – and a canvas resulted – and then the quick exercises that I love. It´s good to be painting again.

A short break after…


Last week I paid a visit to a friend in Rio de Janeiro, resulting in a short break from work and blogging. Those few days were very welcome, specially now that the end of the year is so near and I´m looooonging for holidays.

There were lots of things going on, though, but being away from the computer prevented me from blogging about them.

I visited a painting workshop. It goes on during a whole Sunday, starting early morning and finishing in the evening. It´s an amazing, albeit exhausting, experience. It is very intense, not only because one discovers a lot about him or herself, but also because these discoveries are shared by the other people visiting the workshop, the models and the teacher. We come in at 9 am being just a bunch of people and leave in the evening feeling a bit like family.

Exercises are crazy fun: we start with quick poses (about 10 minute each) and end up, eighteen paintings later, painting dancing and singing models. Who, by the way, are great fun to work with. (One of the models is a painter and you can see what he has been up to here.)

See photos of all the exercises here.



It feels like I´m only talking about nudes – and it may as well be so, taking from my latest posts – but I´ve been busy with other taks at hand. I´m working on my second book for kids, which takes a huge amount of time but nothing that can be shown, and looking for a publisher. Are you one? Do you know someone who may be interested in hearing from our project? I´d love to hear from you.

As for the nudes, more photos of Monday´s session here.

Another nude

2009.10.28 - third session

This is a painting I finished on monday during painting class. I´m having so much fun doing this I wish I had painting classes more often!