travel log


travel log
i spent two months exploring belize, mexico and guatemala, with my easel strapped to my backpack and paints and a stack of paper stashed in a drybag. i’m happily amazed that the paintings survived traveling by plane, boat, foot, cayak, truck and strapped to the top of countless chicken busses. though i occasionally cursed the weight of the gear, i loved painting in the incredible places i saw. i didn’t bring a camera, channelling all my impressions through my brush and watercolors. because of their portability watercolors have long been a favorite of landscape painters and explorers. watercolors are however notoriously difficult to controll, but i delighted in the challenge of producing watercolors directly from life, the everchanging light and movement forcing me to work boldly and decisively.

the brilliant tropical light and bright colors of nature are also reflected in the artifacts and architecture of central america. houses painted in competing complements unimaginable up north and the woven fabrics of traditional guatemalan dress have all the visual impact of flowering trees spilling reds, yellows and violets over walls and fences.

some of the watercolors began with minimal pencil sketches to establish the basic composition and anchor the washes of color. most paintings however are executed directly with no linear armature, the image emerging gradually out of the layering of washes. the greatest technical challenge in watercolors lies in reserving the areas of white which will later serve as highlights, while orchestrating the flow of colors. the extraordinary expressive potential of watercolors comes from the dance between chance and control.

the paintings here are a small sampling of the work on display in my gallery at 2140 atwood ave. there you can see palms swaying in the warm winds of the caribbean coast of mexico, scenes from the caye islands in belize, the tropical rainforest in chiapas, grand colonial cities, mayan ruins, the gorgeous lake atitlan cradeled by volcanoes in the heart of guatemala etc. all in all more than forty watercolors, i love sharing them with you almost as much as i enjoyed making them.
love, mh
travel log show view
travel log show
palenque pyramid
travel log show view
travel log show
palenque pyramid
courtyard
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