Thursday, December 31, 2009

Three more paintings of Atotonilco

Before 2009 gets chased out the door I thought that I would sneak in one last post for the year.
These are three recent paintings of Atotonilco, Mexico. It's one of the places in Mexico that has been very inspiring to me over the past 20 years.

The first painting is a side view of the Sanctuary in Atotonilco. I've painted a few on this quiet street before. It always has a calming effect on me so I titled this one "Serenity".

"Serenity", 8x6" oil, Frank Gardner © 2009
$550. Framed. Available at Galeria Gardner

This next one is part of the "Creative Convergence" show starting next month on Cape Cod.
The menacing sky really made the church stand out.

"El Santuario de Atotonilco", 14x18" oil, Frank Gardner © 2009
$1,430. Framed. Available at Addison Art Gallery

The bottom piece is from a few months ago, but I never posted an image of it. It shows a group of women pausing in front of the church before they go inside.

"A Pause in Front of the Church", 8x6" oil, Frank Gardner © 2009
Private Collection

Friday, December 18, 2009

"In for the Night"

This is the type of local subject matter here in Mexico that I love so much. People and their animals in the landscape. In this painting Felix and Francisco are bringing their cows back to the coral for the night. This painting is a composite of several photos and the small studies. It took me quite a while to get just the way I wanted it, but I'm happy with the results.

A few months ago I posted a small plein air piece titled "The Open Gate" and another small painting "Open Gate II" both of which I used as reference for this piece. I reposted both of those paintings below.

"In for the Night", 18x24" oil, Frank Gardner © 2009
$2,500. Framed. Available at M Gallery of Fine Art
Sarasota, FL

"Open Gate", 6x8" oil, Frank Gardner © 2009
$550. Framed. Available at Windrush Gallery, Sedona, AZ

"Open Gate II", 6x8" oil, Frank Gardner © 2009
Private Collection

Friday, December 11, 2009

Plein Air landscape Workshop, San Miguel de Allende. March 8-12, 2010

Dates are set for my 2010 plein air landscape painting workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
March 8-12 from 9:30-5:00 PM
The cost of the 5 day class is $550.USD and includes Painting Instruction, full gourmet lunches each day and transportation to and from the painting locations. A deposit of $200.USD is needed to hold your spot. Email me to see if there are available spots and I'll give you the mailing address to send the deposit.

In the workshop my emphasis is on helping everyone advance to their next level.

This year we will be spending our painting time at Rancho del Sol Dorado, a beautiful horse ranch 15 minutes from San Miguel. Holly and Mario Ortiz are great hosts and each day they will treat us to delicious meals in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere.

Some of the topics we will concentrate on are:

Values: A strong and simple value pattern is key to a successful painting, we will work on getting values correct from the start and keeping them clear throughout the painting process.

Color: We will work on seeing color and value then mixing color using a limited palette.
Premixing colors on your palette, and choosing the best design for your composition are a few of the things that we will focus on in this workshop.

Strong Starts/ Block In: An emphasis will be on getting a strong start to your painting so you don't need to waste time reworking the design later. Accurate color mixing is key to capturing the mood of a location. I feel that a strong start is the key a successful plein air painting and we will focus a lot on "starts" as well as how to bring a good start to the desired finish.

Finish: I will have you chose your strongest block in and use that as a start for a larger, more finished painting done on location.

Demos: I will do several demos, but the majority of the time will be for painting and individual guidance. There will be some quick painting exercises as well as time for longer painting sessions.

The painting day generally works out like this:
Meet for pick up around 9:30 A.M. for transportation to Rancho del Sol Dorado.
There is either a quick demonstration or talk about the days goals and then everyone gets painting while I give one on one attention.
Break for lunch is usually around 1:30 or 2:00 P.M. depending on our painting progress.
The break for lunch lasts about 1 hour.
Then everyone gets back to painting for the rest of the afternoon until around 5:00 P.M. when we will be transported back to town.

This workshop focuses on landscape painting. However there are lots of painting opportunities in town as well, and you might want to consider spending a few extra days in San Miguel to explore what the town has to offer.
San Miguel has many lodging possibilities. There are many fine hotels, B&B's, apartments or houses to rent. Everyone will be responsible for their own lodging and transportation to and from San Miguel de Allende. The closest airport is in Leon, (airport code BJX), about and hour and a half ride from town. I can recommend a transportation service to shuttle you to and from the airport. Mexico City is about four hours from San Miguel by bus.

This workshop is for oil painters only. All levels are welcome, but you SHOULD HAVE SOME EXPERIENCE PAINTING ON LOCATION.
If you are interested, email me at with any questions or to receive the materials list.

For info on San Miguel and lodging visit

If you would like other lodging options or have any questions, email me at

Please do not finalize any travel plans or lodging until you have confirmed with me that there is space available in the class.
The deposit is fully refundable up to one month before the start of the workshop.

Monday, December 7, 2009


This is another painting that I will be including in the group show of Mexico paintings at the Addison Art Gallery On Cape Cod starting Jan. 7th. 2010.

Rosario is a quite a character. He is always smiling or laughing and loves to pose for a picture. Especially if he can show off his ranch or animals. He tied this burro up under a tree for Paul, Colin and me to paint. My painting from the day with Paul and Colin was not that successful and is still in that limbo stage of me wondering wether I can pull something out of it or if I will throw it in the stack of clunkers. I don't think that any of us liked our paintings of that donkey that day. It started to rain off and on and the light was real flat. Besides, I've told you how much burros like to move around while you paint them right? We did not have an apple or anything this time to keep him in line. Below this painting are two pictures from that session. Paul and Colin painting, and one of Colin painting. Check out his version of an umbrella. Paul and I both had EasyL umbrellas to keep us dry (ish) but Colin made due with what he had.

This painting is from a different day.

"Rosario", 14x18" oil, Frank Gardner © 2009
$1,430. Framed, Available at Addison Art Gallery

Paul and Colin

Colin and his ingenious umbrella system.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Paintings and painting with friends.

It's been quite a while since I last posted something. Sorry about that.
Last month I had 14 friends down visiting and painting in San Miguel. We had a blast, and I can't even begin to write about how much fun I had with them here. I took them all horseback riding one day and I think they all really enjoyed themselves. Here is a lineup of 13 of us about to race across a dry lake bed.

left to right: Felix (his ranch), Ignat Ignatov, Ernesto Nemesio, Peter Kalill, Scott Burdick, Frank Gardner, Logan Hagege, Jerome Greene, Jeremy Lipking, Kevin McNamara, Paul Schulenburg, Jeff Bonasia, Marc Hanson, Colin Page, and a few more guys from the ranch.
Not in this photo are Dan Corey and Alexey Steele.

Below are three of the pieces that I painted around town with my buddies. They will be part of the group shows that we are doing in Jan and Feb, 2010.
I'll post a few more paintings and some info about our upcoming shows. There will also be an article in American Art Collector. I'll let you know when that comes out.

"Looking Over San Miguel", 14x11" Oil, Frank Gardner © 2009
$1,050. Framed, Available at Addison Art Gallery

"San Miguel Morning", 14x11" Oil, Frank Gardner © 2009
$1,050. Framed, Available at Addison Art Gallery

"Resting by the Church", 11x14" Oil, Frank Gardner © 2009
$1,050. Framed, Available at Addison Art Gallery