Art is what I create.

This painting  is " Easy Spike". This is how I have come to create art.

Spike,

at least that is my name for the Pit Bull Dog in my painting. Of all the paintings I have ever done it is my favorite. It was done very quickly, in about thirty minutes. Acrylic on panel.  Approximately 32 by 24 inches. It was created around 1988, in my apartment at the corner of Treadwell and South Lamar in Austin Texas. I was taking classes at Austin Community College. An out of body experience is how this piece came to be. About 1:30 pm I came home and was reading an article about this dog that was guarding a marijuana crop. Somehow a toddler came too close to the fence and this dog was able to maul the child to death. The owner was ordered to serve time, and the beast was destroyed. The article was accompanied by a black and white photo.

In those days I was really into surrealist art , but mainly Dal's surrealism. I was taking an art history course and had just discovered Francis Bacon. Always have loved works of Pablo Picasso, and I wish I had his talent and where with all. Picasso is Picasso and when you see one of his you know it. I have always tried to avoid doing anything on purpose that might look like an attempt at mimicking Picasso and his cubism. Then there is "Bacon" and his colors. In my opinion Bacon's use of color has a very violent energy like a violent thunderstorm.

When I painted "Easy Spike" I wasn't trying to copy Bacon but I was certainly influenced by his masterful works. In fact I do not remember actually painting the dog. I remember looking at the mag, and walking across the street past Trudy's. The spicy smell of the meat section at the Sursave grocery store is stored in the memory as is walking across the hot rough deteriorating asphalt parking lot. When I got back to my place, there it was my new painting, that I do not remember painting. From then on I would paint whatever came to mind.

My first real painting was a Nagel knockoff it was of  Sara Douglas in Superman.I had a girlfriend Debbie who had abandoned this class project on a Six foot canvas. I asked her if I could have it and I re-purposed it with this. When I paint with acrylics before I use my expensive colors I like to under-paint everything with several coats of pure white. Over the years I have found that acrylics really like to bond to acrylics more than to  the acrylic gesso. It is a  different time, not politically correct time that I come from. A time before the internet, or cell phones, let alone smartphones, a time of Rolling Stone Magazine, and Playboy. I am from the desert. The hot dry dusty desert with it's intense white hot sunlight and wide open sky. Blue, blue is the color, and a sandy light raw sienna is the second color. I am an artist a painter and in this blog I will get into everything that has formulated my oevure. It may not be pretty or charming, but this is how the sausage has come to be. Keep in mind that my biggest accomplishment was making a mural in chalk pastels, on paper of the Mayflower for Thanksgiving in the second grade.

Blue green , blue-green pastel, blue-green crayola crayon, the smell of wet powder tempera for finger-paints, and green modeling clay. Motown , The Beatles, Vietnam, Kennedy's -MLK- Assasinations, Scary LBJ on TV, Apollo Moon Landing, Miss Fuhr, and Miss Adelson and her awesome miniskirts.  Discarded hypodermic needles and socks with spots of gold and silver spray paint used for huffing.. Rocks in my pockets for the vicious loose dogs on my walk home from school. I remember hoodlums that always wanted to kick my ass. Remembering especially the scariest of times when my beloved father was having terrible times with personal demons and taking it out on the whole family. Originally a shanty town this neighborhood became part of El Paso. My art , my paintings come from the dirt the sand we played on.

I am Ricardo Calzadilla, a painter located in Austin, Texas and I create so called Fine Art. Drawing is my greatest, but I compensate using a camera and grid system. My list of artistic influences might seem cliche, however legitimate. One of my favorites is Francis Bacon who sited Pablo Picasso as his influence, and if my memory serves I think Edward Hopper once described a seen where he watched Picasso holding court and constantly rearranging common table objects as if he were composing a scene. Three things I admire about Picasso was his non stop creativity, his use of unconventional mediums, and the fact he did complete formal art school training, yet for many years was the ultimate art school case study. 

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Visual art is obviously a form of communication.

Visual art for some, yours truly, it is a way of expressing spontaneous thoughts that flicker through the theater of the mind. Not possessing particularly great writing skills this artist has always gravitated  to the visual. Whether pen pencil or crayon no blank surface was safe. Full of images of painted pictures were history books. Paintings by Stuart, Whistler, Degas, Millet, Goya, and David were not uncommon. Both the pictorial and written history  were equally embedded. First exposures to painted works were in history class. Art would be a refuge within school.

Arts Exposure

Intermediate school opened the eyes to artwork of all kinds.  Supplies for art included wet clay, modeling clay, tempera paints, and paper mache. Charcoal, chalk pastels, pen and ink and watercolors for drawing and painting. In those days Pablo Picasso was recently deceased. So impactful was his art. Surprised if we knew he had died.. Ms. Valenzuela was very enthusiastic about Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse and Picasso. Marc Chagall’s blue horse made a lasting impression. This would be the first introduction to modern art. Etched in my vision is the ultramarine blue of the paper mache mask I made.

Color Exposure

It is said that some have a sweet tooth. Probably then some must have a color eye. Color can occupy all of my attention just like a lucid dream, or a hallucination. Color can be the equivalent of a voice in the head. May very well have been that color and or art has always been a learning disorder for myself. As a kid if I was not falling asleep in class from allergy meds, then surely I was swept away by daydreams that were stimulated by the mere proximity of a window. Blue skies. a rolling cloud, a swaying treetop and all focus went out the window. When reading a book I could go through chapters before realizing that I did not listen to what I read in my head.

watercolor on paper by R Calzadilla, dairy where artist’s father worked as a boy.

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