Daily Paintings, Drawings and Photographs by John Farnsworth


iPhone 6+ / Snapseed / PhotoForge2

The time has come for some changes.

As you have probably noticed, I am no longer doing the daily paintings. I stopped for a short while to catch my breath and to think about all the other things I wanted to do. Things like larger paintings, more photography, more drawing and sketching, video and writing, tutorials and demonstrations, etc.

That short while has become a rather long while. Posts have become irregular in theIr timing. Other matters have crept in and taken over my time since letting go of the discipline of daily painting and posting.

I am working toward a goal of combining all these other interests with a return to that sense of discipline.

First of all, I am going to begin by posting something every day. Even if it’s just a sketch or a thought.

Somedays, as has been the pattern lately, I will do a longer post, a post about my travels, or a larger project I’m working on, or… who knows what?

I’m also thinking of breaking this blog into six or seven individual blogs, one for painting, one for watercolors, another for drawings. Others might be for sketches, photographs, or travel.

This would make it possible to sign up for just the ones that appeal to you. Posts would not come as often, unless you chose to sign up for all of them, but I would still be comitted to creatIng a daily post, spread over multiple blogs.

I hope that makes sense to you. I’m trying to get my head around the concept as I type.

What do you think? What would you like more of?

I welcome your comments, ideas, and suggestions.




There I was in Mexico City, having a great time on my way back to the Palacio De Bellas Artes for the Cartier-Bresson exhibition.

When I got there, I was surprised to be allowed to photograph inside the show. I spent hours there, pouring over some three hundred of the works of this master of street photography who was also a leader in photo journalism. And a film maker. Altogether a thrilling, satisfying and educational showing.

An added pleasure was seeing a large and diverse crowd so deeply involved.

Afterward, I had strolled through Chinatown

and the Plaza San Juan, with its brightly colored playground filled with laughing, squealing children, it’s splashing, overflowing fountain,

Past the locksmith, a real Peter O’Toole look-alike,

And on to El Mercado de San Juan de Pugibet.

(To be continued)








My, oh my! I don't know where the time has gone the last few days. I'm back in New Mexico. I know, I'm surprised, myself. So was Thea when I walked through the door, unexpectedly.

It's late right now, though, and I'm pretty tired, so I'll try and bring you up to date tomorrow. Meanwhile, I would like to share a few iPhone sketches and one from the iPad.

This woman was in the Alameda, the big central park in Mexico City:

Then, I moved into the Sanborn's House of Tiles, the 18th Century palace covered in blue and white tiles, where the lunch counter is one of my favorite sketching spots, for these:

I don't honestly remember where I saw this woman. Possibly in the DFW airport on my way home. I do know that I did a few more there, but can't seem to find them just now.

These two men may also have been at DFW:

Back in Taos, I decided to try an experiment. I put iPhone photos I had taken in the Alameda up onto the big screen in my office, and sketched from them on my iPad.

Except for the last one, I feel they got a bit overworked. I will keep trying, though, as I have so much to work from in this way.

Today, Thea and I actually took the day off! First time in a long time. We drove down the high road to Chimayo, then back up through Ojo Caliente and Tres Piedras.

I managed to get these two sketches on my iPhone while waiting for our lunch in Peñasco:

And, finally, here's a little quick IPad study of a small adobe across the road from the church in Trampas. I've always enjoyed the contrast between the house's blocky, smooth appearance, and that of the gnarly, twisted fruit tree in front of it. I've wanted to paint it for a very long time.

Now, maybe I will.

Back soon.





What are you doing to fight global warming?



Let me tell you about a strange and serendipitous encounter a couple of days ago. I had wandered over to the Palacio de Bellas Artes to see a show of photographs by the world famous street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, master of the “decisive moment”.

Once inside, I was somewhat disappointed to find only a slide show of his his work, showing his travels during his lifetime, and some digital pedestals with information all in Spanish. Oh, well, there was an interesting photographer taking pictures of the crowd, so I started photographing him at work.

The crowd began moving through an open door. A sriking woman in black passed by me and I grabbed a shot, but too late, her head was turned away. So I followed her inside, thinking maybe there was to be a lecture or other presentation related to the Cartier-Bresson exhibition.

I followed her to her seat in the front row, passed her by and sat down with one seat between us, firing away the whole time.


She caught me. I smiled. She smiled. We introduced ourselves. She told me she is a poet from Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico, and that she was there to give a poetry reading. She asked me to photograph her while on stage. I agreed, and she handed me her camera.

I stayed and listened to five rounds of five women poets and three finalists, three hours' worth, of women poets from all over Mexico. I believe others were from Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and possibly other countries, reading their poems. In Spanish! I only caught a hand full of words, but my iPhone and my Lumix camera were firing the whole time.

When I finally staggered out of the auditorium, at 5:30, I saw , off to my left, what turned out to be the entrance to the main part of the Cartier-Bresson exhibition. In I went. I was stunned to see, first of all, very credible paintings from his youth, then an album containing his very first photographs as a teenager. Then a few familiar and a few unfamiliar images.

I was especially taken by a short film, showing him walking along a crowded street, while taking thirty four photographs in just 39 seconds.

Just as I was becoming really engrossed in the unfolding of this extraordinary life, a guard informed me that the museum was closing. It was on my way out, as I wound my way through room, after room, after room, that I realized I had to return. I asked the guard at the exit how many pieces were on display. Three hundred. I will definitely return. Most likely tomorrow.


Oh, and after leaving the Bellas Artes, I met two of the women from the poetry event, outside, and will be sending them photos of themselves, as well as Constanza and the photographer who sort of got me into the whole thing.


I seem to have lost the names of this poet and the photographer. I will update this information as soon as possible. Lo siento.

Next: MERCADO SAN JUAN, Mexico City's Historic Gourmet Market

Hasta luego





Before I bring you up to date on my time in Mexico, here's a little something that didn't get mentioned while I was in Merida. Mainly, it didn't get mentioned because there is video involved and I just haven't had time to edit it, yet. For now, just let me say that La Bella Durmiente, Featuring the Ballet and Orchestra of Saint Petersburg was moving and impressive.

Video and sketches, maybe even some paintings to come. Anyone interested?

Meanwhile, I'm in Mexico City, the sun is shining and I have much to see and do. So, for now…

Hasta Luego



I posted this late yesterday, but it apparently didn't get through. Here goes another try… Well, I gave it several more tries. None worked. So I took off the sketches from the airport and posted them separately. Let's see if this works…

Here's another Campeche church I wanted to share with you:

It looked like maybe it was no longer in use, but, later in the evening, I stepped out onto the balcony of my hotel room to see if I could get a sunset shot. This is what caught my eye:

Some colored lights in the distance

So, off I went to see what was up. What I found was yet another church in evening attire. Like the rest of Campeche, her churches seem to come to life after dark.

Night Colors

And here are a couple of random shots from yesterday:




This was the sunset view from my room in Mexico City.

Hasta Mañana.



I don’t know what’s going on. Yesterday’s post didn’t get through. I’ve just spent a couple of hours trying to get it to work, but no luck. For some reason about half the images aren’t loading.

I was trying to share a few more images from Campeche, a group of iPhone sketches from the airport and one from my hotel room in Mexico City.

I will keep trying with the Campeche images, but for now, here are the airport sketches that have made it through…

One more; my taxi driver in Mexico City, from the airport to my hotel…


There were three more from my hour wait at the airport. They should have worked the same way these did. It’s all a mystery to me.

Hasta Mañana (And I hope this works.)


Mosaic mural on a public building in Campeche

I love Mexico because when I squeeze A lime, a lot of juice comes out.

I like the way the traffic flows here, too. Most of the time.

I'll do a post on that when I have a minute.

On the other hand, there are days like today.

I checked the balance on my debit card and it was good to go. So I went. To the airport. Just in time for my flight to Mexico City on Interjet. (Love that name.)

My card was declined. And Interjet would not take dollars. While negotiating, the flight was closed.

I went next door to Aeromexico. They had a flight leaving in one hour. Card declined. OK, cash? Nope, they would not take dollars, either. A few pesos short. Tried the ATM. SORRY, try again later. I did. Same result.

Back to Interjet again for tomorrow's flight. Card declined. Came up with just enough cash after senior discount! Bought a ticket. Cab to town. Card declined at hotel. Walked to ATM, withdrew necessary pesos without a hitch(?).

Stopped for quick lunch, Email from Thea saying fraud department had her approve two hundred dollars airline charges plus hotel charge!?! The ticket I bought was only $110. Back to hotel. No record of approval. Tried card again and this time, it worked.

Upstairs to room. Not as requested. Back down stairs to change. Back up to new room. This one looked just right, so I undressed and got ready to rest and prpare a post, then maybe a quick nap.

Wifi would not connect.

Dressed and went downstairs again. Clerk tried and tried and made phone calls in search of a solution. Nada. Tried repeatedly then all of a sudden my iPhone got a connection.

I raced back upstairs. Wifi had disconnected and the password again didn't work. Back down the stairs. Did I mention, no elevator?

The “engineer” was sent for. What appeared to be a high school sophomore showed up after about ten minutes. Tried everything. No luck. Said something long and in rapid fire Spanish that seemed to include back in ten minutes. He was, and with a laptop. Tried everything again. Same results. More rapid fire which, this time, included gestures indicating far away, which is where I guess he went. Maybe he'll be back. We'll see.

Maybe I'll have a little siesta.

I did.

Then I got dressed and went out to photograph around seven. As I left my room, the wifi started working, or should I say laboring weakly. Very weakly. So I went on with my walking and shooting.

Around eight, I settled in to my favorite restaurant for a bowl of seafood soup, and to use their wifi. The soup was good, but their chairs proved too hard for my old bones, so I think I'll move on.

And here I am once again in the Italian Coffe Company for some reliable wifi. And Cafe Americano.

Pardon the rant, Now, as a thank you for your patience, some more impressions of Campeche:

A new take on the Eagle and Snake from the Mexican flag

An interesting mural on the wall of the Best Western Motel

Waiting for the return of the pirates

The Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico

Just one block from the citipy's elegant Cathedral, there is this church
Inside, though, I found some good research for my Faces of Saints series


Sunday evening and the central plaza was crowded with people playing what appeared to be a form of Bingo

I actually got a big smile a millisecond later

That's it for today, folks. More tomorrow, I hope.

Hasta Mańana




Ahhh, at last, a town I think I'm going to like. So far, what I've seen of Campeche looks a lot like I expected Mérida to look. Clean. Wide, flat sidewalks.But with the usual Gringo traps. (Holes, sloping driveways, high curbs, etc.) pastel colored Colonial buildings, an impressive, wedding cake of a Cathedral, and a long Malecón.

My Telcel time ran out while I was in the bus terminal, researching hotels, so I caught a cab to the central plaza and started walking, looking for a telcel office and a hotel. I found a hotel fairly quickly, right on the plaza, but Telcel was another matter.

The locals seem to speak with a strange dialect or a very strong accent. And very rapidly. I was able to get a measly 80 mgs without understanding a thing I was being told or making myself understood at all. Somehow, after being bounced from place to place six or seven times, I finally managed to buy a whole 80 mg. that should last me until I really need it.

A very nice fish dinner with a red molé, followed by a short walk, then back to my room.

Where I discovered my iPhone battery was nearly dead and I can't get either a cellular nor a wifi signal in my room. So I decided to put this post together, then go out to the lobby to post it.

Then I fell asleep.

So, now it's tomorrow, I've had my coffee, and I'm back on the job. Here, then, are some first impressions of Campeche…

I was told in Merida by several people that I would find Campeche mucho ms tranquilo, much more tranquil. Seems they were right.

Across from the main plaza

The Cathedral

The Cathedral in evening attire

Traffic on the main plaza (don't miss the training wheels)

I got this shot of a dog walker after dinner last night, and couldn't resist getting arty with it this morning.

This is the view from the chair from which I am posting this slightly late dispatch, here in the Italian Coffee Company whose wifi works! Yay!.

Now, I'm off to gather more impressions of Campeche, Mexico.

Stay tuned.





Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 435 other followers

%d bloggers like this: