I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Oh, yeah, I'm back, after being away for a couple of weeks. I didn't give much details about my whereabouts on my last blog entry, due to personal reasons, but now that I'm here againI can detail a bit more.
So, where was I? Well, I traveled to Europe, more specifically to France. And even more specifically, to Marseilles. But, what was I doing there? Visiting my sister and my brother in law, who live there. However, this wasn't an ordinary visit. And I'm not saying that just because it was my first visit to their place, or my first visit to France, or in fact my first visit to Europe, or even more, my first trip out of the American Continent. No, the reason why this visit was so special, is because I wanted to be there when my first niece arrived to this world. Yep, my sister was pregnant and I wanted to be in town for the birth of the little princess (although, we actually didn't know the gender of the baby until she was born, so technically, we were waiting for the little princess/prince). Best of all, my niece is healthy and well, which is why I am finally sharing the reason of my trip. It was truly worth it :)
That's all I'll be sharing regarding my niece (come on!, let the poor girl have some privacy, it's bad enough that she has a lunatic uncle). After all, this blog is about pin-ups anyway. Plus, there is plenty of material to share about this past trip: since I was traveling to Europe, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and pay a quick visit to two models that have been a huge, huge ground base for my work. Two muses of my art indeed. Both of them live relatively close to Marseilles, which presented an opportunity that I couldn't pass, a decision encouraged by my sister, who wanted me to take full advantage of this opportunity. I mention this so nobody gives me any crap that I didn't really go to France to visit my sister. :)
Just a couple of days after I arrived to France, I flew to Belgium, to its capital, Brussels. There, I met with Seffana, a model that has supported my artwork as a reference model, for many, many years (going back to 2005). If you know about my artwork, then you know about Seff :) She and her boyfriend MoMo not only picked me up from the airport, but also let me stay at their lovely house. There, I had a great time talking to both of them, catching up (Seff doesn't speak fluent English yet, but she's learning very fast!). I must mention that this is not the first time I meet with Seff. Two years ago, she and MoMo came to Las Vegas, for the "Viva Las Vegas" weekend... but that's another story. After two years, I got to see both of them again, and this time in Europe, how awesome is that?
I want to mention again how important Seff has been for my artwork. Back in the days when I was developing my own style, when I didn't have a portfolio to show, she allowed me to use her beauty as an inspiration and reference. It has been an honor to work with her since then, even if it is from remote locations. Being that said, you can imagine how great it was for me to meet her for the first time in person two years ago. The friendship became more solid, more real. And that's why it was so great to see her in person once again on this trip. Well, it was great seeing not only her, but also MoMo, who became my friend as well in their visit to Las Vegas. I have nothing but good things to say about both of them, they truly rock!
My trip to Brussels was indeed a short one (just one full day), so there wasn't time to do much. However, we still managed to go the historical part of the city, on a quick visit. I learned many things about the culture of Belgium in general. We spent a good portion of the day at the Belgian Comic Strip Center, which is a museum dedicated to the cartoon culture of Belgium. That's where I learned that Belgium had (and still has) a huuuuge impact in cartoons all over the world. There I saw many samples of famous cartoon/comics, like the Smurfs, Tin Tin and Gaston (and of course, sexy Natacha).
We continued our quick journey through the center of Brussels, walking through streets, admiring the beautiful architecture of the city. Our final destination was one of the most famous attractions in Brussels: the Manneken Pis, which is the statue of a little boy peeing. Yes, a little boy peeing :) You might have seen this kind of statues somewhere else, bigger (the one in Brussels was pretty small), but it was certainly great to see this particular statue, a legendary one, and of course, take a picture right next to it.
On our way to see the Manneken Pis, we stopped at what it is probably the most important tourist destination in Brussels: the Grand Place. The architecture, the buildings there were unbelievable. Of course, I didn't have the chance to look around the buildings (or go inside them) due to lack of time, but I can't complain. Just being there was a great experience, and to have Seff and MoMo showing me all these places was just awesome.
We finally went back to their place, to rest for the night, before going to the airport the next day. It was then that Seff and I exchanged prints. I gave her a couple of prints of my artwork where I feature her, and she gave me tons of prints of artwork and photos where she is the main subject. Again: a true muse. Last, but not least, that night I drew a sketch based on Seff, on a sketch book that she owns, where a lot of great artists have done sketches and drawings of her. I am honored to be part of that sketch book now. :)
And that's it for my visit to Brussels. Many many thanks to you, Seff, and of course, to MoMo as well, for being such great friends, such great hosts, such great muse... not you MoMo, just Seff, he, he :) I look forward to see you both again when the time comes. In the meanwhile, there'll be more artwork, more art, more modeling... and more life. :)
Thank you again to everybody reading this post. This week I won't be posting my weekly sketch, but rather, will write the second part of this trip. I will write about my meeting with another model, a muse that has been a part of my artwork for over a decade. Meeting her in person for the first time after so many years, was an experience that I truly can't put into words. But I'll try :) In fact, I'm excited to write about it, so please read my blog entry later on this week. For now, I am leaving, ready to get back in track. Vacation is over, so let's get those pencils, brushes and paints in action... let's do some art! See you next time!
Pin-up artist by day… and also by night. Well, mostly by night, because night time is my favorite time to paint.