A Midsummer Night in Rio - Christmas Festival

Christmas Festival is a life size outdoors Nativity Scenes show, exclusively produced by 50 Brazilian artists selected through a contest.
These works are displayed in public places such as airports, streets and subway stations.

The concept of Nativity I´ve presented for this event is naturally a byproduct of my daily plein air painting
work on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, which, in addition to its stunning beauty, exposes the daily lives of its people in a social-economic and cultural melting pot.

A Midsummer Night in Rio...
"The bohemian Lapa district becomes the stage for the birth of a baby at the foot of its Arches...Three curious street kids approach that family attracted by the scene..."

A Midsummer Night in Rio - Sandra Nunes
mixed media - 13.7x8.2x3.3 feet
This work is displayed at Rio de Janeiro Bus Terminal - Downtown from November 29th to January 6th
You can watch the work in progress here

Posted bySandra Nunes at 10:32 PM 4 comments  

Jardim de Alah - Alah´s Garden

I love these almond trees. Brought from India, where they are native, they have adapted so well to our climate that they grow almost with joy and are present in almost every street .Their leaves fall -oficially in winter- but before,they change from green to various shades of red, pink pumpkin, yellow, transforming the sidewalks and streets in a multicolored tapestry. It´s a beauty, a real feast for the eyes!
Their trunks and leafless branches against sunlight become exquisite organic sculptures.
Alah´s Garden - oil on canvas 40x60cm-Sandra Nunes

Posted bySandra Nunes at 11:06 AM 0 comments  

Back to Ipanema - Nossa Senhora da Paz Church

I returned to the same spot I had been in Ipanema to catch the morning light ont the gothic/arabic(?) architecture of that beautiful church. This time with a larger linen canvas....

Nossa Senhora da Paz Church -o/l - 72x65cm - Sandra Nunes

Posted bySandra Nunes at 12:48 AM 0 comments  

Lavradio Street - Lapa

This 18th Century street in downtown Rio de Janeiro experiences a renaissance nowadays.It is located in Rio’s historical and commercial center. From the end of the 19th Century, the city’s elite made its home in Lapa district, where baronesses and counts mixed with Rio’s bohemian population. The city’s best cabarets and theatres were located there.
As I´ve been working on extra large formats,(I´ll post it soon) I´ve decided to approach this theme with small studies for a change.Maybe I´ll paint some of them larger in the future... I like to alternate between large and smalishes, each one has its own charm.

It was an overcast day and I decided to stop at this corner where nowadays is the headquarter of Brazilian Fine Art Society.

Brazilian Fine Arts Society - op 22x27 cm Sandra Nunes
The next day I headed to the last block of Rua do Lavradio. Lined with tastefully decorated restaurants, nightclubs, antique stores and a neighborhood barbershop, it was restored and entirely pedestrianized. It was difficult not to be distracted by the turn of the century streetlights, and several other embelishments of this part of the street.
I intended to edit , simplify and focus on the play of light on the colorful old buildings.

Lavradio Street - op 22x27cm - Sandra Nunes

This place sure deserves a series...

Posted bySandra Nunes at 12:46 PM 0 comments  


Flower Parade
Some additional information about the project I mentioned in the previous post

The show Welcome to Spring is an urban interference to which 20 artists from Rio de Janeiro and 20 from Sao Paulo were invited to customize an iron structure of a stylized flower freely, linking the image of spring to the lauching of a Johnson Company product.
After the show, the flowers will be auctioned and part of the proceeds will go to charity institutions.
The show will be on till October 23rd.

My flower was installed in Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas district.
Watch the creative process and installation:

Posted bySandra Nunes at 10:41 AM 0 comments  

Welcome Spring!

Carioca Spring
This is a comission I´ve just finished as a part of a marketing project for Johnson Company launching of a new product.
The concept is to link spring season just beginning with the artwork.
I´ve received the stylized flower to work freely with it.

My inspiration: Rio de Janeiro
Working on side 2
Working on side 1 Braiding wires(spring on the tram rails)

Carioca Spring side 1 - mixed media - Sandra Nunes

Carioca Spring - side 2 - mixed media - Sandra Nunes

In the next post I´ll show some close ups and the making of... stay tuned!

Posted bySandra Nunes at 12:20 AM 2 comments  

7th Worldwide Paint Out- Rio de Janeiro 2009

The Worldwide Paint Out this year took place at Jardim de Alah.(read about last year´s in this link) Participating artists came from several nearby cities and we had a blast! Jardim de Alah is the frontier of Ipanema and Leblon districts. It´s a very silent and inspiring site nestled between Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas and the beach.
A warm sun welcomed the artists who arrived around 08:00am to capture the first morning light.
I was interviewed by Via Ipanema newspaper that gave us great exposure.

The Place:

The banner

The Group: As usual it was difficult to gather everybody to photograph.

Receiving guest artists from nearby cities:

The Photographer J. Carino:

Gilmar, Solange, Sandra Nunes,Jeanne Rouvvier, Ignez, Barbara
Getting ready for the group photo:

Artists at work:
Augusto Marques...

Patricia Newman...

Pedro da Costa...


Sandro, Maria Eunice...Alencar...
Claudite, Chung...

Ig Longuiño...

Therezinha Hillal(President of Fine Arts Brazilian Society),Cristina Bicalho, Ricardo Newton and Sandra Nunes

The Group: Once more, several participating artists missing ...I could not gather everybody..It´s been a great experience to coordinate this event here, watching plein air painting get exposure and growing.
The works resulting from this event will be in a show in Brazilian Fine Artist Society from September 28th.
As soon as I can, I´ll post some photos of this event in other states...

Posted bySandra Nunes at 7:10 PM 0 comments  

Nossa Senhora da Paz Curch


This time I wanted to capture a beach scene with some figures. I went to Ipanema district, but on my way I was caught by this exquisite light on the church.
The beach scene was called off. I had to capture that. Certainly I´ll go back there to observe it from another point of view.

Nossa Senhora da Paz Church op 27x22cm - Sandra Nunes

Posted bySandra Nunes at 5:07 PM 2 comments  

Back to Cara de Cao Hill

This was a week of sudden changes of weather. For the third time this year I returned to Cara de Cao hill,I was sure that it would rain, but even so I picked a larger format, the gray day was inviting me to paint.
This time I had one more challenge, the wind started gently to blow and I had to be careful so that my light easel wouldn´t fly.

Rainy day in Urca - Sandra Nunes oil on linen 50x70cm

p.s. I´m so sorry I misposted this one. I had previously posted this in Portuguese!

Posted bySandra Nunes at 8:43 PM 0 comments  

Painting Reminiscences

Joao Homem Street - Conceicao Hill
There are some places in Rio de Janeiro where time seems to have stopped or goes slower. One of these places is Conceicao Hill.Besides being an important historical landmark of the city and of Brazil it is an island of peacefullness.

Beautiful centenary houses, located in the port area and surrounded by skyscrapers this site is a rarity.Children playing on the streets, neighbours (most of them Portuguese descendents) talking to each other from their windows... there is a calm atmosphere, a tranquility that contrasts with urban noises and nearby sounds.

This day I walked up and down the narrow streets and alleys before I found this one. I could not resist the charming colorful old houses bathed by the morning sunlight.I had to open my easel and paint a piece of this oasis.

Joao Homem Street- o/c 61x38cm - Sandra Nunes

Posted bySandra Nunes at 11:03 PM 4 comments  

Urca- Clearing Skies

Undefined weather, after a rainy night the sky starts to clear and the dance of the clouds creates a beautiful show on the water. I had to work fast and I hope I did justice in capturing the exquisite winter light.

Urca- Clearing Sky - oil on linen 38x46cm - Sandra Nunes

Posted bySandra Nunes at 11:56 PM 0 comments  

Victoria Regia - Victoria Amazonica

The Star of the Waters
Its a privilege to witness the blooming of this tropical water lily in Botanic Garden bathed by the warm sun of May. It is a perfect combination of colors, smells... and it´s a pity their flowers last only three days...

Vitoria Regia- Victoria Amazonica op 22x27cm Sandra Nunes

Take a look at a larger version I did based on this composition here

Posted bySandra Nunes at 7:25 PM 0 comments  

Candelaria Church

Candelaria Church

A walking tour through dowtown Rio de Janeiro can be a trip to the past...

Candelaria Church oil on canvas 27x22cm - Sandra Nunes

Posted bySandra Nunes at 10:26 AM 5 comments  

Quinta da Boa Vista - ( Park of the Nice View)

This place has an interesting history for Brazilians' life and specially for Rio de Janeiro inhabitants. First, these lands belonged to the Catholic Church priests, then they were divided among Portuguese slave merchants. One of them built a palace on the top of a hill from where he could watch Rio de Janeiro astonishing view, hence the name "Park of Nice View". When the Royal family came to live in Brazil(1808) this property was "donated" to the Emperor (in fact it was traded for a nobility title), then it became one of The Royal Family´s residences in Rio de Janeiro till the end of XIXth century.
Nowadays this park located in the north zone of the city shelters the Zoo and The Brazilian National Museum.

Besides all this history, what attracted me in this composition was how to depict with brushstrokes on the canvas the huge area of different hues of green surrounding the lake having Corcovado mountain as background. Families and lovers in red "pedalinhos" gliding over the water mirror ...
This scenery is part of the emotional memory of most of Rio de Janeiro inhabitants who go, or used to go there for a Sunday picnic with family, school mates or for a romantic stroll.

Quinta da Boa Vista - oil on canvas 54x65cm- Sandra Nunes

Posted bySandra Nunes at 10:54 AM 1 comments  

Blooming Silk Cotton Trees

April Flowers
It´s been two or three weeks that whenever I pass by Flamengo Park a rich red spot calls my attention. It´s time for the silk cotton tree to bloom here.
Between the two freeway lanes which runs across the park a lone specimen performs its daily show.
As this area is interdict to the traffic on Sundays, I decided to cross the street and give the tree a closer look.

Sandra Nunes painting silk cotton tree

I remained for a long time observing the character of this exquisite young tree admiring its flowers, its upright trunk, its green leaves that should not be there anymore if the weather were dryer.

Red Silk Cotton Tree - oil on panel27X22cm -Sandra Nunes
After finishing this painting, I started to gather my brushes and paints, when I was almost ready to close my easel I turned back and a leafy pink silk cotton tree invites me to sit under its shade. In fact I called it leafy for lack of a better word, there were just a few green leaves left. Its lush canopy was almost completely made of flowers!
I could not resist , I had to answer to this appeal, I was carried away by the abstract masses of color and this time my emotional response was much more immediate...

Pink Silk Cotton Tree - oil on panel 22x27cm - Sandra Nunes

Posted bySandra Nunes at 5:55 PM 2 comments  

Largo das Neves, Santa Teresa

Where the tram turns around

Surrounded by beautiful small two store buildings from 19th century, this Santa Teresa´s bucolic square often acts as scenario for movies and commercial ads. I set up my painting gear in front of the old church and started my composition.
The tram had already its place reserved on my canvas, it was just a matter of time and it would come to model for me. When it started its run my work was already structured and little by little the lazy Sunday morning started to wake up; locals and tourists heading the center of the square called my attention, from far away it could be heard the sound of berimbau (Brazilian musical instrument). People started to gather and I heard from a passerby that a Brazilian Capoeira show would start in some minutes.For a short period of time I was undecided, should I watch the show or should I go on with my painting? This sort of game, fight, dance is really amazing the players literally fly!
The unexpected crowd jumped into my canvas in quick brushstrokes. I had made my mind for the painting. When I finally could close my easel, the show was about to come to its end.

Largo das Neves, Santa Teresa –oil on linen 60x80cm – Sandra Nunes

If you liked this one you will like to see these paintings.

Posted bySandra Nunes at 10:27 AM 4 comments  

Plein Air Painting time lapse demo

This is a short clip registering 3.30 h. work condensed in 1.55". It is very cumbersome to do this on a busy the sidewalk and it wouldn´t have been possible without assistance.

Catete Street, Rio de Janeiro oil on linen 54x65cm

Posted bySandra Nunes at 7:09 PM 2 comments  

Sunny Day at Guanabara Bay

Finally the sun came for two days in a row and with it the weather that suits this city so well. From the first hours of the day on we can learn that the temperature is going to be very high, what can also be a challenge to the plein air painter.

I headed to the same spot where I did the first 2009 plein air painting (please, check the previous post) in search of that friendly leafy tree which gave me shelter from the rain. This time it provided me the shade I needed to protect me from the unbearable warmth of the sun.

I decided to do the same composition of the last sketch just for fun and the silvery grays gave way to the warm light of Rio de Janeiro summertime.

Sunny Day at Guanabara Bay - oil on panel 16x22cm -Sandra Nunes

Posted bySandra Nunes at 8:16 PM 0 comments  

Sketching in the Rain

The weather didn´t give a signal of improving and my desire of painting outdoors was increasing at each rainy day. I decided to take the risk and despite the threatening heavy clouds in the sky, I went in search of that beautiful light that only rainy days can provide. I went to the seashore where the reflective water surface shows thousands of gray hues and the wind that moves the vessels provoques exquisite graphisms.

I found a huge leafy tree which, like a big green umbrella, would protect me for a time from an upcoming heavy rain . I sat on the bulwark and I thought I´d better not attaching the tripod to my pochade box as in case of an emergency it would be faster to get out.

The quality of the photo above isn´t that good as when I asked a nice couple to take it, I didn´t realize the camera was in recording mode, so this is a still of a movie.
Due to the circumstances I knew I had to work faster than fast, it was a real fight against the time lacking to start to rain, who would win? I started to say my mantra: simplify… simplify… get the essence...essence...essence ...

Well, end of the story: It rained(not so heavily) but the generous tree protected me from the drizzle and this is the result of my adventure:

First 2009 plein air painting:
Rainy Day at Guanabara Bay - oil on panel 16x22cm- Sandra Nunes

Posted bySandra Nunes at 7:54 PM 0 comments  

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