Who is the little man that sits in a chair on top of the bureau in your pictures?
“He is Don Pedrito Jaramillo, curandero from Falfurrias, Texas. He died in 1907 and is buried near the town.”
The scene in your painting Bed for Dreams is identical to one in the movie Selena that was written and directed by Gregory Nava. Had he seen your painting before making the movie?
“There is a direct connection from the Selena film to my painting Bed for Dreams. Mr. Nava invited me to come down to L.A. and present a slide lecture for him and his film crew after seeing my art work in my children’s books. Chicano Art inspired Mr. Nava in the creation of his other films. Since I am from Texas as was Selena he felt my artwork was a perfect source of ideas for scenes, the most recogonizable being the Bed for Dreams.”
How did you and your sister get on top of your roof?
“Here is a clue: The leaves and tendrils of the watermelons crawl up and lead you there.”
Your paintings Sandia / Watermelon and Cakewalk have been the subject of much discussion. These pieces are wonderful jumping off points for discussing different cultures and families. Our school population is a huge ethnic mix, the primary being South East Asian. Looking at Cakewalk it was noted many subjects were wearing hats including the young lady on the crutches. The students were wondering why the hats and did the young lady on crutches loose a leg in some type of conflict? Perhaps the conflict question stems from many of these being the children of war refugees.
“The hats are caps that the American GI Forum members (Mexican American World War II veterans, their wives and other supporters) use during organization functions. The caps are flat, made of wool cloth and are of the same shape as those worn by the USA military like the air force and the army.
The lady with one leg is Matilde, the owner of the store and also a member of the American GI Forum. We did not know how she lost her leg and our parents said it was not polite to ask. We hardly noticed because she was fun to talk with and she always rewarded us with a free candy when we went to her store on errands for our parents.”
I am a college student looking for information about one of your artworks “El Milagro.” I have looked on your web site and found no information regarding it. Basically I am looking for your reason for painting it, the definition and description of the painting. If no such information is available, I will appreciate at least a web site or book that I can look at since I have a presentation on it and I have nothing to show.
“My children’s book “In My Family” has “El Milagro” and even though it is a children’s book it will give you the basic information you asked for plus you can us it in your presentation.”
Do you sell children’s picture books?
“I don’t handle the sale of the books. You can order the books directly from my publisher Lee & Low Books.”
When is your next book coming out?
“It takes me several years to paint enough images for one book. Usually the books contain 13 to 15 paintings. Each painting takes from 3 to 9 months to complete.”
Will you autograph my copies of your books, photos, or autograph books?
“I will autograph your copy of my books if you send it to my US post office box: PO Box 881683, San Francisco, CA 94188-1683. Send it in a re-usable box or envelope AND include the correct postage and a completed mailing label so I can mail it back to you.
Which books do you recommend reading for more information about your artwork?
Carmen Lomas Garza, an A Ver Series book by Texas Tech Professor Constance Cortez (ISBN 9780895511249)
I no longer sell posters or mass-produced offset prints. The fine art prints that are available for sale are in limited editions and are listed in the FINE ART PRINTS on my website.
Will you give copies of your books / posters to our school?
“I wish I had a large inventory of books and posters that I could give away but I do not. If I want copies of my own books I have to buy them from the publisher and pay for shipping.”
Will you donate an artwork for our fundraising art auction?
“Very frequently I am often asked for donations of my art work by all kinds of organizations and worthy special causes. I am honored that people want my artwork but I can not afford to donate to every request since sales of my artwork is my main source of income. In addition most people do not realize that when an artist donates artwork the full value of the artwork is not deductible from their income taxes, only the cost of the materials is deductible such as canvas, paper, etc. I prefer to donate artwork to the permanent collection of museums. This insures that many people will enjoy the donation.”
LECTURES & EXHIBITIONS
Will you lecture/exhibit your artwork at our conference/ university/art museum/art center? Will you come to our special event?
“I prefer to do live video chats from my office using the internet. I will exhibit my artwork in accredited institutions in exhibitions curated by their staff.”
Do you sell fine prints of images other than those listed for sale on your web site?
“I have been creating fine lithograph prints based on my existing paintings as a way to make my artwork available to first time collectors. The process is time consuming and expensive which is why not all my images have been made into lithographs prints. The fine prints listed on this web site are the only available prints.”
My wife and I have admired your art from the first time we ever saw it about 15 years ago. I felt very lucky to be able to purchase a lithographic print of “Camas para sueños”. At the time, in the same gallery, “Tamalada” was also available, but I didn’t have enough money to buy both. I have always hoped to find another one for sale. I was wondering if this print is still available? If not, do you know a gallery that might have one for sale? Thanks very much. Your work sustains me on bad days and delights me on good ones. It means a lot.
“When collectors express an interest in a particular lithograph print I advise not delaying collecting the print because the prints continue to sell. The price always goes up as there are fewer prints left in the limited edition. “Tamalada” sold out many years ago and not one collector has expressed an interest in selling more. The first prints sold for $350. The value in the year 2003 for a “Tamalada” print in excellent condition is about $3,000.00.”
The digital giclée print “Tamalada 2003″ arrived in perfect condition, and is a joy to behold. The colors are vivid, the image is sharp and its size commands a presence. Are you printing giclées of your other paintings?
“Most of my digital prints have been scanned from the original paintings to get excellent quality in detail and color. I work very closely with the master printer to get the best color correction to match the painting including when working from a color transparency. As new digital prints are available we post them on my website but you can also send me email to request information on new digital prints currently in production”
COMMISSIONS & ILLUSTATIONS
Do you do portraits or other private commissioned artwork?
“I prefer the freedom to paint my own ideas which is why I am not a portrait painter. Occasionally I will accept a commission to paint in oils one of my images based on a painting that I have already done in gouache paints (opaque watercolors). Check the Artwork page to see which images are available for commission. Paintings already done in oil will not be done in gouache.”
Do you do public art commissions?
“Yes if the project has an adequate budget, if my schedule permits, and if the theme calls for the specific type of artwork that I create.”
Do you illustrate other author’s stories? Will you illustrate my manuscript so I can submit it to a publisher?
“I prefer to spend my time doing artwork for my own books.”
What was the one single thing that made you know at 13 you wanted to be an artist for the rest of your life?
“Attending junior high school for the first time reminded me of my parents advice. My parents always encouraged us to think about what we wanted to be when we grew up. It was mandatory that we finish public school and go to college. I enjoyed creating art since I first saw my mother painting when I was about 8 years old. She inspired me to become an artist and my father supported my goal and encouraged me to also study teaching.”
Will you tell us more about yourself? Will you answer my list of questions for a class report?
“Grade school students working on a report should read my children’s books listed on the publications page and other publications listed in the bibliography. Look into the research links for more information. Some answers to the most frequently asked questions are available on this web site.”
Will you be the subject of my thesis and grant me an interview?
“University graduate students who have taken full advantage of all that is offered on other web sites and researched in libraries (including inter-library loan systems) and still need more information may write to me with specific questions. If my schedule permits I will reply by email to arrange an appointment for a telephone interview to answer your questions. Allow at least 6 weeks for a reply to your initial request.”
PUBLISHING & MARKETING ADVICE
Will you tell me how to publish my story for children?
“Novice writers can find good books on how to publish by looking in the public library and book stores. Ask the librarian for recommendations. Contact publishers and ask them for information on publishing procedures. Also search on the Internet.”
Will you tell me if my idea for a story is good? Will you read my manuscript and give me your opinion
“While I am flattered that you want me to read your manuscript my work schedule does not permit it. Ask your friends and relatives to read it and give you opinions then move on to professionals who make it their business to review manuscripts. Keep writing.”
Will you tell me how to sell my artwork?
“There are many good books on marketing art. You can start with How to Survive & Prosper as an Artist: Selling yourself without selling your soul by Caroll Michels. It contains an excellent list of resources.
Do you own the copyright to your artwork and do you permit publishers to reproduce the artwork?
“I own the copyright to the artwork. Please send an initial inquiry by email and I will respond with a list of questions that will help me formulate the licensing letter and determine the fee.”