The joy of painting, thoughts on painting and observation

We consider ourself so fortunate to live in beautiful San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato! The weather is spectacular, sunny, most of the time, not too hot not too cold most of the time. The locals are friendly. All is easy and the days are smooth and peaceful. I paint in the morning as early as 8 AM and keep going until 2 PM or so. The painting just flows and I have so, so many ideas and projects I hope I'll have energy to produce all of them.
I love taking the bus, taxies or just walk around.
I believe one of an artist most important skills is OBSERVATION. It comes, I think from genuine interest in shapes, color, shadows, moods, and personality of a place. Even if I don't sketch I assimilate my environment.
February flower at Cristi Fer Art Studio in
San Miguel de Allende 

As a kid growing us in Bucharest, I remember being interested in all this. After a shopping trip or a day in the park I will return home and paint what I have observed. I loved to watch the shapes and details of the buildings, in the park, the arch of the bridge over a stream, the sky, the trees lining up along the alleys.  I had little instruction and actually non incolor until I started going to school, but painted in oils, which I bought with my allowance money from my grandma and aunts.

In the first grade I was introduced to watercolor, and later experimented with gouache.

I am not sure why all this is coming to my mind. May be it has somthing to do with teaching. I love sharing it all with others who are just starting or well on their way as painters.

We all who work with paint or pencil, have something in common, It is a sort of meditative state, letting the painting be, and only be the tool which expresses it.