San Jose MissionBorn in Acomayo, Cusco, Peru in 1955, Sonco Carrasco moved to the city of Arequipa early in his childhood, where he was undeniably inspired by its charming countryside.
Over the years Carrasco mastered the medium of watercolor paint; striving to create the picturesque landscapes, culture and invigorates of traditional ways of life.
Carrasco is considered a master watercolorist, having been recognized by the international artist community; winning the National Prize of Watercolors Award in 1984- presented by the North-American Peruvian Cultural Institute. Although based in Peru, Carrasco has traveled internationally, showcasing National treasures like the Alamo in his artwork.
San Jose Mission is a watercolor painting that simplifies the rustic life of the Missions. Elementary in imagery, there is no need to over-stimulate the viewer with the crowded living conditions of the reality of such existences, but Carrasco chooses instead to insert two donkeys with a peasant in the exact middle of the painting. With his/her back to the audience, we see them hard at work-loading or unloading supplies. However, the destitute surroundings indicate this is not the hustling heyday of missionary living.
This is a painting about the ideal moment of this Mission’s grounds. Lush vegetation, blooming foliage, and most importantly, no tourists- illustrate his decision to showcase an inviting scenario of this San Antonio landmark.
As a watercolorist, Carrasco uses several techniques to achieve the stylistic aesthetic. Wet on wet modus operandi with blue, white and pink paint in the sky create a billowing partly cloudy sky; giving shade at the ideal times for these weary donkeys.
The flawless mission walls have hints of similar methods while mixed with pristine architectural and detail oriented precision. The impressionistic qualities of the cactus, palm, and brush drop their visual importance to scenic filler, never drawing attention away from the iconic building and its visitor.
Compositionally the center building wall line is placed purposefully in the exact center of the painting, bringing your eye right down onto the secondary subjects. Bookending this working class troika are the cactus plants; holding our gaze as we contemplate the life of peasant husbandry. ©
-Gabriel Diego Delgado
J.R. Mooney Galleries
San Jose Mission
22 x 30”