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Julian paints the tropics in Mexico

In 1956, Julian decided he needed a change. He convinced Hilde to sell their Woodland Hills home and to head for Mexico. They first settled in San Blas, Nayarit where Julian began painting his first tropical landscapes. Julian wrote in a note published in the Los Angeles Times "the place is a paradise for landscape painters and living is cheap."

Julian noted that the area had a special character with the light bathing the town in yellowish green. He became fascinated with the colors blue and green. Julian said of the San Blas paintings that they informed him with a new sense of color.

Julian said later, "My time in San Blas was important to me. I developed a new conception of color and a self-assurance which made me a better painter."

Julian and his family later travelled by car through the interior of Mexico on their way to Veracruz and then Campeche. The family then travelled by boat to Merida where Julian left them as he travelled alone for a few days to Cancun and Islas Mujeres. Some of the paintings from the Mexican interior were very different from the coastal paintings and presaged the technique he would employ in many of his South Pacific paintings. For example, compare "Mexican Woman" to the lighter and brighter "Beached". "Mexican Woman" has a very different feel to it than the Mexican coastal paintings.

Please visit the Tropical Landscapes from Mexico Gallery to see our collection of Julian Ritter paintings done in and around San Blas and Nayarit state in Mexico during 1956 and 1957.