You still have a chance to view Toro’s delightful “Westi Lost in the Park” series of colorful paintings at the offices of King William Association. Toro is a local artist and native Texan with a studio at Lonestar Art Space. After attending the San Antonio Art Institute in the 1990s, he was encouraged by his mentor, Linda Pace, to travel abroad. Toro studied in the Netherlands and traveled to Jerusalem.

Once home and working on his paintings, Toro began to experiment with homemade pigments. He was searching for a certain quality with an aluminum effect. His frustration in finding what he was searching for led him to mix different organic and inorganic items into paints. He started by cutting up aluminum cans with pliers. The pieces were not fine enough and this led him to using a coffee grinder to make a finer grade. Once he learned how to make his own paint, he found a mill in Houston to make his required ingredient.

Toro continued to experiment with adding flower petals, seeds, crushed chipotle peppers and bee pollen to his pigments. He finally achieved the qualities that he was looking for. These paints are used with great effect in his paintings. Plan to stop by during office hours to see his colorful expressions before the exhibit ends. - Nora Peterson