White Rock Lake’s Natural Beauty Inspires Mexican Artist Luis Sottil to Paint Two-Story Mural in Mi Cocina in Lakewood

Artistic rendering of an artist's rendering.

I’m a sucker for birds. So is Mexican artist Luis Sottil. You may have seen his work in other Mi Cocina restaurants: he currently has paintings in six other restaurants. The mural at the new Mi Cocina in Lakewood, in the old Matt’s space, is scheduled to open in July. Sottill uses only natural pigments such as cochinella, mother of pearl, minerals, vegetables dyes, and14kt gold in his paintings. For this painting he was inspired by these birds: “Hooded Oriole, Altamira, Golden Cheeked Warbler, Painted Bunting, Texas Hummingbirds, and the Northern Mockingbird.” Tex-Mex for Twitchers!

UPDATE: Scott from dallasfood.org brings up a good point in the comments section. Several of the birds listed above would be a rare sighting at White Rock Lake. The press release reads:

This is the first time Sottil has studied the local natural environment and incorporated it into his Mi Cocina murals. The artist has chosen to feature birds including the Hooded Oriole, Altamira, Golden Cheeked Warbler, Painted Bunting, Texas Hummingbirds and, of course, the Northern Mockingbird.

Luis Sottil was inspired by his research of the history and “exuberant beauty” of White Rock Lake and the Lakewood area, and it reminded him of the lush biodiversity on his native Tampico, Mexico. In particular, Sottil was drawn to the many colorful birds that are common inhabitants of White Rock Lake which reminded him of home.

Hmm. Methinks Sottil should seek the advice of JR Compton and switch out the golden cheeked warbler for a monk parakeet. If you truly want to represent the “exuberant beauty” of White Rock Lake.


  • Scott–DFW

    If Luis Sottil has seen Hooded Oriole, Altamira Oriole, or Golden Cheeked Warbler at White Rock Lake, he needs to report (and substantiate) the sightings immediately, as they would be records for Dallas County. If he hasn’t, then maybe he should say he was inspired by pictures in a field guide (without regard to the accompanying range maps).

  • DGirl

    @Scott – it doesn’t say he saw them, he said he was inspired by them.

  • Seven

    This still doesn’t make me want to eat there. It’s a shame to lose Matt’s in this location.

  • Luis Sottil

    As a Mexican artist, commissioned by Mi Cocina, to create a mural that complimented the continuous cultural growth of the Lakewood area, I was pleasantly surprised to find the unique relationship and sense of belonging that the people enjoy with their cherished environment.

    My purpose for painting is to give voice to the emotions of nature’s beauty, so I often try to incorporate a number of natural elements from a specific geographical location.

    My research is normally based on information that I find through the Audubon Society whenever I am time restricted to get personally involved in a field study.

    In this particular case, I was excited to discover the diverse exuberance of the bird population in the White Rock Lake area. What I didn’t expect, was the enthusiastic response from those who reacted to the D Magazine news release about this project.

    For those who don’t agree with my choice of specific birds because they are not necessarily native, nor on the migration path of the area, I say thank you for the feedback. Your reaction is only proof of the wealth of tradition so proudly guarded by the community.

    In response, I have researched through the local Audubon Society, and obtained the names of birds spotted within the last two weeks. Out of this list, I will incorporate the blue jay, barn swallow and eastern bluebird into the composition.

    I would like to clarify, however, that my decision to have selected these beautiful birds, is based on inspiration, not necessarily factual accuracy.

    My philosophy for painting is to celebrate, through my own Naturalismo Technique, the beauty of nature and to find inspiration through its exotic forms and vibrant colors….to tell a story through my canvases about the vast opportunities we all enjoy to uplift our spirits.

    During the process of embracing the emotions of the various natural habitats, I may use my artistic license in order to enlarge the eyes of the animals, or enhance their colors with the use of natural pigments, in order to achieve my goal.

    I am honored to have the opportunity to create a mural that applauds the beauty of the people of Lakewood and their environment.

    Luis Sottil

  • Scott–DFW

    Good luck with the painting, Luis. And give serious consideration to Nancy’s suggestion of Monk Parakeet.

  • Paul

    It looks beautiful and I look forward to the opening. I do hope that an effort is made to address noise levels. All of the hard surfaces and open space made the “new” Matt’s a very noisy and sometimes unpleasant dining experience.

  • Epifanio

    Mr. Luis Sottil – you are a gentleman and a talented artist. I am touched by your response and cant wait to see your works around town. You seem so kind and humble and the world needs more people like you. Good luck to you sir and I want to see your paintings soon.