Walking in downtown Ajijic, along a small crowded street, a shock of white caught my eye. It was coming from a dark doorway. I couldn’t make out what it was exactly so I stepped closer to get a better look. There were art objects in the doorway as well; a big earthenware bare brown jug with a minimum of decoration, as well as tables with sculptures and displayed paintings.
Then I saw the white of the lilies. I snapped some shots and felt privileged. I just loved them. They were dropping red pollen from their stamens onto the lower gigantic petals. They were on their last leg as cut flowers. I knew them as stargazer lilies. I had grown them in Washington. Mine were many colors of pinks, but I had never seen white ones like these. I looked up and saw a woman staring at me and smiling. Apparently I thought I was walking into an art gallery when in reality, I walked right into someone’s studio. I was embarrassed and apologized and stepped back quickly. She did not seem to mind.
I felt both silly and lucky at the same time.
Even though I have been in Mexico almost a year, I have not seen one calla lily yet. I have seen only a few backyard versions while walking in my neighborhood. They were shades of red and I noticed that they seemed happy in shady gardens.
Diego Rivera painted many works using the calla lily. Even though we see these images over and over just about everywhere, I don’t get tired of them. He also painted them so well that he transformed from the well known flower into abstract shapes molded around his figures as perfect adornments. He found a perfect prop for his figures and faces.
So lilies of all kinds have been on my painting list for a while. Here is what I painted today from my photo. The red grains are pollen. Click the picture to purchase a print.
If you would like to grow some of your own calla lilies, this is a good site for information.
To learn more about stargazer lillies…
Here’s a lovely little video of a bee collecting pollen. It’s relaxing and I’ve watched it a few times. Nature is amazing.