Ajijic

Ajijic People, Conchita, the Weaver

weaver-web.jpg

I first met Conchita in August of 2017.  I did not learn her name or who she was until I returned to Ajijic five months later.  It was in a late August afternoon and the sun was getting very low in the sky. I was surprised to see her weaving at such a late hour and in such a remote place.  She was near the lake but  a little far from the malacon.  I was just walking and sort of stumbled upon her.   I didn’t expect to find such a treasure in such an isolated spot along the lake.  She was outside the malacon and that area does not get much traffic except for horses and old men.

I later learned from people that this is her work station because of the two big trees nearby.  She uses them to hang her weavings from and she also uses one of the trees to mount her loom on.  That way she can lean back a little and get tension on the work.  You can’t pass the shuttle through the warp and the weft unless there is tension on the loom.

At the time there was so many works displayed; not only hanging but in neat piles and piles or bags and purses and smaller ones, like small bags or pillows.  I was puzzled at how she could store them at nightfall here and not worry about theft.  I remember looking around and seeing nothing that could pass as a shelter.    I could not understand how she could possibly store her work there before going home.  I think I just assumed some family member or friend would come to pick her up.  How wrong I was.  The truth is she packs everything up and wheels it all home with a cart up a steep hill–without help.

I knew I wanted to know her and paint her.  She has a tenacious spirit and she is probably the hardest working person I have met here.  She is friendly,  sweet, has a sense of humor and a humility that is usual for local artisans.

She is tiny, has sparkling eyes and her hands are strong.   I came back several times to see her. The last time  I was able to buy one of her big woven bags that I did not have the money for last summer.  It was still there and we were able to extricate it from the bottom of one of her piles.  I remembered the bag and the pattern.  I use it every day and it’s perfect for my Spanish books.

Here is a link a friend just found for me about her from Ajijic News Calendar.  I was excited to know that I had painted her before I read about her. Apparently lots of people know and love her. Read more about her story.   I hope to keep you posted  on her from time to time.

You can purchase a print or garment with my painting here

 

 

 

Ajijic, people

Ajijic’s People: Dave the sculptor and part-time Orange Juice Guy

orange-juice-web

I know it’s just not me, but I believe there are people here in Ajijic who definitely make a difference.  They  make an impact on our daily lives.  Being a newbie here, I can only comment on some of the ones who have impressed me enough to photograph and paint them.  I like to call them “people landmarks” because when you talk about them to friends, they respond with  “Oh yeah, I know him, or I’ve seen her.”  Usually they are vendors who have a following and a great variety of merchandise they collect and sell, or they are artisans themselves.  

They usually claim a street corner or familiar area where they’ve built their reputation.  I know that my “orange juice guy” can be found in front of Guadalajara Pharmacy on the Carretera.

Dave is an artist–a sculptor. He wears more than one hat which many of us have to do,  I’ve bought juice from him before and it is really good juice.  He’s one of several people I have enjoyed photographing and painting in watercolor.  He has a very friendly nature.  He always has a big smile and love for conversation and a little pleasant joking.  He takes great pride in what he does.  He is always cutting, cleaning, organizing his booth and presenting his beautiful juice with an air of confidence and generosity.  How could you not buy juice from him?

He certainly loves this juicer.  I do too.  It’s one of those tools that is really well built and functions without electricity or batteries.  It’s durable, honest and trustworthy. It’s like his good oranges and clean knives and counter.  I have never seen such a super sized juicer and watching him operate it is a pleasure.  I can only imagine how excited he must have been when he bought it.

He plays it like a violinist plays his violin. Buen provecho. 

buy prints here


 

Ajijic, dogs, horses, cats, people

Baby Burro

a click of the pic for prints
burro-girl
This young girl loves her little burro.  She’s proud of him.  She carries him along with a bunch of Asian Lilies in the marketplace.  She could have been me or I could have been her a long time ago.  Silly thought I know, but a fun animal and colorful flowers make for a feel-good sketch in watercolor.

 

 

Ajijic, flora and fauna

Ajijic Plaza Umbrellas

AjijicPlaza copy-web.jpgThis is a small scene in the downtown Centro Plaza in Ajijic, Mexico. It’s a relaxed and sometimes very busy place.  Weekends find artisans selling their wares, musicians playing their instruments in festive songs. Generally it’s a busy but festive place. You can get and ice cream and sit on a bench and people watch or meet friends for lunch at nearby restaurants.  Food carts await and taxis sit at their stations ready to bring you anywhere you want to go.

The atmosphere is always friendly and there’s always the sound of laughter of happy children running in and out of the gazebo.  It’s a wonderful place to share with friends.  Flower are always blooming Ajijic Plaza umbrellas  against a clear blue sky.

Ajijic, Places

Empty Church

Ajijic-empty-church-web

I first saw this unique building from a friend’s balcony high on the hill.  I knew it was something that needed to explore.  That was in August.  It is now January and I have since  moved to Ajijic. This was on my  ‘to do’ list and  this mysterious building turned into one of my first watercolors here.

My roommate and I figured we could get there by hiking down the steep and somewhat tricky footpath from our house.  We could see it pretty clearly from our azotea or rooftop.  That first hike was exciting and there were surprises along the way:  fresh sage bushes, small chickens and a small rooster as well as goats and their herder.  Like all things Ajijic, every step needed to be carefully taken.  Slippery rocks, water, mud and the like can be unfriendly.

When we reached the bottom of the hill, this wonderful building seemed to glow in the late afternoon sun.  It really was pink and yellow.  The building looked like it was never completed and even though a stone wall separated us, breaks in the wall showed us we could see it was empty.  The arches and three domes with their wooden crosses were signature markings.  So this is the second painting in this new series,  It’s very motivating to see new things to paint that intrigue and inspire.  This is identified as Capilla Vieja del Panteon Municipal De San Antonio, Tlayacapan.

This watercolor is available