ice cream, people, Places

Selling ice cream (helado) by the Lake

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This wonderful happy man can be seen in the villlage of Chapala Mexico in the state of Jalisco.  On weekends you can pretty much always find him pushing his tomato red cart.  He sells ice cream, called helado in Spanish.   He has lots of flavors to make you happy.  The atmosphere is pleasant and the malecon (tiled walkway along the water’s edge) and the plaza are just lovely.  The lake is beautiful and cools the air. Right now there has been so much rain that the lake is the highest its been in 50 years.

You can stroll and eat and take in all the sights and sounds.  Very often you can find people dancing in the plaza to the music of local musicians.  Some of the bands will be a collection of guitars, drums, and various brasses including tubas.  Chapala is a great town.  Some may call it a city.  If it sounds like I am selling the place, I’m not really.  I just enjoy it.

In Mexico they churn the ice cream by hand, in huge metal canisters called garrafas. The canisters are filled with the ice cream base and placed inside of wooden barrels full of ice and salt, and then it’s someone’s job to stir the ice cream with a large wooden paddle as it slowly freezes.

This technique gives the ice cream a unique texture. “Mexican ice cream is closer to gelato, as it has less fat and air than American style,”

When I saw this guy, I was immediately attracted to the cart and his infectious smile.  I just had to paint him.  happy   happy   happy.

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If you are interested, click the picture to purchase a print or a textile of this watercolor.

Read more about making Ice Cream in Mexico here:
http://www.tastecooking.com/mexicanicecream

Holidays, people

Day of the Dead watercolor

This is my newest watercolor of the most exciting days to come here in Mexico. It will be happening soon and I can’t wait.
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For a painter, I can’t think of a more colorful subject matter than dia de los muertos. Creativity abounds when everyday people take pleasure in the celebration of this most wonderful holiday.  I think their body language shows the love and care they have for each other and the joy of these special days.

Day of the Dead (known as Día de Muertos in Spanish) is celebrated in Mexico between October 31st and November 2nd. On this holiday, Mexicans remember and honor their deceased loved ones. It’s not a gloomy or morbid occasion, rather it is a festive and colorful holiday celebrating the lives of those who have passed on. Mexicans visit cemeteries, decorate the graves and spend time there, in the presence of their deceased friends and family members. They also make elaborately decorated altars  (called ofrendas) in their homes to welcome the spirits.
The belief behind Day of the Dead practices is that spirits return to the world of the living for one day of the year to be with their families. It is said that the spirits of babies and children who have died (called angelitos, “little angels”) arrive on October 31st at midnight, spend an entire day with their families and then leave. Adults come the following day.

Thanks Vikki Rennick for your photo that was the inspiration for this artwork.

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people

Guitar Player

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I painted this in July and forgot to include it in the blog  Better late than never.

Meeting friends in downtown Chapala and  walking the malacon after dinner, I spotted this young man in a crowd, meandering his way through the restaurant umbrellas.  I did not see his face but he had a quick step of happiness in his stride.

Of course, I had to paint him. I loved the way he casually slung the guitar over his back and he was definitely walking with a purpose.  I wondered, “was this before or after a gig?”

It’s a treat to see he wore a pink shirt and straw hat.  Of course!  Thank you kind sir for your happy stride.

prints available here

Ajijic

Wine Seller at the Plaza

If you are not having a great day, sitting at the Ajijic Cultural Plaza will cheer you up.  It’s fun to get a snack or cool drink and just watch what goes by.  There are the usual vendors who have a lot of exciting things and are always showing something new.  People strolling, singing, children playing, and flowers and great foods are a staple.

And then there are the very unique

This man makes a drink called “tuba”.  It’s a fermented coconut wine.  To start with, he climbs to the top of a tall coconut tree and with his machete in hand he slices off a piece of the center growth (the pure sap of the tree) and transfers the liquid into a container.   This liquid gold is  the ingredient he needs to make his drink.  He sets the stage for fermentation. He uses sugar,  yeast and I’m sure other secrets.  It is a short fermentation and is meant to be used quickly, compared to other wines.

He sells his drink from the “bule”.  This one is colored red, most are yellow or tan.

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I loved painting him because of his jolly personality.  I don’t know if I captured his sweetness and joy but here he is if you would like to purchase a print.

 

 

Ajijic, people

4 Musicians in Mexico, painting completed

Link to purchase my painting

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These musicians can be heard in various venues around Ajijic.  Their music is very pleasant and rich.  I love the combination of instruments. They come in and do their thing while people enjoy, converse and eat.  I noticed that generally people don’t seem to listen much…maybe that’s my personal opinion.  But I loved the mix of instruments and above all, the way they communicate with each other; and that comes back to us, filling the room with music.

Listening to them reminded me of many nights going to little jazz clubs years ago in Los Angeles.  It was so easy to drift into the  music and lose your daily woes.  It gave me the opportunity to get lost in the moment where music can allow you to raise your presence from your body to a higher level.

I am happy to say those memories are renewed here in Mexico.