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.
I saw this woman a few months ago cleaning a doctor’s office. I was struck by the beautiful light coming from the open door. Inside was dark and she was almost in silhouette. I could not get her image out of my head. So here she is in watercolor in a fairly large painting.
In Mexico, you see women with the revered string mop just about every day. They sweep and then mop. It isn’t as easy as it sounds. I’ve tried it a few times and I’ve given up. I don’t try anymore. Now Betty does it for me and I really appreciate her.
I just love the image as it is a celebration of our everyday lives. We should always appreciate these little gifts of a simple life, as they make us more human and more humble.
I had an accident on the carretera a few weeks ago (the main drag) and damaged my knee. I now have a few weeks of pain under my belt: a leg brace, a walker and general all around disability that I am ready to leave behind. I want this to go away but it’s not happening yet.
In the meantime I am still working on my Spanish, I go to class when I am up to it and I try to fumble through as much speaking as I can. It’s getting better. Painting makes everything fell better. It’s my comfort zone. If I am not feeling any pain I can paint– if I have enough energy. If I can speak a few words to my friends and neighbors en espanol, it makes me feel like I’m getting something done. I have amazing friends and family. That makes all the difference in the world.
I am painting flowers and sketching them almost on a daily basis.
I am posting to my POD sites online pretty regularly. I’ve got two major sites I’m working with and my almost daily Facebook postings keep me in touch with my friends here in Mexico and also in the states. I am corresponding with the art community here and online. I love people and they are holding me up almost on a daily basis.
The fall has been very hard on my psyche and the recovery is very slow. Cracked bones don’t heal quickly and it’s tough being temporarily disabled. Mostly it’s the trauma of the event that can be depressing. I try to not think about it because it’s so scary. I am grateful for my internal time table that pushes me to produce so much art. It’s not every day in your life that you can be motivated to paint and draw. Only since I have been in Mexico can I actually do it and not just think about it. I have the vision of painting the people here, their simple daily lives and the work they do.
Ever since I can remember I have had an obsession to document my little life, from sketchbooks, to articles, to letters, to greeting cards. It never really goes anywhere except to realize that it’s a part of me and who I am. I am learning to accept it.
This recording of events may be silly and useless to lots of people, but it has been my way of coping with good and bad happenings. It is what it is: so if I can turn it into something that others can gain any hope or encouragement from, I’ll just continue to do it and then forget about it, and move on.
So the original is SOLD and now in a new home in Jojotepec.
print available for purchase Jimmy loves her orchids, her garden, her life. Orchids to her are more of a life-style than a hobby. So when she invited me to her home to see them, of course I was eager. It was a treat. I wish I could remember all the names and things she told me about them, but I can’t.
There are three gardens. First there is the front garden which you see when you enter through the black metal gates. Then there is the orchid garden which is an enclosed patio from the house and lastly, there is the fruit orchard and flower bed garden at the back.
When you are walking through San Antonio, (an area in Ajijic) you see many sets of metal gates. You really can’t guess what lies behind them. There are homes and gardens of unimaginable intrigue and beauty. I love Mexico for all its surprises
Jimmy is a walking encyclopedia about orchids. It’s a full time job to keep everything watered and pruned and looking happy and pristine. I don’t know how she racks up the energy, walking with her cane, to do all of her daily chores to maintain this lifestyle.
When you enter the house, you see a table, a mirror and a collection of hats that she makes. It’s a welcoming site.
She makes hats and knits for babies for charity and does much more.
My favoritething she told me was when she went to elementary school in a one-room school house. She always asked a lot of questions, to the annoyance of adults around her. One day a new teacher told her she could ask as many questions as she liked. She jumped for joy and went home saying, “My teacher said I could ask any questions I wanted.” She said it was the happiest day of her life. She still is an independent spirit.
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.