Archive | November, 2017

Giving Thanks

26 Nov

Having traveled home to Bacalar (seven hour bus ride and 1.5 hour flight), from Oaxaca the day before Thanksgiving, I was in no mood. Thanksgiving takes work, planning, shopping and cooking. Even a potluck has its own tasks and cleanup. Bacalar is not Merida or Oaxaca with it’s large US immigrant population, enough for a restaurant to put on a high-priced, reservation only feast. So we stayed home. Lisa watched no football and I didn’t even think about the Macy’s Day parade, a childhood tradition. Just another day in paradise.

Goddesses in acrylic.

Mind you, I am NOT complaining. We are home bodies and not attached to a particular day to be grateful. I don’t need Christmas or a birthday to buy someone a gift, nor Valentine’s Day to express my love. Everyday is a treasure and I do my best to remember it.

Tiny watercolor and ink sketches.

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The concrete block planter on my roof. My Thanksgiving activity.

Oaxaca was a blast. I learned to step into MY style of painting, listening to what the work is telling me. I was glad for the feedback as I am my own worst critic. The plan is to keep painting and be grateful for what it teaches me. What is your life teaching you?

DOS TORTAS

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Fearless Painting Oaxaca

19 Nov

There is no better place for inspiration than Oaxaca, Mexico. The streets are full of sights and sounds, color and whimsy. So when Connie Solera of Dirty Footprints Studio posted her painting workshop in Oaxaca for November 2017, I signed up! (If you want more of the backstory check out my March 2017 blogs).

 

 

#arthouseoaxaca

Since I am currently busy painting, I will give you a taste of what’s going on with a promise to post more next week. You can also check out my Instagram page dos_tortas.

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A chance to play with acrylic paints.

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There had to be a Guadalupe in there somewhere.

Random thoughts from this week’s workshop:

If there’s water – SWIM – in a pool, pond, laguna, waterfall, river, spring, cenote – move water around…

If there’s music – DANCE – at a party, in the grocery store, mercado, on the street – wiggle your hips, twirl, clap, move your feet, even if no one else is…

If there’s paint – grab a brush, use your hands, and smear some color, PAINT on paper, wall, cardboard, fabric – don’t worry for an end result, or if others will like it – listen to your inner voice, feel, be fearless…

Do it today, don’t wait, your soul is craving freedom. SING, MAKE MUSIC, GET OUTSIDE, RIDE A BIKE. The possibilities are endless.

DOS TORTAS

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No Wrong Turns in Mexico

12 Nov

Murals are an integral part of Mexican culture dating back to the ancients who decorated their homes with frescos that told stories of everything from human sacrifice to everyday life. In the 1920s the Mexican government used murals and even financially supported muralists, Diego Rivera being the most famous, to educate people on the new post-revolutionary order. Murals adorn every village in Mexico with health messages to whimsy.

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Mural in the stairwell of the National Palace in Mexico City. Diego Rivera

Today, whole villages are painted bright colors to create pride and interest for their residences.

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A small village not far from Bacalar.

We recently learned of a mural project in the village of nearby Chacchoben. Guests of our neighbors stumbled upon it by taking a wrong turn, on the way to visit some nearby pyramids. Of course we had to check it out. There are no wrong turns in Mexico.

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The village has been transformed.

A Mexico City artist, Carmen Mondragón, now living in Quitana Roo worked with residents to paint eighty lovely murals on the walls of their village of 1,700 people.

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The artist at work from her website.

The idea was to bring art to the people. There are streets of butterflies, ladybugs, flamingoes, and lovely little Mayan people adorning the stores, school, town square and even abandoned buildings.

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Everywhere we looked were delightful paintings.

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I especially love her people.

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As much as I love to share finds like this one, I cringe to think what tourism could do to this sleepy little town. We saw others taking pictures so word is getting out slowly. I’d love to meet Carmen and sent her a message through Facebook. Fingers crossed. I am off this week to Oaxaca for a week of painting with artist Connie Solera. Just maybe painting murals will be somewhere in my future. DOS TORTAS

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Gallery

Bread for the Dead

5 Nov

Enjoy this blog from Casa Colibrí on Day of the Day events in Oaxaca. 

Pan de Muertos in Tlacolula mercado - October 29, 2017

View From Casita Colibrí

When Día de Muertos approaches, the panaderías (bakeries) work overtime to fill their shelves and counters with Pan de Muertos — an egg based bread, sometimes elaborately decorated, but always with a cabecita (also known as a muñeca), a little painted flour dough head, at the top.

The most intricately decorated bread comes from Mitla.  For a few years, Mitla held a Pan de Muertos fair and competition, with prizes for decoration.  Alas, because their bread is in such demand, the feria was halted two years ago as the bakers put a priority on attending to their customers needs — this is their livelihood, after all!

However, the small pueblo, Villa Díaz Ordaz picked up the slack and last year began holding a Festival del Pan de Muertos.  The village is off the beaten path and the festival hasn’t yet drawn much in the way of tourism, but it’s a…

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