It is a pleasure to see individuals setting up and doing business here. Not much equipment is needed to set up the store front. It can be an old fishing boat moored on the beach; an existing wall with a few hangers, some rope and you have a clothing boutique; a space on the beach gives a food stall, plus add a large umbrella, smoking briquettes, a few stools and the groceries.
When you sketch in public spaces you need to be aware of the present and let go of the doing. If an old lady is waving her shotgun from her porch or a young man is throwing pebbles, you maybe the target and maybe not. Time to move on and find another spot.
These happenings and others made me think about my senses- sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Usually, I am just interested in sight. Now I pay attention to; unfamiliar smells or noises, biting insects and inquisitive people… ” people talking without speaking, people hearing without listening”.
Sebastian Stoskopff (1597-1657), French Baroque, painted this still life of a young girl with symbols of the senses. In this era there was as many things to be aware of indoors as outdoors.
In this small Mexican village I continue to sketch and watercolour in “seguridad”.
By now if you follow my post you know one of my favourite artists is Frida Kahlo and we cannot mention Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) without Diego Rivera (1886-1957). Twice married they led a turmultous personal life but each a spectacular professional life.
Rivera was known for his involvement and participation with the Mexican Mural Movement beginning in the 1920’s. He painted big fresco murals in Mexico City, Cuernavaca, Chapingo, San Francisco, Detroit and New York City.
The tradition of mural painting continues today, see video Aztec meets Urban. The choice of canvas is street buildings, lamp posts, benches; the tools of the trade stencils, freehand drawing, stickers, stencils, spray paint. Now, it is a supported and encouraged art form. Graffiti Festivals are sponsored throughout the world.
Although not in my sphere of activity, I appreciate the vitality and talent of these artists.
I continue my sketching on paper and watercolour pigment along the beaches in La Peñita and Guayabitos.
My morning starts with latte art, a cappuccino made by barista Arturo at café La Ola in Guayabitos located on the main street near the Mini Super “Popin”. The café is closed Thursday.
Later in the morning more Mexican art. I open my email and receive a letter from my favourite and best source of art news. This girl does not disappoint and here is the proof – Washed up:Trashed Landscape by Mexican artist Alejandro Duran.
Most locals and tourist celebrated on the weekend with a three day holiday. This meant lots of vendors on the beach. The food vendors are my favourite to sketch as they are stationary with their beach kitchen. I am grateful to these workers as they do not mind me staring and sometimes measuring them up. They come over and laugh as they try to find their family in my sketch.
In Mexico, Febuary 2nd is a festive holiday. It is a mixture of past pre-Hispanic and present Catholic beliefs. One of twelve festive holidays, it falls forty days after Christmas. The action for this celebration starts on January 6th, King’s Day. A sweet bread, Rosca de Reyes is filled with small figurines of baby Jesus. If you bite into one of these figurines, you must share in the preparation of tamales and atole for Dia da la Candelaria. In Pre-Hispanic tradition, villagers brought corn to the church to receive the blessing for the corn seed planted and the hope of a plentiful harvest. Here in this village, Guayabitos, we attend mass and picnic on the beach. Others are more attentive putting a figurine of baby Jesus in a special niche after taking him to mass. If you chose to keep the baby Jesus at your house be prepared for visitors and to share your food. This commitment is for a year.
Pagans celebrate this day as a midpoint between winter solstice and spring equinox. We celebrate it as Groundhog day. This morning the groundhog cast his shadows: three out of five times seeing its shadow. So we will have 6 more weeks of winter in Canada. Anything new there?
Back to sketching in my Venezia by Fabrino.