Little girls with braids and red ribbons. Oh to have a mother with enough patience to weave a beautiful ribbon through her child’s hair. I loved her little downturned mouth and big eyes as she sized up the crowd. I’m not sure she understood that she was there to be blessed on this special day but with all the other beautifully dressed children and activities to keep them busy, a festive wonderment was definitely in the air.
Most of the boys dressed like Juan Diego, the peasant who first saw the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. He wore the typical loose pants and a tunic in a bleached muslin. This young boy also wore bleached cotton pants & tunic but with this beautifully coloured vest on top. Surprise, surprise – I was attracted to the colour. His straw hat was decorated with some crepe paper and a photo of the Virgin. Who could resist painting those big dark eyes. They do seem to pull people into the painting.
My second painting in this series is probably the last photo I took at the Church of the Guadalupe in Oaxaca City during the blessing of the children. This little girl had caught my eye with her colourful outfit, long necklaces and a basket that she had probably decorated herself. She was just a whirlwind of activity and I had given up trying to get a decent photo of her. Then, just as we were leaving, she parked herself on this low wall in the courtyard, retrieved a bright toy from her basket and looked up. Perfect.
This past March we did a little hop over to Mexico City with friends of ours from Todos Santos. What an amazing, vibrant city. It was full of beautiful art, endless energy, intense flavors and smells (yes there is pollution), and big city sights and sounds. Vic & I ventured out early one morning to do a little street shopping before visiting the National Palace. You can buy almost anything you want off the sidewalks and for the lowest prices I have seen. The food stands were busy getting ready for their mid-morning rush. This young man was grilling beautiful red and green tomatoes for his fresh salsa verde and salsa roja. We did not eat any street food. We thought we were brave enough venturing out off the tourist track. Maybe next time. Poco a poco.
I have been painting people, especially children, for a few years now. This past fall we spent some time in San Miguel de Allende and I started thinking I might go back to painting some street scenes. Then we went to Oaxaca City and we happened to be there during the blessing of the children on the day of the Guadalupe at the Church of the Guadalupe. I was thinking I would sit by the church for an hour or so and try to get a couple of photos of some children. Well hundreds of parents brought their children to be blessed and the line-up was blocks long for 2 solid days. The girls were dressed in traditional Mexican clothing and the boys were dressed like Juan Diego, a peasant who was the first person to see the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Something was telling me I wasn’t finished painting children. This young girl is the first of who knows how many…
Last year after a terrible fire in Todos Santos that came within 2 blocks of our house, we decided we had better get all our dead palm fronds trimmed. We have a lot of palms and Domingo arrived with his son who actually did most of them. Apparently he inherited his father’s yellow shirt as it was the shirt Domingo used to wear. I took lots of photos and after painting the father a few years ago, I decided to paint his son this year. Such an exciting event to watch.
The last painting in my series is also from the Revolution Day parade in Todos Santos. These 3 young ladies are from the local high school. I love to wear long skirts and orange is my favourite colour, so naturally these girls caught my eye. My paintings of people usually have them all in the forefront. I tried to push the other 2 girls back in this one.