Every year in Todos Santos, we have had at least one rodeo. The vaqueros & escaramuza women ride their horses through the town, head for the stadium and put on a performance that will keep you on your toes and wanting more. This vaquero was showing everyone his talent with a lasso. Over his head, just above the ground, off to the side, jumping through it. I managed to catch some great photos and finally decided it was time to paint this guy. Gosh, I loved painting this. So much motion and character. Most of it was painted during the Open Studio Tour this past weekend.
Same beach but I downplayed the sand and water and focused on the sky. Again I used the heavy body Molding Paste and lots of colour to add drama to the sky.
I don’t normally paint landscapes but I bought some heavy Molding Paste on our way down to Mexico and wanted to try it out on some mountains and clouds. This is the favored beach in Todos Santos being the only one that is safe for swimming. A lot of surfers hang out here as well waiting to catch the perfect wave. We frequent the beach more for a relaxing read and a picnic lunch as well as long walks. Not bad for people watching either.
On our second to last visit to San Miguel de Allende this particular old church was under major repair and was cordoned off to visitors and in some parts even to viewers. Just over a years ago, when we happened to visit again, we were lucky to view the unveiling of this lovely refurbished belfry and hear its lovely sound. Those are experiences that are magical in my books.
There are many Mexican folkloric dances, each with their own style of dress. It appears that the Danza de Veracruz is the favourite in the small town of El Triunfo, a short distance from Todos Santos. Or perhaps their dance troupe only has the white lacy dresses that is traditional for this dance. Whatever the reason, it is a beautiful performance to watch. I love white lace – doesn’t everyone? But I had never attempted to paint it as we all know that white reflects many other colours, especially where shear lace is present. Lots of layers of colour with both palette knife and brush hopefully captures the abundance of lace and the movement of the dress. What caught my eye with this couple is how her partner appears to stand in awe of her beauty.
I was at an art retreat when we finally received news of the damage to our home and property in our lovely town of Todos Santos in southern Baja. A week before, Hurricane Odile, clocking in winds up to 200 mph, struck just before midnight raping and pillaging southern Baja for what seemed like an eternity. People woke to a whole new landscape, mostly devoid of the beautiful tall tropical trees and vegetation. I also received news that the military had been sent in to bring much needed supplies and help the locals start cleaning up the huge mess left behind. The week waiting to hear some news brought overwhelming worry and sleeplessness and I was struggling to bring inspiration to the painting I had brought to work on. Instead what came out of me was my first abstract painting and when I stepped back to make sense of it, I saw the birds. When the birds come back, you know the heart and soul of the place is coming back, bringing with them a renewed light and energy to every morning. I just knew everything was going to be okay.
The images of Hurricane Odile approaching southern Baja will forever be etched in my memory. It resembled a doomsday movie as those huge black clouds devoured the light and the land. And then there was total darkness and the monster winds roared, dumping endless rain and spitting out debris as it made it’s way north. A long torturous night turned into morning and an emotional awakening to what truly is important in life. The people survived, material possessions often did not. In this painting, I see the monster receding and the unbroken spirit of a survivor.