Monday, December 04, 2006

The Quest for Subject Matter in Zipolite, Oaxaca

We've been here in Zipolite, Oaxaca, for the past week or so, basking, or perhaps more accurately put, melting, in the sun as the wet cold engulfs our beloved Seattle home. Avoiding the cold has backfired a bit into an exercise of reverse avoidance, that is, avoidance of heat, rather than cold. Nonetheless, the worst case scenario is I simply get so fed up of the heat and bugs, that on returning home, the familiar wet cold will be perfectly lovely. In any event, you can read all about our trip on my personal blog at This is where I write about art, and unfortunately, right now, there isn't a lot.

We sort of slacked off in packing supplies, bringing only the most basic of items. In part, this was due to the blur of activity that led us to the airport, and in part it was because we assumed we'd be able to dig up some local materials, which we are usually able to, but here, this has proven a more difficult task. In addition, it seems our little one, Ananya, has gotten much larger, and more importantly, faster, since our last art/trip. We're staying at a place which is not exactly a toddler sanctuary - lots of rock drops, few guard rails, no closed walls in our cabin, etc, which means Ameen and I spend a fair amount of time simply helping Ananya avoid collisions. We did manage to find a local village girl who will serve in the collision avoidance role so that should free up some time.

In any event, there is much to look at here, and be inspired by. It is called a jungle desert, and they've just come off the rainy season, which means it is very lush. While the greenery is visually stunning, the colors are even more so. Lots of exotic flowers in bloom, crazy colored birds, gigantic black lizards, and of course, bugs galore. I've been snapping a fair amount of pictures on a hunt for subject matter; there's a lot to capture: ram shackle huts, trucks hauling crowds of people, bright clothing, flowers, shattered Italian mosaics, the list goes on. I tend to paint from assemblages of photos, atleast for my more representational work, so it is always nice to have stacks of photos and sketches to work from when I get back into the studio.
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