Wet Paint

  

  The rain on the window this morning was a welcome sound, bringing with it permission to linger a little. That’s what happens after a very busy weekend.  Just as we have done for the past four years, an artsy friend and I participated in the our local community art gallery’s annual fundraising event, Paint Sea on Site.  That’s kind of an awkward title for a wet paint sale.

  
If you are not familiar with a wet paint sale, it works like this:  artists (from near & far) sign up and spread out around the town to create art.  The artwork is collected throughout the day, and often whilst still wet, the pieces are displayed at a central venue for the public to enjoy and bid on, silent auction style.  At the end of the day, the highest bidder walks away with a piece of original art.  Fifty percent of the proceeds go to the art gallery and the other fifty percent goes to the artist.

  
It’s a two day event and is so much fun!  My friend and I have a longstanding date to spend the weekend together.  We use the opportunity to catch up, while supporting each other as we rush to get some work done.  We talk, we paint, we eat, we entertain friends, acquaintances and tourists who stop by.  The time absolutely flies!

  
It is usually one of the hottest weekend of the summer, which can produce some challenges to keep the paint from drying too quickly. And so, we have learned to seek out a place with some shade.  (We also try to be near some public washrooms – but that’s just because we like our comforts)  Heat and drying paint was not a problem this year, not by a long shot. Saturday was cloudy and cool – a little too cool for me – and on Sunday it absolutely poured rain!  

  
The smart people moved inside to work, but not us! No! We stuck it out, finding shelter under a generous person’s deck. It worked pretty well for the morning, but by afternoon, everything was so wet including the canvasses, it make working very difficult, indeed.  The above daisies were in our host’s garden, the blue sky was in my dreams.

 
  
At the end of each day, we went back with our last pieces to watch the auction close, tally the results and compare notes of the day with all the other painters.  There were around 70 of us this year. The gallery provides us with a nice salad supper and some social time.  In spite of the weather, I’m happy to say that all seven of the pieces I produced this weekend sold. (I forgot to take pictures of the last two – no surprise, there). 

But perhaps more significantly, by bedtime last night, my body was tired, my eyes were blurry and my heart was full of the companionable friendships – some newly made and others warmly renewed. 

Something Broken

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Some ceramic bits from Canada de la Virgen, a pre-Columbian site 16 km outside of San Miguel de Allende.  According to our guide, so many pieces were found and without the manpower to attempt to re-assemble them, they are placed here in a “pottery garden”.  The garden is laid out in a plan that was based on a design found on one of the pieces.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Something Broken

Thursday Doors: The Doors Of San Miguel de Allende

In the historic centre of San Miguel de Allende, there are an estimated two thousand doors. Many, many of them are made of hand hewn wood, painted.  They are all so different, and all so beautiful.  Behind those doors are about two thousand courtyards – so intriguing!!  I didn’t take a photo of each of them…. but here are a few:

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This is linked to Thursday Doors Norm 2.0

A Look at San Miguel de Allende

Earlier this month we escaped the last of the snow (yes indeed, there were still bits of snow around here, in the shadows, on May 1!!) and headed to Mexico on a long anticipated holiday.  Come along…. I’ll show you some of the sights of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico:

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This view of Hernandez Macias is a typical streetscape.  But to be fair, SMA is so picturesque, there is a photo at every step.

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A look over the roof-tops toward the city centre.

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Settled by the Spanish in the early 16th century, the name San Miguel refers to the founder, Father Juan de San Miguel.  I’ve heard that the parish church, La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel,  is one of the most photographed churches in Mexico. One thing is for sure, you can see the spires from almost anywhere in town.

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Another pretty street.  All the streets in SMA are cobblestone, which can’t be easy on the cars…. or anyone in heels.

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A hacienda turned boutique hotel.

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A pedestrian space adjacent to the Plaza Allende, or el Jardin.

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Another cobblestoned street.  This one in the neighbourhood of San Antonio, which is where we stayed.  And here is a look at the bell towers of the church of San Antonio in the evening:

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San Miguel de Allende played a significant part in the struggle for Mexican Independence.  By the beginning of the 20th century, the town was waning and in danger of becoming a ghost town.  It was sort of “re-discovered” by foreign artists, who moved in and can be credited for it’s renaissance as an arts-based community and probably for it’s preservation. San Miguel was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008.  Apparently, about 30 percent of the population is now ex-pat Canadian and Americans. They say, the clear, bright light attracts artists as well as the Baroque/Neoclassical colonial architecture.  But frankly, I think the perfect climate also has something to do with it.  And the food……

Toronto – Part 2

I’m a sucker for a museum, an art gallery or a concert. Last week, in Toronto, I managed to take in all three in one day!

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It all started with a concert. Part of the Canadian Opera Company’s Free Lunchtime Concert Series, last Tuesday’s program was with the Humber Latin Jazz Ensamble, under the direction of the Grammy & Juno Award winning Hilario Duran. The over-capacity, standing-room-only crowd, was treated to a blend of Afro-Cuban Jazz. You can’t get THAT in Rose Bay!

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From there I wandered up to Dundas Street and into the Art Gallery of Ontario. Here, I was introduced to the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat. I confess I’d never heard if him before, but could certainly pick up the passion and frustration in his work. I’m glad to have seen this exhibit, but was equally glad to move on to the Canadian & European collections of the AGO.
I was delighted to find the Grange, a Georgian Manor House (c1817) attached to the AGO. This beautiful building was donated to the Art Museum of Toronto in 1911, and so become the original home of the AGO. That was something else I didn’t know – and didn’t expect. Maybe I should be doing more research before heading out on these excursions?