Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hola- Back from a wonderful trip to Mexico

Our trip to Oaxaca and Mexico City filled each day with many adventures and sites for all senses.
The first day, we explored the city, visited Casa de La Cultura Oaxaqueña for a Día de Muertos
presentation, checked out a couple of artisan markets and walked everywhere. It's been
eight years since I visited Oaxaca and I saw many outward changes- lots of cars & traffic, abandoned buildings, more graffiti, empty restaurants and fewer tourists. It's taken a
long time for the area to come back from the government and teacher wars of 2005-2006.
The people welcomed us everywhere we went and appreciated our interest in their work
and culture.
Businesses, restaurants, hotels and homes set-up altars or ofrendas to honor their loved ones
who have died.
Pablo took us on an artisan tour of the Central Valley. We visited the home and studio of painter
Román Andrade Llaguno and his wife, Marta. He paints with gouache on Mexican amate paper
made of tree bark. His whimsical paintings contain the colors and symbols of Oaxaca with a
strong emphasis on family life. At the home of Zapotec weavers in Teotitlán de Valle, the use
of natural dyes interested us: cochineal- for red the color of life, indigo for blue; marigolds or
cempazuchiles for yellow; moss for green and nuts for shades of brown.
Often around a corner, we heard a band and then saw a calendra or parade from a local church, women dressed in their traditional clothes, throwing out candy to everyone on the street and celebrating Día de Muertos.
Thanks to Leigh, we enjoyed filling in our inchies with sketches or other ephemera. I will post more photos and sketches. This trip reinforced my love of Mexico- the people, culture and traditions.


Gwen said...

Thanks for your comment, and I have been looking forward to seeing your journal and photos of Oaxaca!
They are beautiful! I really want to go there some day. I have a small rug from there that my brother got when he visited. It is the cochineal color, and I love it.

leigh said...

Okay, wow. Can't wait to see more. what fun. your drawings and photos are fabulous!

Ruth said...

It's so much fun to see your journal before you went to Mexico and the same pages filled afterwards!

this too will pass said...

great artwork

magpie said...

Love your work. esp. the Mexico blog entries...I went back to Oaxaca after an absence of ten years last year for Dia de los Muertos. it has changed but oh! it's still so magical.

You would LOVE Guatemala, The fabric! The colors! The people!