aguardiente “La Quezalteca”

Aguardiente La Quezalteca
Kris needed a bottle of cheap alcohol for his homemade Elegguá (the Orisha who, as you might recall from my previous posts, is fond of cigars, strong spirits, and sweet things)…more about that later! He bought this pocket-sized flask at the local supermarket. The label was so pretty that I just had to draw the bottle, to go into my growing collection of local beers and hot sauce bottles.

No, I didn’t try it…it smells like paint thinner! And I found bottles of cabernet sauvignon, from Spain, at the same supermarket, for under $4. I have a weak spot for red wine.😉

A compound word from agua (water) and ardiente (burning or glowing), aguardiente is what English speakers would call “firewater”…a strong alcohol, technically distilled from sugar cane, though other sweet musts and grains are also used.

The ♥ is curved like a road through the mountains

The ♥ is curved like a road through the mountains

Inspired by a two-week trip among the volcanoes, lakes, and colorful mountain villages of Guatemala’s lush highlands. And an ode to chicken buses. I love chicken buses.
The ♥ is curved like a road through the mountains

What are you waiting for? Hit the road and have an adventure! It is later than you think.

This is a new art print, available in my Society6 store.

the-is-curved-like-a-road-through-the-mountains-6oy-prints

Junk on the High Seas

junk-on-the-high-seas-qnj-prints

This new art print available in my Society6 shop features a tiny hand-embroidered Chinese junk sailboat, tossed upon the wild blue and green waves of a piece of canvas that Kris and I marbled, ourselves. (Marbling is not something you’d expect people who live on a boat to be able to do, but we’re stubborn as hell when we want something badly enough, and we manage to do it despite the challenges of storing huge quantities of pH-neutral rainwater and a rolling anchorage.)

Also available as a print on stretched canvas, or a framed print under glass.

junk-on-the-high-seas-qnj-framed-prints

I wrote (not much!) about the making of this piece here.

yummy color

an old fashioned letter

Left my glasses at a tortilla shack in town today, will go back and get them tomorrow. In the meantime, just a post of things I’ve been playing with, lately, and not a lot of soulful writing… because I can hardly see what I’m doing!
an old fashioned letter
In the first three photos are some of the art I put into old-fashioned letters to friends…though I’ve since learned that Guatemala’s post office no longer functions. (The government put a Canadian company in charge, but hasn’t paid the company’s fees in past months, so the postal services have shut down.) Bummer. May just have to post these from Mexico.

colonial architecture

Also, some meaningless photos of paint…I’ll be going home to Australia later this year, and I’ve just realized that I can’t take my paints with me. Arrggh! So I am doodling, playing, experimenting, and being quite heavy-handed with the palette knife these days, trying to use up as much as I can. Hopefully they won’t dry out before Kris gets the boat (and all my art materials) back to Darwin…though they’re at least a couple of years old, already, and dry out very quickly on the palette.

Untitled
UntitledThat’s all for now…have a great weekend!

Singing in my chains like the sea

painted Moleskine
painted Moleskine

The friend from university who first introduced me to Dylan Thomas went into a coma last December, and everyone who knew him left messages on his facebook…in the hopes that he would wake up and know that he’d been missed. In honor of our Thomas connection, I (mis)quoted* these lines from the poem Fern Hill.
painted MoleskineThree weeks ago Luis passed away…a mercy, really, after being so long in coma. We were not close, but his death was made more poignant because he was so young (we were born the same year, 1974). To me it seemed an urgent message to get as much as I can out of this life, because we never know when it will all come to a halt.

The lines of the poem have stayed with me… sometimes I lull myself to sleep with them. Dylan Thomas was a sorcerer of lilting, musical  language…his words dance, surge, rise and ebb like the ocean he was named after. I had a sudden urge to write them out somewhere that I would see them often, and decided to whack them on the cover of this Moleskine watercolor sketchbook. The curly waves were inspired by what I could remember of Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa.

* …Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas