this was a common scene in Mexico, it was like something from another world.
I painted this Mexican man with his oxen pulling a cart in 1966, after one of our trips deep into Mexico, (not far from, Guanajuato.) Usually I take a picture and use parts of it for a painting. This time, it is almost exactly like the photo I took. There were three men sitting on a bench under the tree and I chose to leave them out. This part of Mexico is beautiful, the scenes are like they came from another world. It has a ‘feel’ about it that you don’t forget. With sounds like a donkey braying, a ‘hee-honk~wheeze~ hee-honk~wheeze~ noise’ that keeps going until you wonder if he is dying~or just happy. The birds have their brilliant colors and exotic songs. In all of this noise of nature, people are quiet spoken and you hardly hear them make a sound. Nothing rowdy going on here. You notice all of this because it is so different. Then the smells are fresh and pleasant, orange, pineapple and mango, the slightly pungent smell of papaya, (I am aware of smells and enjoy that special sense, next to seeing and hearing~ a cow lot, or a dirt floor in a barn when it starts to rain, the warm sweet smell of a baby’s hair, a puppy’s breath~) Anyway back to Mexico, I know I will never be able to go there again, but it stays fresh in my mind and I will keep it with me forever. México, hermoso país, personas finas
Some of the nice surprises from Nancy~
My sister Nancy surprised me with this beautiful bouquet of silk roses over 30 years ago, she had made them after taking a silk flower class. They are just as fresh and pretty as the day I got them. Nancy always had a knack for picking the best gifts, she knew what anyone would like and and especially me. The shoe is from the ‘Right Shoe’ collection and the figurine is one from G. Amarini’s ‘Magic Moment’s’. These are some of my treasures, but most of all she is the real treasure, if you have a sister, you have a friend forever. She loved my babies and I loved hers. Oh and we do have fun on the phone, that is the best of all.
Nancy has a sweet smile and sparkling eyes. She is the pretty one~
Longino worked all his life for Bill McWhorter on the farms. They grew up together.
This is Longino Pina, the man who farmed the place where we lived for 20 years. It was over a section of land and had two large fields which he plowed and took care of by himself. He had a small field behind his house and planted it in field corn. He raised beautiful corn. He would give us toe sacks full to put in the freezer, the best I ever ate. In the fall, he and his friends got together to butcher the hogs. They usually had two or three. It was quite a project, one time Longino sent his little son over to borrow Dan’s razor, (I think they shave the pig’s hide~ the last thing before they cook the cracklings). Dan gave him the razor and told him he ‘didn’t need to bring it back’. Later all the women got together and made hot tamales. One day Bill told me I should paint a picture of Longino so I asked him, and his wife Goya thought it was a good idea, and he agreed. When I finished it he was not happy because he was missing a bottom tooth, so I painted it in for him. Bill traded with me for it and hung it in his den, he was proud of that picture. After he died, and then Longino died, I gave it to Danny Pina, his grandson. It was nice living out there by Longino and his family. We were good friends for all those years. Goya taught me how to make tamales and all kinds of wonderful Mexican food.
I restored my 40 year old miniature rooms, this is the living room. This was a job I had been dreading for a long time. As it turned out, I enjoyed working on them, it was almost as exciting as when when I first made them. Most of the rooms are 11″x16″. Through the years, the glue has failed on some of the furniture and just like real rooms, the walls need repainting. They were old and it was time to redecorate. There are seven rooms in all and originally each one took about a month to make. Since the drawers and doors didn’t have to be functional on tiny miniatures, they were easier to make than the larger pieces. The piano took a while to make, the keyboard is scored and has individual black keys, each one hand applied. I will put the all rooms on my blog later.
after the walls are painted and things start getting moved back in, it turns into happy time
the paintings are done on linen canvas,
It is hard to photograph these small rooms~
I like the little things, there is a child in us that can live for a lifetime.
This wasn’t an actual place, just a scene from memory. There is something appealing about old houses, they all have an important history~
Here is an old ranch house I painted in about 1968. It seems like all of these old houses were built from one of two house plans. This one had one front door (sometimes two) and a wing built out in front. (there was usually an add-on shed in the back). Then there was the house with a long porch across the front and two or three front doors. You would wonder which door to knock on. Most of these old places had an out house. The better ones had a pit toilet with a modern looking oak seat and a metal floor. (home for granddaddy long leg spiders.) Others were two and three hollers and a trap door in the back.The yard had a picket fence to keep the stock out. The barn was usually finer than the house and there was almost always a windmill, the sound of the mill turning is something we always remember. There is something cozy about these old houses. A nice place to come home to. When my granddad retired he and my grandmother moved to their farm at Grit. Before they finished fixing up the old house, it was primitive but it did have running water inside. I loved being there, it was wonderful, the kerosene lamps smelled good but they didn’t put out much light. What I missed was a refrigerator, they had an ice box and things were never very cold. Granddad built a big cement tank and we waited all summer for it to fill up so we could go swimming, when it was time for us to come home, there was about nine inches of water in it. I had to save my new blow up water wings for another year.