Friday, January 30, 2015

Aerial cables

Aerial cables can dance in my mind. Not because they move, but because they make my eyes to look from one point to another. I found this web of cables very interesting. It is a typical Mexican urban scene and many other countries. At home, in the United States, I rarely see utility poles in the streets, everything is underground and urban scenes are cleaner. However, here in Mexico, the streets look messy, but a the same time, with an artistic eye, I find them even charming. All that organized chaos contributes to the personality of the city. I knew the creosote treated wood poles were installed by Telmex, a telephone company. The concrete poles belong to the Federal Commission of Electricity, CFE. Television cable companies use whatever poles are available to install their own cable, they don't discriminate, ha! I don't know why one of the poles in the sketch is painted in yellow. Who knows what the code is for that one, if there's any. It took me 40 minutes to sketch. I colored it at home right after. I grew my sky wash with different colors to make it more interesting, since it is the background for the main subject of this sketch, the cables.

Monday, January 26, 2015

San Francisco Alley

A tranquil corner was my studio while I sketched the dome of San Francisco Church few days ago. Next to the church is the Callejon de San Francisco, San Francisco Alley, where you find Indian women commonly known as Marias here in Mexico, they sell goods made of wool and other handmade items. This alley have cafes and restaurants. It's one of the most beautiful passages in the city that is worth visiting.    

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sketching is good at stressful times.

I'm glad I practice sketching. It helped during my time at the hospital. Mom needed medical attention and I spent a lot of time there.  My family helped a lot, inside and outside the hospital. We were a team and together made this event bearable.
We went to the hospital emergency room last Saturday. We waited to be attended by medical personal in the waiting area. I sketched meanwhile.
While mom was inside in the emergency room, we had to wait out in the waiting room with other people in the same situation. The young boy in red was wearing a pink back pack, which caught my attention. The man with glasses was very small, he wanted to speak to the doctors constantly. The lady in green offered me her seat, a nice gesture on her part. The lady in black boots noticed I was sketching her rock & roll boots, she even posed for me.
Early next day, the relatives of the patiens were still waiting, some sleeping, other thinking.
Mom was admitted to the hospital, we waited for test's results for the doctors to determine if her strength was good enough for surgery.
Even my brother made a sketch in the notebook we kept for us the siblings to  keep track of mom's care during the change of shift.
The surgery lasted 2 hours with no complications. I waited six hours outside the operating room until she was awake and came out of the room. The following sketch shows the door that leads towards the operating rooms on the left, and to the right, people waiting in line to make appointments for laboratory tests.

After surgery mom had a drainage tube for a couple of days.
She ate food at the hospital, we all know how it is not tasty, but at least she ate some.

We waited for more test's results. Everything came out well. She was released from the hospital. The waiting game continues today. Her recovery will be long and slow with care and dedication, doctors are positive, so we should.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Recycling of Chritsmas Trees.

I cannot believe my good luck. Turns out that I wanted to sketch a bunch of dying Christmas trees in Morales Park. The municipality of the city of San Luis Potosi has a recycling program to make compost from Christmas trees. Morales Park is one of the places where people drop their trees. Yesterday I went to sketch it and a big truck was picking up some trees. I hurried to the corner of the street to sketch it before the truck was gone. I didn't even had a chance to sit down.

A5 Moleskine, ink and watercolor.
The two men noticed I was into something. One of the men got inside the truck's cabin, they were ready to leave. I went to say hi. The driver name was Miguel. I showed him the drawing, he smiled and turned his head to his right and told his partner smiling -"we were caught in fraganti!" He told me his son loved drawing and asked me if he could take a photo of the sketch and another one of me with the sketch. I said yes naturally, then I took a photo of him holding  the unfinished sketch. I wish I had with me a business card to introduce myself to the people whom I have experiences. I'll have to come up with one, Adriana Gasparich....artist? Yes! artist.

Friday, January 9, 2015

The rescue of Cine Avenida

There's a new restaurant in downtown that I went to check out last day of the year. It's located on the ground floor of a former theater built in 1947. When I moved to this city during the 80's, I went to this theater a couple of times to watch films. I remember the ocean blue carpet in the lobby. Later the theater was remodeled as a multi cinema with eight theaters. I could hear the sounds from the next theater! Its design failed! Eventually the theater was abandoned.  Because this building was built in the XX century, the INAH, Instituto Nacional de Arquitectura e Historia, National Institute of Architecture and History, couldn't designate a budget to rescue it or even protect it.

Moleskine A4, ink and watercolor.
For many years the theater was victim of vandalism and graffiti despite the efforts of the owner to avoid it. Lately, the owner of this building, who is owner of the restaurant as well, listened to the public opinion. The people didn't want it to be demolished to build a hotel or something else. They wanted that this iconic theater to remain part of the history of the city of San Luis Potosi. The nostalgic memories of many citizens and a determined owner made possible the remodeling of this art deco theater. It will return to life as a convention center. A place for weddings and other social events. The lobby, located on the second floor, has a mezzanine and will be the main hall. The manager of the restaurant allowed me to sketch it in the middle of construction. It has been cleaned and painted. The architecture still shows the majestic staircase illuminated by the natural light coming through the impressive windows. The lobby still shows some original d├ęcor, part of the theater's maritime theme.
Moleskine A4 spread, ink and watercolor.
The terraces in the back of the lobby have been removed. Now, that space has been designated as parking lot for the restaurant's costumers. The giant acoustic shell on the ceiling which was used to improve the sound in the theater remains there, this one of a kind architectural element is, I would say, one of the fanciest parking lots in the world!
Moleskine A4, ink and watercolor.
An amazing transformation is making everybody happy, the owner finally put the building to good use, citizens kept the romantic building, and the new budget friendly restaurant tastefully decorated, serves very good food. Everybody wins.

I thank the manager Adrian Roa for his kindness, here I'm delivering copies of the sketches.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The game isn't over

Oh yes...the marathon of food for the Holidays continues. The Mexican tradition for Catholics is to celebrate the arrival of the Three Majestic Kings who offered gifts to baby Jesus. Kids receive gifts today...yes...again. Today we Mexican eat a special bread that we call Rosca de Reyes, Kings Bagel, generally accompanied by hot cocoa. It's a big bread since it yields for 10 to 20 persons. Bakers all over Mexico make this bread with flour, egg yolks, yeast and sugar, offering this product ONLY for this date. It's cover with acitron, Mexican candy, which consist of fruit and/or cactus boiled in sugar and water and let dry until crystallized. The Rosca we bought for this day has figs, cherries, almonds and something that looks like visnaga candy. This last one I don't think it is, since it's illegal to sell visnaga cactus. In recent years the Mexican government declared that this cactus was overexploited and in danger of extinction, but the culture and traditions in Mexico are so strong, that I'm afraid one can still find it in the market. A good substitute could be chilacayote candy, a sort of squash, frankly I don't know the difference between them, since the taste is similar. Inside the bread there are few little plastic babies. If you got one in your slice, then you will have to offer tamales for the Candelaria Day, the second of February.  It is then when we "lift" or store the Nativity Scene in our homes for next Christmas.  Also, that's when the game of food is over.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A peaceful evening

Mama loves going out. It's my pleasure to spend time with her. We went to Tequisquiapan Square, an old but beautiful neighborhood where people gather to spend evenings. We sat down in a bench. You have to be careful not to seat in one that has white spots, you know, the product of doves. So that's why we took our own chair pads to protect our cloths, make us feel comfortable and warm us up. We spent our time watching teenagers playing tricks with scooters and we laughed at countless falls...don't worry, at that age kids have a body made of rubber!! People walking their dogs, parents watching their youngsters riding their tricycles are part of the entertaiment. Food vendors and balloon vendors come to public places like this one knowing that there's a chance to make more sales. When the sun sets, the birds on the trees start to sing soft, shyly, then the rest join to the loud simphony that last for at least thirty minutes. Despite the loud sound, it's peaceful. The balloon vendor waits, and waits, and waits. He reads the newspaper as he waits and I skecth him. He sells a balloon. The lights are on, it's dark, time to go home, for the vendor and for us as well.

Happy Peaceful New Year to everybody.