Friday, May 29, 2015

10th year anniversary

Bob and I have been married for 10 years. Is it a big deal? Yes, of course. We felt like kings of the world for this accomplishment, and that's exactly where we went to, The top of the Hancock building in Chicago. First time there. We went for a couple of drinks to The Signature Lounge on the 96th floor and this was the view. Amazing. Then we went down to the restaurant the Signature Room at the 95th to our reserved table. Food was incredible. Way to celebrate!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Donkeys gone.

Handcrafts vendors are everywhere in touristic places like San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. We were at the main square when I couldn’t help but to get a few crafted burros made of wood, donkeys. They were so roughly done but so cute.  Since they were small, we could afford to assign some space in our luggage so we got a herd of four burros. 

During the making of this sketch, we sit down in a bench in the main park. I was on the left, then the burros to my right on the bench, next my husband and then a person who is the subject of this story. It was a junkie, he started a conversation with Bob. Bob patiently waited for him to leave, until Bob stood up and left for a walk. Now only the burros were between this man and me. I could smell the cement/glue he was smelling. I tried to concentrate on finishing my sketch until I couldn’t stand the smell. I stood up too and left my precious sit with a view. Later we saw a woman who gave him money. Even later we so the man with something on his hands, we thought he bought some food, which made us happy. After lunch something was missing. We realized we left the burros behind somewhere. We returned to the bench to ask the shoe shiner who witnessed our adventure with this man and it was the shoe shiner who told us who took the burros, it was the junkie. What I thought was food in his hands was in fact the burros saying good bye to us. I’ll miss my burros but after all these words, my point here is that every time you see a sketch you will remember the side stories during the sketching time. I hope that man have a better future….and my burros. As for now I’m happy to report that we replaced the lost burros with the cutest pigs. Here there’s a picture of them in the crime scene.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Guanajuato city. Part 3

It's been so long since last time I posted. I finally managed to finish some white and black sketches. I felt rusty but once I started I couldn't stop. My husband and I went to The Alleyway of the Kiss. This alley is so narrow that a person barely can pass through. Two persons could kiss each other. Legend says, there was a miner's daughter who was in love with a poor boy renting a room across the alley. They saw each other in the balconies. The father discovered them and warned his daughter not to see him again. When he discovered them again, the father stabbed a knife on his daughter's back killing her. The boy gave his lover a last kiss in her hand. Sad story. I prefer to believe you can kiss your love one....alive.
We visited the Hidalgo Market also. A former train station built in 1910. This structure was planned to bring an economic growth to the city of Guanajuato but the project never finalized, so when the then president Porfirio Diaz inaugurated the building, it was transformed into a market. The iron structure's design was created, they say, by Gustave Eiffel.

Guanajuato city is well known for its tunnels. In 1780 there was a collapse due to the rain that killed many people. Therefore the city redirected the river trough underground caverns. The small rooms supported by wood beams on the right side of the sketch used to be restrooms... probably guess well... the human feces dropped to the river... Later (fortunately) these river paths were converted into an underground net of roads to relief the growing traffic. Although the tunnels may seem dark, they are well illuminated and it is perfectly safe for pedestrians. Walking these roads left me in awe because of the beauty of its old architecture. I love Guanajuato.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Guanajuato city. Part 2

The second day we visited the Regional Museum of Guanajuato, Alhondiga de Granaditas. Once outside, I sketched the East wall of the museum looking down the street where the clock tower and part of the roof of Hidalgo Market can be seen. I let the bright colors of the houses  that look like they are hanging from the hills to contrast  the market. This is just a sample of how all houses in downtown Guanajuato look like confetti. The market was a French style train station built with iron in 1910, the year the Mexican Revolution started.

I packed my stuff and just few steps (like 20 steps literally) walking East the same street, I unpacked my stuff again because I found a lovely old house I fell in love with. I didn't realize why did I like it so much until now, that I'm writing this lines. The building was full of life. It had many plant pots hanging from the verandas with bright flowers and several cages with different birds. The intense yellow color paint, was covered in dust, yet the decoration made the building shine. The Museum and this house are one block apart exactly on the same street, yet the street names are different. 28 de Septiembre St. for the museum and Pocitos St. for the house. Funny thing. It's one of those odd things that happens in this beautiful country and drive tourists crazy!  



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Guanajuato city. Part 1

We went to Guanajuato city in Mexico, with no plans in mind, just to rest. We were so tired we didn't want to make decisions, we thought  we would let the local people to tell us where to go and what to do, that would save us time and energy. We asked for one of the best restaurants in the city to treat ourselves. They sent us to a French style restaurant just across the Juarez theater. Next to our table was a huge window and this was the view.
It was very obvious what to do next, a view of the city. For that, we went to the top of one the hills using the funicular. There was a great view of the city up there, also there was a monument of Pipila. A man that became famous for his act of courage during the War of Independence in Mexico. He had the idea of carrying a big stone on his back to protect himself from the bullets and  burning the wood door to enter the Alhondiga de Granaditas and kill the Spanish people hidden inside this building. 

Later that day, having a cup of coffee, a couple of art students held a conversation with us. They told us to go to the roof of the University of Guanajuato to the astronomic observatory. So we went. There was an astrophysicist who kindly showed us the stars in the telescope....for free! He showed us Mercury, Double Cluster in Perseus, which it is at a distance of 7,600 light years, the Orion Nebula, and finally Jupiter and three of its four visible natural satellites, the forth one  wasn't visible because it may have been in front or back of the planet, he said. I raised my sketched book to locate the stars to sketch them in the right proportion, it was dark, so I tried to be as precise as I could.

Great day for no plans.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The untouchable telephone.

I just watched the film The Boxtrolls. Funny, so well done. Besides my very brief review, I have to say I feel like one of them. I'm a Boxtroll. They collect old stuff to create other things. I, on the other hand, don't create other stuff, but collect old stuff. I'm visiting my parents and staying at the house where I lived so many years. Among the things I found was this old look telephone from the 70's my parents had in the living room. This was one the untouchable items for us kids. The poor telephone was replaced by a newer model, those digital tone ones, and it was abandoned in a utility closet. I found it, removed the dust, asked if I could keep it, granted. The untouchable phone is now clean and is MINE. It belongs to the foyer of my house, on the table. A new friend for the miner lamp and the coal iron. Yes, it's like a trophy, but more than that, it's an object that will remind me of my childhood every time I see it........sweet.

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 know 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.