Day of the Dead has passed but the warm colors of the holiday reverberate as the weather gets chillier. I took this photo with Velvia slide film with my Rolleiflex in 2015 and rediscovered it in the bowels of my harddrive as I look for painting inspiration today. Big bunches of flowers dominate the market in Xochimilco, Mexico City--a prelude to the holiday festivities.
After cruising around the Southwest (taking lots of pictures of vintage motel signs for future paintings!), we've landed in Southern California. When I collected my waiting mail, I had a surprise waiting--my watercolor and ink painting, Parque Mexico, won an honorable mention in the national juried AZ Aqueous Show! What an awesome welcome back to California.
It's been a big few months for me. I'm moving back to Cali, with a two month pit stop in Colorado Springs. I've been sketching up a storm and practicing some painting exercises to improve my work. Specifically I've been working on value sketches and translating that to my paintings. It's a huge challenge to translate my sketches to paintings and capture the same essense, but each painting is something learned.
There's a lot to be inspired by here. I especially love Garden of the Gods with its surreal red rock formations. The colors fade and gain vibrancy as the sun travels the sky. There are a ton of hiking trails, so I can take my sketchbook and gain new perspectives.
Somehow, I didn't get a ton of photos of our walk into Santiago and the two days we spent there. In a way, I'm glad. The last day of the Camino was one totally spent in the moment--excited and partially astonished to have made it and sad that the end is approaching as we knock of one kilometer after the next. We stopped at every cafe--took our time. We people watched. We enjoyed the last of the Camino sunrises and scenery. I limped into Santiago so so grateful my feet carried me this last day without something popping loose like a wonky spring in a clock.
The cathedral was under construction inside and out, but it didn't matter. The perfect photo backdrop didn't matter. What felt good was to arrive with friends and to watch other pilgrims arrive throughout the weekend. It was a lovely time sightseeing like a tourist, having meals with friends from the way and waving hi to somewhat recognizable faces. Santiago is a beautiful city for arrivals.
We also visited the Pilgrimage Museum behind the cathedral with gave me a frame of reference for an accomplishment I still don't quite comprehend.