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Paparazzi
Feb 16th, 2010 by Les

“I once saw a photograph of a large herd of wild elephants in Central Africa seeing an airplane for the first time, and all in a state of wild collective terror….As, however, there were no journalists among them, the terror died down when the airplane was out of sight.” – Bertram Russell, Welsh philosopher, mathematician, historian who led the revolt against idealism in the early 1900’s.  He is also considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy.

While sitting out on the square last Saturday David and I were approached by a young man, tablet in hand, bag swung cockily over his shoulder and an “intrepid” expression on his face.  My first thought, he looks remarkably like Superman’s alter ego Clark Kent – or would that be visa versa?!

It isn’t fair to call him paparazzi, as he seemed to have the credentials of an actual reporter from a Guadalajara newspaper.  Either way it was fun talking with him.  In a most eager and candid way, he asked us if we spoke Spanish or English.  I’m not sure why he seemed both eager and candid about whether we spoke Spanish or English, as he had a command of both languages – however such was the case.  After finding out David spoke both, he proceeded, in English, to ask us what we knew about the big robbery that had taken place in Ajijic.

Well, I’ve got to tell you folks; we are the last people to ask about anything that might be going on in Ajijic.  Its not that we aren’t interested, as we are.  Its not that we don’t try to pay attention to customs, activities, events, etc, because we do.  AND, its not that we ever seem to be on top of any of the aforementioned items, as we aren’t.

Big robbery you say?  Here, you say?  By here, exactly where do you mean?  On the square? Up Colon (one of the major streets in the village)?  Near Hidalgo (of personal interest as we live on that street….in Ajijic…not to be confused with a street by the very same name in Chapala, Guadalajara, Jocotepec and probably ever town in Mexico)?

His answer, “I’m not sure where” was delivered with all sincerity.  They sent me out here to find out about it and, so far, no one seems to know anything about any robbery.  He soon realized we were going to be of absolutely no help either and headed down the street only to walk past our table several times as he diligently tried to ferret out any information he could find about the local heist.

That was the last we saw of him and the last we heard about the heist.  He did not have a photographer with him but we both felt confident, had we actually known anything at all, David could have jumped to the quick and offered to take a picture of both of us……on the spot.  David has really long arms and he did that once….took a picture of both of us that turned out surprisingly well.

Another little adventure one wouldn’t actually anticipate in the small Village of Ajijic.

David has taken photographs of many, many celebrities and politicos over the course of his life.  Below are a few you might know….or not. 

First Lady Laura Welch Bush and former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
First Lady Laura Welch Bush and former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Former Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Troy Aikman
Former Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Troy Aikman
T. Boone Pickens, American Financier
T. Boone Pickens, American Financier
American Film and Television Actor Larry Hagman
American Film and Television Actor Larry Hagman

Henry Franklin Winkler, American Actor, Producer and Author aka “The Fonz”
Henry Franklin Winkler, American Actor, Producer and Author aka “The Fonz”
Specificity May Sometimes Be Necessary
Feb 14th, 2010 by Les

 

 

 

Art for art’s sake is a philosophy of the well-fed.
Frank Lloyd Wright – American architect, writer, interior designer and educator.

 

Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs.
Ansel Adams – American photographer and environmentalist.

“A contemporary American artist’s art is assuring himself and others his art is art.”  David Lawrence – American photographer and artist.

Where have we been for the past week?  It is sometimes astonishing to wake up one morning realizing you have spent your life wanting to be somebody.  Followed by the recognition, to your shock and horror, you should have been more specific.

“Somebody” is such an ambiguous word and certainly not something one should wish for without a follow through – like…somebody in the medical world or somebody in the art world, etc.

David is, in my mind and many others, an artist.  What he does, what he captures with his camera is beyond what a simple shutterbug is after.  Shutter bugging is fine and lends itself to many hours of happy memories as one re-visits family trips, children’s accomplishments, or simply capturing a special moment.  My pictures don’t but, then again, I usually cut off people’s heads or only get odd parts of them to show up in my photos!

What David has tried to do while living in Ajijic Mexico is, among other things, to use his ability to capture the physical Mexico along with its culture, its people, its lifestyle.  The humor of every day life here is finite.  Getting to know it has been our honor and privilege.

So, you say, what is our point?  Where are you going with this?  We decided, since so many people reading our blog mentioned how much they loved his photography, to put a portfolio together and bring it to the town square the past two Saturday mornings. (I’ve attached some of our collection to this blog piece below).

As you can imagine, it was difficult to make a choice between all of the photographs he’s taken.  We wanted to depict the beauty of daily life here and the exuberant and often humorous way it is embraced by the people of Mexico.  Not an easy task.

We’ve come up with a saying when either someone tells us they will take care of something or we decide we want to do something – but know in our hearts it may never get done.  The saying goes – we’ll do it at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow.  Telecable – our television provider – would tell us each time we called or stopped in with a problem, we’ll stop by at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow.  We spent several “tomorrows” waiting for the Telecable people who never showed up.  We’d stop back into their offices and were usually met with the same admonishments….we are so sorry, we will truly be there at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow.  Never happened.  Truly.  They simply never showed up however they did give us an expression we can both laugh at when something doesn’t get done.

David joined the Ajijic Society of the Arts in January.  This has given him hours of enjoyment shaking up the system a bit.  Ninety-five percent of the people who belong to this group are women of a certain age.  The freedom they are experiencing now allows them to “work” their art, perfect it if you will, and a venue in which to share that “art” within the wonderful world of Ajijic.

David, as David can do, has kicked up some dust and thrown a wrench into some of the conventional thinking of members of this arts group.  Let’s just say the forum for conversation is hopping with the pros and cons of some of the ideas and thoughts he’s shared with them over the past week.  These thoughts are all culminating in an art show, for works of art that have NEVER been seen before, at the arts center in Ajijic.  I happen to agree with his thoughts and ideas and have encouraged him to continue sharing through this forum.  Some of the people have not agreed, others have, and the forum has actually, go figure, become a place were differing thoughts can be shared and expanded upon.  Prior to this time posts usually consisted of “where can I find the case I need to place my art in for the next show?” or the like.

Any who, while on the square these past two weeks we’ve had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of what others are drawn to in his art and to hear comments.  We’ve met several people – locals, those from other countries and other exhibitors as well.  This past Saturday there was a parade.  (Me thinks parades are pulled together at a moments notice when a rag tag group of great musicians decides “let’s march” and are then followed by men on horseback picking up steam as they traverse the cobblestone streets to everyone’s delight!)  As always, there were kids running ahead of the parade and some filtered into the town square where we were set up.  Suddenly our table was surrounded by 10 to 15 kids pointing at David’s Aristocratic Couple (see below) and excitedly remarking – that’s so-and-so (sorry I didn’t catch his name) all the while hollering for him to come over and see.  He did.  David handed him the picture and they left in smiles.  What a wonderful experience!

Now that we have an inventory we will be setting up an online store in the near future where people, if they are so inclined, may pick up a print or a matted print.  For now, I’ve included some of our selections for your enjoyment below.  I’ll be putting the rest out “tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.”!

In all candor, I’m still hoping to become somebody some day and working on more specificity while David has always been a true artist in the finest sense of the word.

 

 

 

Young Arsitocrats

Young Arsitocrats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beauty of a Door

The Beauty of a Door

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girl With Flowers - Quadalajara

Girl With Flowers - Quadalajara

Display Table

Display Table

Enjoying the Art

Enjoying the Art

A View of the Street

A View of the Street

Yet Another View of the Street

Yet Another View of the Street

Setting Up Across from Us

Setting Up Across from Us

Parade Beginnings

Parade Beginnings

Parade Continuing

Parade Continuing

Oh Heck, I'll Join the Parade!

Oh Heck, I'll Join the Parade!

Bumpershoots
Feb 5th, 2010 by Les

“There will be a rain dance Friday night, weather permitting.”  George Carlin – American stand-up comedian, actor and author.

On the first day – What is that I hear?  Could it be thunder rolling across the sky and rain falling on our clay tile roofs?  We won’t have to water our gardens today.  Looks like a great time to curl up with a book or work with the photographs we’ve taken or simply sit on the porch and enjoy the quiet time.  We can still go out.  We’ll simply add an umbrella to our layers of clothing.

On the second day – My gosh it’s still raining.  We are beginning to see small rivers building on the streets.  We are on a hill consequently all water journeys to Lake Chapala.  While there is some concern about pollution – commercial and residential run off and the fact that there are veritable islands of sea weed chocking the lake, it is still interesting to watch the water heading back to one of the largest lakes in Mexico.

The weather gives us an opportunity to watch the lake from our mirador – gray against the stormy, cloud filled sky.  Palms blowing in the breeze and all of nature fed by this gift from the rain gods.

On the third day – Look at that there are actual streams developing as rain water runs off everything it touches.  The saturation level has been met.  You begin to wonder if you step in one of the streams will you too be deposited into beautiful Lake Chapala.

On the fourth day – you begin repeating the cobblestone idiom again – if I want to look I can’t walk.  Because of the wetness we must take into account the “slippy slide” effect.  Cobblestones are a challenge under dry conditions – when wet they are tantamount to cruising for a bruising…as you slid butt-first to town central.  Not a particularly graceful way to make an entrance into one of the lovely café’s that dot the square.

On the fifth day – we decide we need to go out regardless of how wet it is.  To our amazement there are actual waterfalls gushing from various places that, though fascinatingly interesting, weren’t there before – if memory serves correct.  Forging ahead, people, though wet and soggy, go about their lives with determination and fortitude.  The phase “what’s with all the rain” is often heard spewing from the mouths of visitors as well as locals.  Industrious sales people not only have rugs, purses, toys, etc strapped to their backs they have added the obligatory “bumpershoots” (my Welsh background surfacing) and windshield wipers to the list of sale items.

One fellow, with windshield wipers in hand, grabbed our wipers – once we stopped the car thank goodness – and held us hostage for the better part of five minutes trying to complete a sale.

Have we angered the rain gods in some way?  Isn’t the rainy season, according to my research, supposed to take place between May and October?  Are the gods not aware there are snow birds down here that have left cold and gloomy climes to feel the hot sun?

For heaven sakes, it now looks like we have an infinity pool in our backyard.  If either of us decided to take a swim it could be dangerous for our neighbors.  Jumping into the pool would most certainly cause a title wave of gushing water. Said neighbors would have to exit their houses and traverse their property via canoe as walking would not be an option.

The sun has risen today.  The ark we started for lack of better things to do will lay dormant, we hope, until May!

Not even an inch to spare.

Not even an inch to spare.

No wiggle room.

No wiggle room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our new roses are enjoying the rain.

Our new roses are enjoying the rain.

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© Copyright 2009-2011 David and Les Lawrence, Ajijic, Mexico