“To me photography is the art of observation. Its about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” Elliott Erwitt
“They used to photograph Shirley Temple through gauze. They should photograph me through linoleum.” Tallulah Bankhead
“The modern pantheist not only sees the god in everything, he takes photographs of it.” D. H. Lawrence
I have something to say but I don’t know what. Has that ever happened to you? There it is, I’ve said it, and I have worked myself up into a frenzy of lethargy over it. David and I began our morning with a conversation about the comment made quite recently: “The lady is a pinhead”. It was a rousing discussion which ended in the realization both of us felt the comment had merit though, at the very least, I was surprised I found myself agreeing with the quotient (before anyone remarks, I know it is not the correct usage of quotient…it just fit so well in the sentence!).
I know absolutely nothing about art. Quite frankly, you couldn’t even begin to fill a thimble with what I think I know. I often feel, when watching David barreling about town with his camera in tow, his ability to capture the soul of a moment comes first from his heart, travels to his eyes and the camera in concert with his talent captures that beauty. I, on the other hand, have thought quite seriously about donating my body to science when I die….science fiction that is.
This is, for all intent and purposes, an artist colony or, at the very least an artist’s haven…if you will. There is so much to see, experience, revel and take part in and, yes, capture be it on David’s digital Nikons, a painter’s canvas, a jewelry makers creative genius, etc…. here in Mexico it is, at times, most overwhelming. Now that we’ve both somewhat mastered the ability to keep our feet firmly planted on terra firma – even if it is covered with cobblestones – each day offers up a myriad of opportunities to view our lives through the eye of the camera hung around David’s neck.
The first, of the 2010-2011 seasons, Ajijic Artist’s Society art show took place this past weekend. As the artists came together on the little Ajijic town square, you could feel the excitement and enthusiasm mounting. Over the months of June, July, August and September (rainy season here) I would venture to guess all of the artists, in their different art forms, explored new techniques to present at this opening show.
Some had travelled and captured in various forms the sights, sounds and experiences they enjoyed in the new places they visited. Some came up with not only new pieces of art but ways in which they could display them to their best advantage. Cool morning light gave way to warm, gentle breezes coming off of Lake Chapala, vendors selling fresh fruit, local culinary treats, ice cream and candy began to set up their tempting treats everywhere.
Laughter was the voice of the day. Hola could be heard over and over again as people reconnected and shared their experiences of the past months or made new friends of the many who were enjoying the show.
One of the things I like most about these shows on the town square is you get to “people watch”. I can sit contentedly observing the, at times, chaotic mixture of native cultures blending graciously with some of the gringo habits assimilating themselves into the excitement of the day. Church bells ring, families walk together into the square children running hanging onto each other, arms linked and laughter blending with music and merriment.
As I sit near the little area David and I have set up to display his art work, it comes to me, gently nudging me like a kitten butting its head against your arm – this is small town USA with a Mexican flare. Though you could not mistake this for anything but a vibrant Mexican village it does have some of the markers of a small town square. In particular, it is a place where you will see entire families – all ages represented. It conjures up a vision of a gazebo festooned with lights and flags, a band playing lazy whimsical tunes as families spread picnic blankets on the grass and children chase their pets, play tag, eat ice cream and revel in the joy of being a child.
Mexico is a contrasting country. There is much going on here and there are many things that could be improved upon, as in any country. For one day, a sunny Sunday in mid-October – all that needs to be done is forgotten while all that can be done, enjoyed and cherished can be embraced and loved with sheer abandon.
David has opened up, for me at least, a new world. His ability to notice things, quite ordinary things, taking place around him and to capture the heart, light, joy and abandon of the moment is a gift and he has helped me to see and cherish it. Mexico is full of these moments. Life is not like the brochure. Isn’t it grand!! Viva Mexico!
David at the art show on the square with some of his work.
More of David's art work.
Yet another view.
I thought I'd leave you with a few shots of the mountains. This is one of the many spectacular sunsets as seen from our mirador.
These are cloudes floating over the mountains as seen on one of our walks into the village proper.
Another shot taken in the morning of the cloudes shrouding the mountain tops.
Visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at http://boomerstomexico.com/mexico-photos/ , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in David’s photos.