“Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Beauty is the characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perpetual experience of pleasure, meaning or satisfaction.” Wikipedia
“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?” Douglas Adams – my personal belief is no day is complete without a Douglas Adams quote –
36 24 36 Got your attention didn’t I? We are surrounded by beauty. Even in this tiny former fishing village of Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. It is now one of the premiere destinations of artists from around the world. Beginning artists, artists who have already found fame and fortune, artists who have accomplished much in their “first” careers and welcome the opportunity to really throw themselves into their art, the rank and file artist who simply loves to paint, photograph, create jewelry, clothing and creative art such as the guitar artists gallery. Joining forces, uplifting, encouraging, supporting by word and action and marching shoulder to shoulder into a world of beauty. Followed, of course, by their muses and schelpers, their friends, spouses, partners, mothers, fathers, siblings and children.
A few weeks ago the Ajijic Society of the Arts sponsored the First Annual Open Studio Tour and by all accounts it was a huge success. One of the paragraphs in the booklet/entry pass/map to studios struck me as right on target well, almost anyway: “Whether it is a painting, a piece of jewelry or other art form: it’s all about the creation reflecting the mind of the artist. Some work will enchant you and you may want to take it home and make it part of your own world.” Of course, knowing the wonderful ability David has of capturing a moment with his camera and bringing it to life, like so many of the photographers who have gravitated to this small village, I would have followed “painting” with “photography”…call me crazy!
Let’s face it for someone who can’t even draw a line somewhere, my ability to capture anything besides the common cold is suspect. I do, however, like so many others I would presume to say, know what I like. I know what captures my interest and, sometimes, am surprised at the direction my mind takes when encountering something new and different. Quite honestly my brain truly is unchartered territory and fertile ground can be found within – harboring the absurd with gusto.
There is, of course, the physical beauty of the unconventional style – let us say David’s Doors of Ajijic poster (not the musical group). I was amazed and delighted to hear how many people travel the world taking photographs or painting pictures of doors….not the door it self. Although, now that I give thought to it…wouldn’t it be humorous, of sorts, to wake up one morning and find a door to your home painted, varnished etc beautifully while you were asleep? Or, perhaps, that would be a bit weird which explains why I like the idea. And again I digress.
The haphazard Tequila Republic waterhole at the end of the Ajijic Malecon pier is beautiful I would venture to guess because of the setting….blue skies, rippling waters, majestic mountains all dappled with sunlight. A few Margarita’s too many and you might find yourself in Lake Chapala. Holy blubber nuggets that might be funny!
The hummingbird alighting on a flower to draw sustenance from within its petals is without a doubt beautiful and breathtaking at the same time.
Mother and Daughter
And I ask isn’t this shot of these two women, a mother and daughter, watching one of the many parades down Hidalgo Street in Ajijic also with merit and much beauty?
So, where was I going with the 36-24-36 title? Generally speaking this measurement conjures up the ideal body measurement for a woman, but in reality it is highly contingent upon height. A 5’4” woman may look relatively curvy with that ratio, while a taller woman will look significantly less curvy.
Point seven (.7) in western culture is usually accepted as optimal ratio. While it is subjective in aggregate attractiveness, it is not a subjective thing at all having a more literate meaning in a beauty sense. (I throw this in as an aside. It has nothing to do with anything. It’s just how my brain works…or doesn’t!)
Steve Martin once said he believed entertainment could aspire to be art, and could become art but if you set out to make art you are an idiot. For those of us who have little artistic talent but appreciate those that do, the Ajijic Society of the Arts Open Studios Tour was reminiscent of a weekend in New York…bear with me…to see our tiny village filled with people setting forth with map in hand to view the beautiful creations of the artists who have chosen to live here, surrounded by the inherent beauty of this topical paradise was, in my mind, the ultimate artistic experience. If I were an artist this is where I would want to be even for a short time.
You are Invited!
Viva the talented artist of Ajijic and the people who were here to enjoy this place called Mexico!
Viva the gallery owners – artists themselves – who give back to the community they live in by supporting other artists – displaying their works beautifully within their galleries like Steve and Lana Coffman of Lolita’s Inn Gallery and Healing Arts Center on Guadalupe Victoria #73 and Lori Truly at the Creative Arts Studio located at Colon #16 – for those of you who just might visit some day!
I would like to add another artist of sorts….most women will tell you how important it is to find just the right stylist to do their hair. It is as important here in this tiny village as it is in an upscale boutique in Dallas, Chicago, New York…etc. We do have very talented gringo stylists here. We also have very talented Mexican stylists. I have fallen in love with a wonderfully vibrant lady by the name of Marcela Avila Vera. Her studio located at Guadalupe Victoria No. 96 in Ajijic is tiny. Two small pre-loved chairs and mirrors and one washing sink along with her proudly displayed diploma greet you when you enter. You do not wear a comfy robe or smock upon arrival. What you do get is a huge smile and if, like me, your command of the Mexican language is sparse; you gravitate to the poster where the most popular hairstyles of the decade are displayed and point. I’ll let you judge whether my hair turned out or not!
Viva this wonderful village and the talented and friendly people, both Mexican and Gringo, who populate it!
I know I haven’t posted in a while. Consequently I’ve selected some of David’s most recent photography to share with you. I think you’ll be able to pick out the Fat Tuesday photos and we’ll move on from there. Enjoy!
Down the Block
Art on a Wall
Flowers in a Window
Flowers Against the Wall
Yellow Rose in Our Garden
In Memory of Copper