Tags

, , , , ,

Using one-dollar film-canister sized containers of acrylics and very cheap paper, I painted these while at Hostal Charito in Mindo Ecuador.

Using $1.00 film-canister sized containers of acrylics and very cheap paper, I painted these one afternoon while at Hostal Charito in Mindo Ecuador. The bones of the studies had been drawn the night before, so filling in the color was a joy.

“Drawing is the backbone.  It is no good having a lovely sense of light and color if there isn’t the firm foundation underneath.”  (Alexander Creswell)

Iliana and Hostal Charito

Iliana and Hostal Charito

This past week found me in the cloud-forest community of Mindo Ecuador. The hostal where I normally stay was closed, and someone pointed me down the street to a flower-draped hostal beyond “Hostal Charito.” The owner of Hostal Charito and I shared eye contact, and there was something in her posture or her eyes that nudged me to her door.

P1770602 hostal charito

I asked if she had a room (yes she did) and how much ($12.50 with breakfast) and if they had wifi (yes) so I followed her up the stairs to see the room and agreed that it was perfect for my road-weary body! I looked forward to taking a time out in the squeaky-clean hostal.

View of Rio Mindo from the top of the stairs.

View of Rio Mindo from the top of the stairs.

My two-day stay extended to four, and as I ebbed and flowed over the next few days, I pondered what might draw more walk-in guests.  Iliana’s hostal was one of the first on ‘Colibri” Street.  (Colibri: Hummingbird)  Around the subtle bend were other hostals with more flowers as well as the bodega area for the rafting tours.

Hummingbird Street!

Hummingbird Street!

After breakfast one morning, I showed Iliana the butterfly studies I had painted.   I suggested that Iliana put a bright colorful sign to the right of her door – at eye level. One that suggested, “Happy people live here!”    I sketched the idea and told her that I had paints and brushes, all she needed to do was find a slab of wood!

With a hurried sketch to illustrate the concept, I said, "We can do this!"

With a hurried sketch to illustrate the concept, I said, “We can do this!” (The fabric in her dining chairs has zebra stripes!)

She had a sheet of very thin plywood, and we drew the dimensions for a new sign, then she held the plywood while I cut along the lines with her slightly-broken hand saw!  We sanded the edges, and she prepped the board while I left for a late lunch. When I returned, she watched in awe as I drew the design on the board.   I suspected if I handed her a brush, she would help!   (Place your bets!)

Whenever I’m tackling a new project, I select non-intrusive background music.  My favorite ‘zone-out’ music: Dirk Maassen.  (Thanks Carlos/1Cruz del Sur for this treasure!)

We warmed up on the stripes, then with the drawing in place, Iliana and her daughter filled in the colors while I worked on the letters.  A second coat of purple made the colors pop!

P1770589 iliana hostal charito

After the purple dried, we highlighted many areas with black.

P1770585 hostal charito

She looks pretty happy, don't you think?

She looks pretty happy, don’t you think?

Reminds me of when Marie did her painting!

Reminds me of Marie’s painting session!

The pale lavender was the only color that she had for prep, so purple seemed the logical choice.  Pearl white along the border dressed it up a bit.

The next morning we worked on details and built more color.  Pearl white dressed the border and details on the bird and butterfly. (Charito was Iliana’s mother’s name.)

"Let's see how it looks!"

“Let’s see how it looks!”

Iliana's husband will be so proud when he comes in after two weeks in the Amazon!

Iliana’s husband will be so surprised when he comes in after two weeks in the Amazon!

Iliana hammered the sign so very carefully!

Iliana hammered the sign so very carefully!

Where should the WiFi sign perch?

Where should the WiFi sign perch?

Mother and daughter work while a friend directs!

Mother and daughter work while a friend directs!

Ah!  Just in time for "Papa/Abuelo" to come home for lunch!

Ah! Just in time for “Papa/Abuelo” to come home for lunch!

Oh yes, this is a sweet home!

Oh yes, this is a sweet home!

Would you consider staying here? Does the sign add curb appeal?

Everyone is pleased!  Does it say, "Happy People Live Here" to you?

Everyone is pleased! Does it say, “Happy People Live Here” to you?

Even a simple line drawing can take flight and transform an area while placing a smile in one’s heart.  The “Happy People Live Here” sign became a reality because we took a timeout for art!

(Happy Fourth of July to those of you in the USA!)

z

Advertisements