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In the distance, beyond that middle power line pole, is the little beach community of La Division...

In the distance, beyond that middle power line pole, is the little beach community of La Division…

“I’ll start with small things.”—Vincent van Gogh

Jama, Manabi, Ecuador 

Looking out the window and over the river and across the shrimp ponds, I often gaze toward the little pueblito of La Division. About a half hour’s walk from the riverhouse, La Division retains a refreshing authenticity that many coastal communities have lost.

View from the dining and art class area

View from the dining and art class area

With that authenticity comes the ‘manana’ attitude, and the 2 o’clock classes usually don’t begin until 3. Paying customers trump art class, and sometimes Nely prepares lunches, insists on serving me the family special, then scrubs her kitchen squeaky clean before switching to student mode. On sunny days I usually order a cold cervesa and sit back and absorb the tranquil vibe and practice the Ecuadorian lifestyle!

La Division 7 years ago with twice the beach compared to 2014.

La Division 7 years ago (when I first visited)  with twice the beach compared to 2014.

With grandchild sleeping quietly in the nearby hammock, Nely focuses on her work.

With her grandchild sleeping quietly in the nearby hammock, Nely focuses on her work. (Alexandro works on school asssignments!)

Rossi commutes from Jama to La Division each day as the sole teacher for the petite “elementary’ school.  Some days she is finished before two, and other days she works late. She and Nely consistently attend the drawing and painting class, and I remain humbled by their quest to absorb and master what I have to share.

P8060052 timeout la division nely paints

Nely´s white bird looked lost until she floated the darker background around the image… It was fresh and lovely, and then she outlined it in black!!!

Every so often during a demonstration, Nely and Rossi eagerly begin practicing before I am finished. “Ninas!” I patiently retort, “Mira – watch this…”

Sometimes one learns much faster by watching and then attempting the same techniques. Other times it’s best to let them swim, then toss a flotation device when they realize they’re a bit over their heads!

Then she painted a second layer of darker blue around the image, which actually strengthened the design!  z

I quickly offered two suggestions.  One was to convert it into a zebra bird.  (She did not see the humor in this suggestion!) She opted for the 2nd suggestion ‘ to add a second layer of darker blue, which actually strengthened the design! z

Quite rapidly they’re advancing, and I’m very proud to spend these few hours each week with my newest students!

P8060043 timeout la division rossi hands

P8060033 timeout la divsion nely y rossi P8060049 timeout la division nelly paints

Barter Windfall!

Barter Windfall!

Next week, weather permitting, they’ll visit the studio of Casa Loca. Do you think they’ll be inspired?!
P1720826 casa loca y more

My computer’s internal battery has died, so I’m totally offline unless writing from a cybercafé. Weighing the costs of a new battery to prolong a tired old burro-notebook or waiting a month to purchase a new one, I choose to touch base each week via cybercafé and hobble along until September.

There are many computer-free distractions to keep me busy until then!

timeout  for nature P8050158 GREAT EGRET SUNSET

P8050145 SUNSET FINERY great egret wings

P8020442 END OF DAY PELICANS FRIGATES Y

P6030071 GREEN KINGFISHER DOS

"I think that middle guy in the boat has been hooked before... what do you think_?"

“I think that middle guy in the boat has been hooked before… what do you think_?”

P8020353 boys in canoe

Have a great weekend, everyone, and take a small timeout for art!
Z

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