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Museo Portoviejo sponsors and encourages the arts. (Image from 2012)

El Ministerio de Cultura y Patrimonio
a traves del Museo Portoviejo y Archivo Historico
(Portoviejo Ecuador)
Invita a la inauguracion de la exposicion
Sigrid Tidmore (Estados Unidos)
Alfonso Endara (Quito)
Crystal Hayes (Canada)
Lisa Brunetti (Estados Unidos)
Yuliana Shevchuk (Rusia)
Abigail Herrera (Venezuela)
Direccion: Calle Olmedo entre Sucre y Cordova (Edificio la Previsora)
Fecha: Agosto 15 de 2018
Hora: 19h30
(05) 2652235 – 2652279

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once. ” – Albert Einstein

When one steps into a gallery or museum, they probably don’t think about the stories behind the paintings. Painting can be hard work, especially when ‘the good brushes’ no longer hold a point, and locally-purchased new ones make poor replacements. It is difficult to ‘nail’ the snippet of light on a bird’s eye or sign one’s name when using a brush that flares at the point! Even one AWOL hair on that brush will leave its renegade signature where it doesn’t belong!  Aside from my friends and family in the USA, I also miss the convenience of buying my favorite art supplies!

Painting for me is easy when compared to the next step of matting and framing those works – and having places to store the paintings. There are no ‘Michaels’ or ‘Fads and Frames’ that offer good quality brushes, paints, mats, ready-made or custom-made frames. The larger cities have better options, but what if those cities are hours and hours away? Over the years I’ve adapted, and now use thin plywood as ‘mats,’ which I sand and paint. Just like selecting custom mats at a frame shop, I usually draw and hand paint those windows; when the paint is dry, the original is carefully taped in place.

Ready to paint that window!

“Tres Toucanes”

Because many panes of glass have broken over the years (ha, and in earthquakes!) I now use very-thick clear plastic, which protects the paintings from dust and fingerprints. The curious public can sometimes damage a drawing or painting by touching it…

Ugh; I often forget to photograph the work until it’s beneath the plastic.!

Frames are made by local carpenters; I dole out the requests a few at a time, and almost always they are ready when promised. I sand and varnish or paint them, and finally secure the painting into its frame.

Brothers Amable and Luis helped when I lived in Jama…

The nearest cyber/wifi op is in the town of Ayacucho, where I am writing this post!

Now Franklin, who lives half an hour away in Ayacucho, makes most of my frames.

Sometimes the frames are a little too small, so back to the workshop we go!

Back to the workshop!

Ah. thanks, Franklin! (The small frames cost two to three dollars; the large ones are five to seven!)

Painting at night continues to present its challenges; the biggest one is the insects. In the daytime, those panoramic-view windows bring the outdoors inside; at night the lights invite the insects to come see the art in progress! They are tiny wispy little insects, but they are SO drawn to the lights!

5:15 AM after an all night-painting session; they were like fans at a sold-out event, crowding the gates in hopes of being admitted!

The next morning….

The work area now has blue curtains, but the insects seemed to say, “Ha! You have to do better than this!’ — Now blankets and sheets add to my very-eccentric indoor tent!

Insect hieroglyphics!  Don’t worry, this was not in the house; photographed while watching bats and swallows at the dam…

“The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” Jean Paul

For obvious reasons, most of my ‘night work’ has ceased.  That is why I was running two hours late to deliver two paintings to Museo Portoviejo earlier this week; I had only driven a few kilometers when I stopped to photograph a raptor. It possessed a strong presence, and I sensed that I was viewing another VIP bird. It allowed ample time for photos, and I scolded myself for not taking the bird identification guide book with me! Does anyone know – at a glance – the name of this raptor?

From my limited guide-book options, this appears to be another VIP bird for Poza Honda.

It was hanging out on a cecropria limb!

After posting this, I’ll upload the data to ebird and hope that my identification (below) is correct…

One would think that a bird on the endangered list would be quite skittish of a person’s presence, but it seemed totally relaxed. I rationalized that if I had left at 11 instead of 1, I would have missed this photo session with the majestic Grey-backed Hawk!  Could Life have orchestrated that delay so that I was rewarded with this lovely encounter with the raptor?

From the IUCN RED LIST:     The population density in the Northwest Peru Biosphere Reserve was calculated to be 0.65 individuals per km2, with the population of the study area estimated at 136 individuals (Piana 2016). The population is estimated to number 250-999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.

Cornell offers more information: “Global population size of the species has been established between 250 to 999 mature individuals, based on assesment of known records, description of abundance and range size. This is equivalent to 350 to 1500 individuals (BirdLife International 2016). However, a rapid and ongoing population decline is suspected given the acelerated rate of habitat destruction and fragmentation, particullarly in Ecuador.”

After reading the above information, I realize what a special and important sighting this was!  Note to self, “It’s OK to be tardy; perhaps Life has orchestrated a special detour for your viewing pleasure!” 

Grey-backed Hawk – Poza Honda – August 7, 2018

That’s all for today’s ramblings;  if you find yourself running late or navigating Life’s detours, smile and look for the hidden prizes!