“But I did not want art like this; I asked for green things and frogs and butterflies….”
That’s what my friend and former neighbor Marcos said when I congratulated him on the new art on their garden wall.
The art was much better than what was previously there – a sterile concrete wall; he explained that he wanted to bring the outdoors inside, and he was disappointed in the results.
I normally dodge a request to repaint what another artist painted, but after listening to his story, and witnessing his somber mood when critiquing the art, I agreed to help via compromise; working with what was there, I’d take the art a few more steps forward.
As I worked, I shared with Marcos and Juanita that it’s often difficult for an artist to grasp what the other person wants.. it’s like stepping into a dream that belongs to someone else. If the artist has never painted life-like images, and they specialize in another style, it’s difficult to do the work. No longer is the art springing forth from the soul; it’s tempered by thinking about what the other person wants. With one eye on the work, the other is tweaked toward the ‘client’ – so there’s already a problem to stay focused and dedicated to the best job.
It was well done – well painted, and the colors were pleasant; the person who painted it was no longer in the country and he doubted if she’d be back.
While working on the frog, I noted that Marcos had other plans; he wanted the ‘window’ to be wider, and with a few swipes of paint, the old image vanished… uh-oh, my tasks just doubled in size! He seemed thrilled with the progress, I handed him brushes and paint, and slowly his entire spirit transformed. Enjoy the slide show:
I helped until time to leave with the final load of items from the apartment and make that seven-hour drive back to Poza Honda. Unfortunately the trees had not magically grown back, and the area had been somewhat cleared; every so often someone burned piles of debris, and each time I was lucky to be upwind from the burns.
One burn went out of control and came very close to where I live. The image below was taken from the dam as I drove for an internet session. Want to find the house? Just follow the smoke. 😦
When I returned, a young man stopped me at the dam gates. He showed me a video on his phone and explained that it was his mother’s property. He seemed quite remorseful about the fire that continued to burn – and creep closer to the house. Continue reading