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Fiesta de San Pablo Huitzo

Saturday, my friend, Jose took me to the small village of San Pablo Huitzo for the celebration of Huitzo’s patron saint, Pablo (Paul)

I visited San Pablo 3 yearso ago, to learn about the Universidad de la tierra (University of the earth). It is a great program. It alone is worth visiting the little village.

At the fiesta, we visited a fair with organic produce, livestock, handicrafts, textiles and a demonstration of a solar powered water pump.

Like most Mexican villages, in the center of town, there is a church and city building. Between the two was an elaborate structure. It is a firework display that a team of people spent months to build and plan…all for the big event of the fiesta.

The structure was not just covered with fireworks and moving parts, but also with lights, which illuminated the night, as we waited for the firework display.

After much bell ringing from the church, the priest started leading the congregation through singing vespers. Not far from the church is the city hall, where a rowdy group of young people played loud, toe tapping secular music, while people danced.

Jose and I were standing between the church and city hall. Some of the older people were complaining because the ‘barrachos (drunks)’ were making too much noise and racket…they couldn’t hear the music coming from the church.

I thought it was perfect symbolism. Paul is one of my favorite saints, because he had a dramatic change in his life…so much that he changed his name (he was originally called Saul—back when he was bad). I thought the barrachos dancing in the streets symbolized the life of ‘Saul’…the devoted people in the church represented ‘Paul’

I tried to take some photos of the firework display. In my opinion, photos of fireworks are never as good as enjoying them in real life. I put my camera in my pocket, and enjoyed the beautiful display. It was one of the most expressive firework displays that I have ever seen!

Shortly after the fiesta, I experienced a radical change that changed the way I think about things (not as dramatic as Paul’s conversion…but big enough for me). I thought San Pablo must have been watching over me.

Thanks Jose and San Pablo Huitzo for the wonderful experience!


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people change. try new things: chaupalines

the people of Oaxaca enjoy a snack, called chaupalines (grasshoppers). they are roasted with chili and lime. over the 5 years of visiting Mexico, I have not been able to aquire a taste for them; until now.

something switched with my taste buds, and now they are so delicious, I could eat a whole bag of them (like popcorn)!

it just goes to show that people change, and don’t be afraid to try something again…even when it didn’t work for you the first tries.

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¡Que rico es Soledad Etla!

Breakfast in my neighborhood’s cocina…mexican eggs, black beans and hand made tortillas (corn, of course)…a little different from the pop tarts I am used to eating for breakfast.

I love how the old fashioned ways of cooking still live in soledad etla. these men bring the wood for cooking to the kitchen.

there’s nothing better than a fresh cooked tortilla!
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Soledad Etla – First Impressions

My friend Leticia Gomez-Salinas is a Spanish teacher, who lives in Soledad Etla, a small village north of Oaxaca. She offers her students a unique opporunity to live with her family, in her village.

This is going to be a different experience, because her village does not have as many english speakers visiting from all over the world (compared to the capital city, Oaxaca) So I find myself using Spanish more often.

It’s also a small town, which has a different dynamic than a bigger city. As an artist, i love the art in a big city, but prefer the relaxed and tranquil small town life (i’m the same way in Kentucky)

Here’s a short video I made with my first impressions of Soledad Etla. There will be more to follow! Enjoy!

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drink the water

Travel Update: I’m still in. cdmx, waiting for.my bus to Oaxaca. I have noticed that a lot of USA people warn me to “not drink the water” when I tell them I’m going to visit Mexico. I always let them know that I love Mexican water.

this brand of naturally occuring carbonated water comes from a spring in Mexico. and is one of the most delicious waters I have ever had… plain or with the salt and lime. I have already had 2 liters, and I feel better than ever! so my advice if you ever visit Mexico is: drink the water!

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Sketching With The Ipad – on Old US ROUTE 62 -Old Washington, KY

Everyone has their own artmaking technique. Before I start a project, I draw with whatever tool I have available:

  • I like pencils and paper, for it’s tactile quality, the ablility to shade, and correct mistakes.
  • pens and markers for their lines, and no erasing keeps me from fiddling around
  • the ipad for the flexibility of digital…easy changes, video timelapse of workflow

One tool i try to avoid is the camera. Regardless of what I am using, I want to draw from life. Years ago, I read a study about using a camera to look at art which suggested that we don’t fully experience a moment when we photograph it.Regardless of what I am using, I want to draw from life whenever possible. Years ago, I read a study about using a camera to look at art which suggested that we don’t fully experience a moment when we photograph it. I read another study that found drawing something helps us remember.

For this drawing, I used an app, called procreate: THE best ipad app for drawing. It has a bonus feature of recording a step by step video…giving us a peek into my thought process while drawing.

The finished artwork is going to be a woodcut–for my series about US Route 62.

I love living in Old Washington. If I ever need inspiration, all I have to do is walk a few blocks from home. This row of buildings sit on the ORIGINAL US Route 62.

The finished artwork is going to be a woodcut–for my series about US Route 62.

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New Woodcut – Morning Run In The Bluegrass

US Route 62 goes through some beautiful parts of Kentucky’s Bluegrass region. The long views of fences, barns and horses, running in the fields are spectacular.

woodcut of horses running in a field

I wanted to capture that feeling with my latest woodcut.

finished woodcut of horse farm in kenntucky
finished carving-ready to print

If you’d like one of these hand pulled woodcuts (and also support my work!) you can order one through my online gallery, or with the button below