Burros and Paintbrushes: A Mexican Adventure
Texas A&M University Press, 1985 - History - 151 pages
In 1923 a little train ran from Guadalajara, Mexico, to Chapala, but only twice a week. One of those excursions carried two young Americans, trained at the Art Institute of Chicago, to the small village to paint. Red-tiled roofs on pale pastel houses bordering a great silvery lake greeted the two.
In the next four years the lives of the artists—and the bride one lured south from California—pulsated to the beat of a Mexico few Americans knew. This sprightly memoir by one of those young painters captures the tone and spirit of their adventures. Everett Gee Jackson’s keen eye and quiet humor provide an intriguing view of the people and places he knew at that time—a time long gone—and of the making of an artist.
From the widow’s parrot that Senor Martinez taught to curse, to the murals of Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco; from burro rides over winding mountain trails, to paintings of straw-thatched huts rising on stilts out of a lake; from breakfasts in small native restaurants, to learning to see colors without names and buildings that defy the need to be balanced and static, Jackson adroitly weaves together the details of physical, cultural and artist’s-eye landscapes. The graceful sketches and lush paintings reproduced in the book embody both the scenes of Mexico he describes and the sensibilities of the artist.
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Ajijic Alfredo American Anita Brenner arrived artist asked banana bathtub beautiful began buildings burros calzones canvas carried Chapala charcoal Charlot Chichen Itza church coat coconut color cook Coyoacan dark Diego Diego Rivera donkeys easel Eileen El Pedregal English felt figurines floor front girl Green Door Guadalajara Guanajuato Indian Isidoro Jesus Jocotepec kitchen knew lake learned lived looked Lowelito Lowelito and Traynham Luke Short Lupe Manglar Margarita Mescala Mexican Mexico City miles Miss Hatch morning mule never night noticed Ocotlan orange Pancho parrots patio plaza Porfirio Diaz rebozo rent road rock fences seemed seen Senor Martinez side sleep soon Spanish started straw houses street suddenly suitcase talk Tehuantepec Texas thing thought told took train Traynham Pitts trees trip trunk turned village walked wall wanted woman women Zapotec