Burros and Paintbrushes: A Mexican Adventure

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Texas A&M University Press, 1985 - History - 151 pages
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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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Contents

Chapala
3
Guanajuato
39
Ajijic
65
El Manglar
86
Mexico City
110
Tehuantepec
138
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About the author (1985)

EVERETT GEE JACKSON is a widely exhibited painter, illustrator of fine books, and professor emeritus of art, San Diego State University. He attended Texas A&M and the Art Institute of Chicago before beginning the four-year artist's sojourn in Mexico chronicled in this book. He later received the B.A. degree from San Diego State College and the M.A. from the University of Southern California. In 1979 the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes and the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, Mexico City, honored him with a retrospective exhibition of his paintings and drawings at the Museo del Carmen. He lives with his wife Eileen in San Diego, California.

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