|Benita & Braulio - Palm Weavers|
|Benita weaving at her home|
|Wendy & Daniel|
|Alebrijes carved by Fabian and painted by his daughter|
Again I was greeted with genuine hospitality. Fabian and his family went through the entire process of making an alebrije, starting with selecting the piece of copal, a soft wood also grown for its resin that is burned as incense. Fabian showed me a few small copal trees growing in his yard. He told me that there were almost none left in the village now, as the whole village dedicates itself to the carving of alebrijes. The local and state governments had recently planted about 25 hectares of copal that would be ready to harvest in a few years. For the time being, poorer people from the mountainside outside of Oaxaca brought wood to the village to sell to the artisans. He then took me through the process of making a small armadillo.
|Dot by dot, ever so fine|
|La Familia Lopez|
I recently took a photography workshop at el Centro Fotografico Manuel Alvarez Bravo, entilted: El Camino Como Destino (the Path as Destination) One of our exercises was to work on one of several emotions connected with your photography. I chose "Fear". We were to try to see what we could do differently to overcome our obstacle. So again, I decided to ask people permission to photograph them, this time people I did not know. Using Marie's sketches as a springboard, I decided to try to parallel a few with photographs along the same theme. Here are three that I did that day:
The sketch at the left was a flower vendor in Oaxaca selling for the Day of the Dead. On the right is Maria, a vendor in el Mercado 20 de Noviembre. She was a hard sell. She wanted 50 pesos for a photograph. I ended up giving her 20, something I don't like to do, and promised to buy flowers from her. When I went back a few days later to give her the photos, she was not there, but the other vendors ask me if I was "enamorado" (in love with) Maria. I playfully said, "Yes"! They all laughed and suggested I take her back to the States with me. But I think that Corvallis has enough flower vendors.
The sketch of the tortilla vendor to the left was done in Tlacolula Market, a place Marie loved to sketch. The photograph to the right was done a block from my apartment. I pass this woman every day. She sells quesadillas and enfrijoladas on the street. Now I buy tortillas from her as well. A new relationship!
And the final two images are on a street corner six blocks from my house. It is one of my favorite sketches. The building is still there, but now condemned and uninhabited. Needless to say, Uncle George's influence is still deeply felt here.
And so life goes on in much the same way. Things change, people change, but we all move on. We have to.