In 2010, I went to Mexico for the first time. I booked a room at La Paloma in Ajijic. Some friends of mine were looking to retire there, and were staying at the same Bed and Breakfast.
I almost didn’t book the flight, because I was scared I would be bored. I knew I needed a vacation, but all of my previous vacations have been packed full with attending cultural events, visiting museums, and looking at contemporary art at the local galleries from the, usually, metropolitan cities. But this trip, I was traveling by myself to a very small village in Mexico and I didn’t speak any Spanish. The B&B was owned by American’s, so I felt like they could at least point me in the right direction. But my fear was that there would be nothing to do, and I would only sit by the pool. I don’t like going to the beach. I don’t like swimming. And I don’t like sitting in the sun. With skin cancer in my family, I generally try to stay out of the sun. What if I just couldn’t stand it. A claustrophobic fear came about. I decided to try and conquer that fear.
Early in the trip, Ajijic had a street market full of… everything. Leather goods, clothing, kitchen tools, crafts, dolls, beadwork, jewelry, bed linens, baskets, and many more items filled about half of the market. The other was filled with flowers, vegetables, fruits, nuts, candies, peppers, herbs, honey, fish, chickens, juices, and whatever else people would put in their bodies. The place was packed, and people were there out of necessity to get their needs for the week. I found it to be very inspiring to watch this chaos that had a rhythmic flow.
I decided I wanted to go to other market’s in other villages nearby and started a search. Each village had a designated day of the week for the market. I visited the markets of Tlaquepaque, Tonala, Chapala and Guadalajara, which the first two surprised me on how large they were. Street after street after street of crafts, artwork, tools, religious icons, beds, office supplies, cameras, boots, and of course perishables and necessities were everywhere. These market’s said a lot about the villages, and I found them to be fascinating.
From this, I started my “Market” series of paintings. Visit my website or pinterest to see more Market Paintings.
©2015 karen silve art®