Category Archives: art

La artista

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. English translation is below!

Cuando yo era niña, yo quería ser una artista – una pintora específicamente. Mis padres me compraban un caballete, pinturas y brochas. Sólo me faltaba una boina. Me encantó pintar, pero cuando veía a cuadros al óleo profesionales, me desanimé. Años más tarde todavia quería ser una artista pero, decidí que quería ser una arquitecta. Mis padres me compraban una mesa de dibujo y papel cuadriculado. Me encantó diseñar casas de mis sueños, pero cuando me di cuenta de que los arquitectos tienen que ser muy bien en matemáticas, no me interesaba más.

Así pasó por una docena otras opciones de carrera. Poco a poco dejé de dibujar pero a veces me interesa otra vez. Ahora si podría trabajar como artista, quería ser la persona que crea nuevas ideas para las tarjetas telefónicas. Las tarjetas telefónicas siempre tienen nombres bien chistosas y me imagino que es divertido dibujar las imágenes para las tarjetas.

Aquí hay una tarjeta telefónica Carlos compró recientemente.

¿Y tú? ¿Qué otros trabajos te gustaría hacer?

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an artist – a painter specifically. My parents bought me an easel, paints and brushes. A beret was the only thing missing. I loved to paint, but when I saw professional oil paintings, I became discouraged. Years later I still wanted to be an artist but I decided I wanted to be an architect. My parents bought me a drafting table and graph paper. I loved designing houses, but when I realized architects have to be very good at math, I lost interest.

That’s how it went for a dozen other career options. Gradually I stopped drawing but sometimes I feel interested again. Now if I could work as an artist, I would want to be the person who creates new ideas for phone cards. Phone cards always have funny names and I imagine it’s fun to draw the images for the cards.

Here is a phone card Carlos recently bought.

How about you? What other jobs would you do?

Piñatas Peludas

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. English translation is below!

Ustedes ya saben que me encantan las piñatas, (Bueno ¿Qué tipo de persona sin corazón no le gusta de ellas?)

Pero, la semana pasada encontré unas piñatas que nunca vi antes. Las piñatas eran bien grandes pero la cosa que me impresiono más era que las piñatas eran peludas – ¡sí! Peludas!

Les voy a enseñar para que me entiendan mejor qué estoy diciendo.

Ya ven que no estoy loca y tenía razón! Las piñatas son peludas, ¿vá?

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

You all already know that I love piñatas, (well, what sort of heartless person doesn’t like them?)

However, the other week I found some piñatas that I had never seen before. The piñatas were kind of big but the thing that impressed me most was that the piñatas were furry – yes! Furry!

I’ll show you so you have a better idea of what I mean.

You see, I’m not crazy, I was right! The piñatas are furry, are they not?

Random El Salvador

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. English translation is in italics!

Cuándo regresamos de El Salvador yo compartí con ustedes un montón de fotos que tomé mientras estábamos allí pero todavia tengo unas fotos interesantes que no encajan fácilmente en un tema. Hoy comparto esas fotos “random” con ustedes.

When we returned from El Salvador I shared a whole bunch of photos with all of you which I had taken while we were there. However, I still have some interesting photos that don’t fit easily into a category – Today I share those “random” photos with you.

Una Tía de Carlos tiene un van decorado con un imagen de los “Thundercats” – no sé por qué.

One of Carlos’s aunts has a van decorated with an image of the “Thundercats” – I don’t know why.

La próxima vez que se quejan de tener que lavar la ropa, mejor estar agradecidos por su lavadora y secadora. Esta es la forma de lavar la ropa en la casa de Carlos.

Next time you complain about needing to do laundry, be thankful for your washer and dryer. This is how you do laundry at Carlos’s house.

Camisas de la Selecta (equipo de fútbol) para toda la familia por venta en una tienda en Metrocentro.

La Selecta (soccer team) shirts for the whole family for sale in a store at Metrocentro.

Donas por venta en WalMart, San Salvador. (Fijaste que no están en una vitrina?)

Donuts for sale at WalMart, San Salvador. (Did you notice they’re not in a glass case?)

Pregunté por qué los árboles y postes de teléfono estaban pintados de blanco en la parte de abajo. Se me dijo que le da un aspecto limpio y simboliza la paz, (no sé si es verdad.)

I asked why trees and telephone poles were painted white on the bottom. I was told that it gives a clean look and symbolizes peace, (I don’t know if that’s true.)

CD’s, DVD’s, etc.

Chalet Teresita, Chalatenango

Estos jóvenes estaban usando pintura en aerosol en la pared en plena luz del día. Estaban destruyendo la propiedad o creando arte? No lo sabemos.

These young people were spray painting the wall in broad daylight. Were they destroying property or creating art? We don’t know.

¿Quién quiere agua de coco?

Who wants agua de coco?

Este era el pasajero en frente de nosotros en la fila mientras esperábamos abordar nuestro vuelo de regreso. Una familia en los Estados Unidos iba a comer Pollo Campero por la cena. (Tenga en cuenta que la bolsa tiene una foto de la catedral antes de que fuera destruido unos meses más tarde.)

This was the passenger in front of us in line while we waited to board our flight home. A family in the United States is going to eat Pollo Campero for dinner. (Note that the bag has a photo of the cathedral before it was destroyed a few months later.)

Finding Latin American Art in DC

Because a National Museum of the American Latino does not exist (yet), I try to find Latin American art and culture in all the museums we visit around DC. Here are a few of the most recent things I found.

The Return to Aztlan by Alfredo Arreguin at the National Portrait Gallery

Mis Hermanos by Mexican artist Jesse Trevino, at the American Art Museum

Selena, National Portrait Gallery

As you know, we also made a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian. After I took a million photos of the Huichol art car, I made a stop at the gift shop. A friend has an upcoming birthday and the gift shop at the National Museum of the American Indian is the perfect place to find something for someone who loves Latin American culture. One display in the museum shop is dedicated just to Día de Los Muertos. I didn’t end up buying this item, but here is a neat “calacas” toy from Peru.

Where do you find Latin American art and culture in your city?

Huichol + Volkswagen = Vochol

On Saturday we took a much needed trip to the National Mall to see various new exhibits at some of the museums. The exhibit I wanted to go see most was “Huichol – art on wheels.”

Before I explain what that is, first let me explain what or rather who the Huichol are. The Huichol are indigenous people from western central Mexico, “living in the Sierra Madre Occidental range in the Mexican states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Zacatecas, and Durango.” [Wikipedia] Though they’re commonly known as “Huichol”, they call themselves “Wixáritari” which means “the people” in their language.

My interest in the Huichol people first started a few years ago when Carlos dedicated an adorable song to me by a music group called Huichol Musical. (He does this often – serenades me with songs from YouTube. Carlos will find a video then say, “This song is for you” before playing it at full blast. Not exactly the same as finding a mariachi ensemble outside one’s window, but such is modern romance.)

As I researched more I discovered Huichol art which quickly became one of my favorites. I love colorful folk art and Huichol art is beautiful beyond words.

Image source: Patti Haskins

Image source: Lucy Nieto

So, when I heard that there was an entire vehicle covered in Huichol art, (a Volkswagen Beetle to be exact), at the National Museum of the American Indian, I knew I had to check it out. I’m not even going to apologize for the dozen photos I’m about to bombard you with because it was that chévere. (In between the photos I’ll share some facts I learned about the exhibit from a pamphlet provided by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.)

This piece of art is called “Vochol.” The word “Vochol” is a combination of “vocho” (slang for Volkswagen Beetle in Mexico) and “Huichol.”

The Huichol are known for their colorful beadwork and fiber arts.

Guess how many glass seed beads cover this vehicle, (including interior details!) … If you said 2,277,000 then you are correct. (That’s more than 2 million for those of you who aren’t good with numbers like me.)

The beads alone weigh almost 200 lbs. and are held on with 35 lbs. of resin.

It took eight Wixáritari artists from two families more than 9,000 hours to create this work of art.

The names of the families who created The Vochol: The Bautistas from Jalisco and the Ortiz from Nayarit, Mexico.

The Vochol features a lot of symbolism. Can you spot a two-headed eagle? A snake? Maize? A canoe?

The Vochol is a collaboration between the Association of Friends of the Museo de Arte Popular, the Museo de Arte Popular, and the state governments of Nayarit and Jalisco.

The Vochol will only be on display in DC until May 6th – so if you want to see it in person, go now.

The phrases on the front fenders say “Two hundred years of independence” and “One hundred years since the Mexican Revolution in Wixáritari.

After an international tour, The Vochol will be auctioned off with proceeds going towards promoting the work of native Mexican artists.

Want to learn more? Links:

Official Vochol website
National Museum of the American Indian
Smithsonian.com: Meet the Vochol

Spanish Conversation Hearts – Free Images!

Did your novio forget your flowers? (Or in my case, did you wake up too late to sneak a note into your macho’s lunch box?) … No te preocupes! Here is a Valentine’s Day gift from Latinaish.com that all of you procrastinators are free to re-gift. Put them on your valentine’s Facebook wall, E-mail them to friends, Pin them to Pinterest, or print them to hang up on the door for when the kids get home from school. The posibilidades are endless. Feliz Día de San Valentín!

Update: Here’s an extra one added by request.

Thanks to Kate Pullen for making the blank conversation heart clipart available for use.

Árbol de Chanclas

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

Recientemente mis padres fueron en un viaje a las Islas Gran Caimán. Estoy empezando a pensar que mi madre es mucho como yo, (o mejor dicho que yo soy mucho como ella, porque llegó ella primero.)

Primero, descubrimos que las dos nos encanta tomar fotos de los perros callejeros.

Ahora mi madre me mostró fotos que sacó ella de un árbol cubierto de chanclas.

Bueno, no tengo una foto semejante en mi colección, pero sin duda yo hubiera tomado fotos si encontraba un árbol así en mis viajes.

(Gracias a mi madre por permitirme compartir sus fotos aquí! Si quieres saber la historia del árbol, visita UnCommonCaribbean.com.)

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

Recently my parents went on a trip to the Grand Cayman Islands. I’m beginning to think my mother is a lot like me, (or actually, that I’m much like her, since she came first.)

First, we discovered that we both love taking photos of street dogs.

Now my mother has showed me photos she took of a tree covered with flip-flops.

Well, I don’t have a similar photo in my collection, but certainly I would have taken photos if I had encountered a tree like that in my travels.

(Thanks to my mother for letting me share her photos here! If you want know the history of the tree, visit UnCommonCaribbean.com.)

Virgen de Guadalupe wallpaper

Feliz Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe. Happy Virgin de Guadalupe Day.

In celebration, I created two desktop wallpapers of la Virgencita to choose from. They are completely free to download.

Directions:

Select the wallpaper you like and click to enlarge.
Right click and select “Set as Desktop Background.

Virgen de Guadalupe - Blue/White theme

Virgen de Guadalupe - bandera mexicana theme

When you’re done, you can check out my post about the Virgin of Guadalupe from last year or go to the website of the Basílica de Santa María de Guadalupe in Mexico to send a prayer to the Virgen de Guadalupe. All petitions sent through the website will be placed at the feet de Nuestra Señora in the temple that she asked to be built on Tepeyac. At mass each morning, the petitions are prayed for by clergy.

Que la Virgen morena les cuide, hermanos.

Kusikiy: A Child From Taquile, Peru

Book description: KUSIKIY A CHILD FROM TAQUILE, PERU, by author and illustrator Mercedes Cecilia is a unique story that draws us into the kaleidoscopic and mysterious world of a Peruvian child. KUSIKIY lives in The Andes Mountains of Peru in a small island in Lake Titikaka. In this wise and peaceful community Kusikiy’s father cultivates potatoes and Quinoa; his mother, like her mother and grandmother, weaves intricate traditional designs into her textiles keeping a record of important events. Children will identify with Kusikiy’s love for family and his concerns for the effects of climate changes on Mother Earth, as well as with his desire to be of help to his town. This is a book that gives parents and educators a visual and appealing way to engage children in a dialogue about traditional cultures, the meaning of community, sustainability and caring for our environment.

“Taquile is a peaceful island. It is so quiet that you can hear the potatoes growing under the eath and the voices of mothers whispering Quechua songs to the babies on their backs.” – Kusikiy by Mercedes Cecilia

That is just a taste of the beautiful language found in this book, and here is a sample of the equally beautiful art, also created by the author.

by Mercedes Cecilia

If you’re interested in purchasing your own copy, the author is offering something special to readers of Latinaish.com. From now until December 20th, 2011, you can E-mail the author directly and let her know you’re a reader of Latiniash.com for free shipping and environmentally friendly gift wrapping.

For more information on the book and author, visit Kusikiy.com.

Disclosure: A copy of this book was provided to Latinaish.com for review. All opinions are my own.

La Casa Blanca y La Familia López

Driving by the Washington Monument on our way to the White House. (Carlos calls this "La Aguja" - "the needle.")

The visit to La Casa Blanca was bien chivo although President Obama wasn’t around to welcome me as I had hoped. I didn’t tweet or blog until now because between waking at 4 a.m. for the White House tour and preparing for our trip to Miami, I’m just super cansada.

I wish I had a lot of photos to show you, but on White House tours, no cameras are allowed inside. And honestly, although it’s fun to say, “I’ve been to the White House” – the section they allow you into is really more of a museum than actual living quarters for the family. (I didn’t even so much as see “Bo” – the Obama family’s dog!)

When you first walk in there are photos of the Obama family on the walls of the foyer. The very first photo prominently displayed, was President Obama with mariachi. I instinctively reached for my non-existent camera before remembering – no cameras allowed so I hadn’t brought it. I did find the photo on the internet though so you can see.

(By the way, I found this photo on a website called Obama Looks Bored, which features photos of President Obama looking bored. Love it.)

There were a lot of fancy furnishings, three immense crystal chandeliers that weigh 1200 pounds each. Each chandelier takes 72 hours to clean. (And that is the extent of historical tour guide type data I retained.)

There are various rooms named for colors – The Blue Room, The Red Room (which looked hot pink to me for some reason – but I loved it), The Green Room, etc.

In the Green Room a painting caught my eye and I wanted to remember the artist so I could look it up later. Without a pen and paper I had to rely on my memory, which isn’t so good. To remember things, I usually have to play word games with myself. So, to remember the artist, Jacob Lawrence, I said to myself, “Jacob Lawrence, Jacob Lawrence, Jacob Lawrence… how can I remember his name? … Oh! Jacob Have I Loved!”

Carlos immediately turned around, “Whose Jacob?”
“The artist of that painting,” I said.
“No, the other Jacob you loved,” he said narrowing his eyes.
He didn’t believe me for several minutes that ‘Jacob Have I Loved’ is the name of a book.

The Builders - by Jacob Lawrence

The Obama family in the Green Room, (the painting I like is in the background)

(The painting turned out to be ‘The Builders’ by Jacob Lawrence, if you want to read more about it.)

Once we were outside, we were allowed to take photos, so I took a few with my cell phone camera.

White House lawn being cut.

Back outside the gates.

The future 1st Latino President and his hermanito.

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