Alaska, Mexico and Beyond…

“One Journey Leads to Another”

Archive for the tag “Art”

Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Balls

“DARK SIDE OF THE RINGS: This spectacular view looks down on Saturn’s northern regions, with its pole still in the darkness of the northern hemisphere winter. The rings cast a band of shadow across the gas giant world.”

“Michael Benson’s Otherworlds, Visions of our Solar System” is the title of a current exhibit in the Queensland Museum, Brisbane, Australia. This is a photo of one of his magnificent photographs.

Mosaic composite photograph. Cassini, 20 January 2007. The quotation was the museum’s explanation.

On a much smaller scale, thousands of tiny crabs created millions of tiny balls of sand!
Boyne Island, Queensland, Australia.

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Making a Didgeridoo

Sanding is but one step in transforming the trunk of a certain type of eucalyptus into a didgeridoo, that most uniquely Australian musical instrument.

During my recent trip to Brisbane, Australia, to visit my son and his wife, I was fortunate to watch the whole process and to meet Glen Lindh, Dominic’s friend who taught him how to make a “didge.”

Step one is to visit Glen, who is one of the Wiradjuri (alternate spelling: Waradjuri) aboriginal people, where we sort through a pile of blanks (chunks of trunks with the bark still attached) to choose one of the appropriate size and shape. Length and shape both affect the sound of the finished instrument. Glen buys the blanks from another man who cuts them in an area of New South Wales. The tree is called mallee, which refers to its particular growth habit of multiple trunks growing from an underground lignotuber.

On the right is a blank and the left a finished didge.

The next step is to saw off any uneven ends. Notice how the interior of the wood has been conveniently hollowed out by termites! Using a draw knife, Dominic removes most of the bark and some of the underlying layer of wood, revealing the creamy color of the inside layer. Traditionally all the bark and darker layer are removed, which leaves a clean slate for painting aboriginal designs. Glen’s didges are made in this style, but during our visit I was so focused on listening to his fascinating stories and history that I forgot to take photos! Not being an aboriginal person, Dominic chooses not to paint their designs but rather show off the contrasting colors and textures of the wood.
Click on any photo to enlarge or see a slide show.

The inside of the wooden cylinder is sealed with “Bond-Crete,” which is a concrete sealer that protects the wood and helps prevent cracking.

After the sealer has dried to a clear finish, several coats of varnish are applied, which protect the wood and enhance the colors and grain. The difference is striking!

The last steps are to fashion a mouthpiece of beeswax and dip the top section of the didge into melted beeswax to make a smooth surface. In these photos Dominic’s friend Mark is forming the mouthpiece on the didge that they have made for him.

Last step: Master the required circular breathing and make music! Mark has been playing a didgeridoo since he was 10 years old, so he has many learning tips for Dominic. It seems to me that making a didge is much easier than playing it!

Noche de Rabanos (Night of Radishes) 2016

Noche de Rabanos (Night of Radishes) is a splendid one day creative extravaganza unique to the city of Oaxaca. Imaginative people from around the state have been working on designs for many months, and on December 23 they display their artwork for the enjoyment and amazement of thousands of onlookers, plus they have a chance to win a prize!
Click on any image to enlarge or see a slide show.

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Photo by Rick

We begin our day by eating breakfast in one of the outdoor restaurants that surround the zócalo, the main plaza of Oaxaca where the event takes place. We enjoy watching people construct and put the finishing touches to their depictions of daily life, history, religion, and culture. Some of the radish carvings are done at the last minute!   Every tiny piece of the work must be of natural materials – no wire or plastic – and most of the radish figures are held together with toothpicks.

There are three categories of materials: specially grown giant rabanos (radishes), flor inmortal (looks like what I know as straw flowers), and totomoxtle, or corn husks.

Some photos show entire displays so you can see how elaborate they are, and some are of small sections to show the incredible detail. Photographer friend Rick Impett contributed some excellent photos – thanks, Rick!

MERCADOS (MARKETS)

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Photo by Rick

MUSIC AND DANCING

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RELIGIOUS LIFE

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WEAVERS

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NEFARIOUS CREATURES!

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Photo by Rick

Living lives surrounded with artisans creating textiles, carvings, metalwork, pottery, painting, music and dancing, children of Oaxaca learn to become artists, musicians and craftspeople at a very young age. It’s wonderful to see!

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SPECTACULAR PIECE and the ARTIST

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Beetle Heaven

Great numbers of VW Beetles in various states of repair or disrepair buzz around Oaxaca (and perhaps all of Mexico)! It’s obvious people love them, and I love seeing the creative paint jobs or other “fix-ups.” Often they are speeding by, making it impossible to take photos, but following are a few favorite Beetles that I captured while they were parked.

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Photos below were taken in Chiapas. This VW was a work of art from every direction!

You could alter your VW for a wedding getaway….

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Or you could build your own portable ice cream stand (definitely my choice).
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This Beetle desperately needs a sponser – what would you do if it were yours?

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Día de Muertos – Colima, Mexico

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is one of the most important celebrations of the year in Mexico- a day for honoring and remembering ancestors or other loved ones who have died. A few years ago I was living in Colima and was lucky to live across from a park where a special competition took place. Student teams designed and built altars or tapetes (carpets) of natural materials. Since I noticed the activity beginning early in the morning, I was able to enjoy seeing their projects take shape throughout the day.

 

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GETTING STARTED

MANY HANDS WORKING TOGETHER GET THE JOB DONE!

 

 

ANY MATERIAL CAN BE USED AS LONG AS IT’S NATURAL

By late afternoon all the work was completed and thousands of people from all over the city circled the park admiring the intricate designs, eating and drinking special treats provided by food vendors, talking, laughing, and enjoying the evening in true Mexican style! By morning not a bean was left in sight.

ONE PROUD TEAM

ONE PROUD TEAM!

Cee’s Photo Challenge: Contrast Colors

Contrasting colors in Oaxaca? Too easy.  Oaxaca is awash with bold color combinations. It could be the birthplace of color contrasts! A one hour walk around El Centro provided more photo ops than I imagined.  I did not have to find them – they found me!

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Click on any photo for a slide show

If you just can’t decide what color to use…why not use them all!

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Photo taken in San Martín Tilcajete

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Throughout the day and even at sunset, the colors that surround us are intensified by the beautiful Oaxaca blue sky.

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Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge week #10

In Pátzcuaro, Mexico, there is no evil!

 

Cee’s Oddball Challenge #7: Cow on the Wall

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On the rump of the cow it says “Why do you eat me?”
Guadalajara, Mexico

Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge: Vertical Lines

Vertical lines surround us and add visual excitement to our lives!

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Hand woven decorations
Tzintzuntzan, Michoacán, Mexico

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After the fire
Sterling, Alaska

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Petrified waterfall
Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca, Mexico

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Canela (true cinnamon) Corn husks for tamales
Mercado de la Merced, Oaxaca, Mexico

Check here http://ceenphotography.com/2015/11/18/cees-compose-yourself-photo-challenge-week-7-vertical-lines/ for more interpretations of vertical lines

Weekly Photo Challenge: Faces

Faces, whether real or imagined, always tell a story…

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Click on any photo to enlarge.

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And those stories can also be true or invented.

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Enjoy many more FACES here: http://wheresmybackpack.com/2015/11/13/travel-theme-faces/

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