Mexico Travel Journal Winter 2017 p3

After two nights in Puerto Vallarta, we packed our bags and arrived in front of the big Walmart, where the local buses collect passengers.  (Local buses do not use the bus station.  A PV city bus will take you to Walmart; then you wait for the Compostella buses  for points north.)  We needed the Compostela bus to Lo de Marcos, 1 1/2 hours north in the state of Nayarit.  Plenty of buses go to the popular surf town of Sayulita, but only a few go as far as Lo de Marcos and points north.  Our wait was over an hour, with the station conductor explaining, “the bus will be here at 11:40, “mas o menos;  horas mexicanas….”  The vendors set up their food stations and carts, and the patrons settled on benches.  With everyone joking and laughing, it reminded me of the Group W bench in Arlo Guthrie’s song, “Alice’s Restaurant.”  I pulled out my knitting and enjoyed the throng.

We boarded the bus about 15 minutes later than scheduled and after several stops in PV and Buserias, the bus was packed.  True to stereotype, the ride was humid, hot, bumpy, and noisy with many stops as it wound its way on the narrow coastal highway northward.  Finally at Sayulita, the bus nearly emptied, and air began to flow through the open windows.  30 minutes later, we were back in Lo de Marcos, where we had spent some idyllic weeks in ’14 & ’15.  After dropping luggage at our inn, we changed clothes and walked to the beach.  It was as if we had never left; we were welcomed by many local expats who remembered us from winters past.  Without making a phone call, we were reconnected to the community with plans for the next 3 days.

olivia-3
Olivias, a seaside palapa restaurant on the beach is open long hours, even when the restaurants in town close for siesta.  The waves on the beach are dramatic, popular with paddle boarders and gringo dogs.
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Art for Valentine’s Day

I found a special rock in Lo de Marcos last winter when I walked up the street from the beach to my casita.  It was shaped like a heart.  I give my husband hearts once in a while for special occasions.  I thought this would make a good gift, but I thought it needed a little something before it became a gift.  

rock from Lo de Marcos, Mexico
rock from Lo de Marcos, Mexico

I was inspired to develop this rock into a work of art by a demo at the Montrose Visual Arts Guild monthly meeting.  The woman who gave the demo used a variety of sticks to get different size dots.  I quickly realized how tedious this could become, but I was motivated by the vision I saw in my mind’s eye upon completion.

I developed the cover design for the box based on Australian Aboriginal paintings.  I felt this piece was an homage to their work, as it did not copy any of their animal images or designs.  It only borrowed from their way of working and the rhythm of the dots.

Acrylic on enamel wooden box in the style of Australian Aboriginal paintings
Acrylic on enamel wooden box in the style of Australian Aboriginal paintings

As I developed the cover design, I simultaneously gave the rock two coats of red paint and worked on the paper lining for the inside of the box.  As you can see these designs complement, but do not mirror each other.

inside box design
inside box design

After the red coat was dry, I was able to finish by painting the rock itself and placing it inside the box.  This gift needed no wrapping.

box with rock
box with rock

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