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Tropical Paradise - Nicaraguan Primitive Art

June 21st, 2010

Tropical Paradise - Nicaraguan Primitive Art

This was my first painting which I asked to learn the techniques of painting the Nicaraguan Primitive style. Though an imagined scene, the design is very similar to one I have seen as an embroidery of the epoch of the Spanish Conquest of the 1500's. Our first two years in Nicaragua we lived in Chinandega, near the Pacific coast, and found many people still living in thatched roof houses similar to that depicted. I chose the Primitive style because it demonstrates a love for the country, for nature, for the brilliance of colors under a Tropical sun. With Ernesto Cardenal, poet and priest, former Minister of Culture, originated the Primitivista style of painting in his community of Solentiname that was destroyed by the Somoza dictatorship in the early days of the Revolution. This style of painting still continues in Nicaragua.
Another interesting fact is that though I had known of Ernesto Cardenal since our earliest days here, 1984, and knew his Tres Mundos Gallery, I had not really read his poetry. Three years ago I came across the poetry of his uncle, Pablo Antonio Cuadra, and was so impressed with the depth of his writing, especially his Way of the Cross, Round of the Year, and Book of Hours that I began translating the Spanish into English. The Nicaraguan Academy of the Spanish Language wants to help get that book published. This work led me to know of the friendship and correspondence of those two Nicaraguan poets and others with Thomas Merton, Catholic Cistercian monk, priest, poet, writer, activist who lived in Gethsemani, Kentucky. This has been a great journey, and one I would enjoy sharing in this blog....

My first blog

June 19th, 2010

This is all new to me and I don't know how it works, but just to try it out....Living in Matagalpa, Nicaragua sometimes seems at the far end of the world, but in 2007 I took a painting class, at 72 years of age, and last year had my first art exhibit at the local library. We have lived in Nicaragua 26 years, and the people and culture and scenery have become embedded in our minds and hearts - my husband Jim, retired, with lathe woodworking and trying his hand at wood carving, and me with painting, first from photographs of our morning walks, and of things I like, and more recently of my impressions while in prayer or doodles during sermons. This latter was inspired by Thomas Merton and his calligraphies, but I add color, mixed media on mulberry papers. It is exciting to have this way to become connected with other artists and to share God's gift to me with you...