From Mexico

Well, I'm here, and sitting in an internet cafe in Guanajuato.

I spent pretty much most of the day friday travelling. It was really nice to leave a mid-december ice storm that was dumping at least a one-inch layer over everything and head to something a little warmer (I`m guessing it´s in the mid-70´s right now... and perfectly sunny).

The flight was just fine. Actually we were above cloud cover until I was well into Mexico. And that was a real treat... this place is beatiful from the ground and beautiful from 35,000 feet. Even the strip mines are gorgeous... we flew over one operation that was mining something that was the most striking shade of pink. Incredible.

I really didn´t do anything on the first day I was here - since I didn´t get to my hotel until late afternoon, I just walked around the city a bit, grabbed a snack, and then slept. Saturday morning, I got busy. I managed to do three paintings during the day - churches and alleys, and then spent some more time exploring the city. This place is unbelievably gorgeous - unlike any place I´ve ever seen. It was built on silver the spanish were extracting from local mines from the mid-1500s on, and is the most improbable city. It´s apparenly shot through with so many caverns and tunnels underneath, it´s basically like Moria. You can still see evidence of it just by walking some of the side streets that duck into the earth. And then the houses and buildings rise up what are basically steep cliffs above the center of the town. All this is surrounded by these majestic, rounded mountains that loom over every vista in the town.

And then this morning, catastrophe struck. I took a cab up one of the mountains to a 16th century church near the mines, and as I was getting out, I managed to break the tripod I´m using to support my pochade. It was unsalvagable... for about 3 minutes I was ready to cry. However, I decided to try holding the pochade on my lap and did manage to do a quick sketch of the valley. It was physically challenging (among other things, I was seated on a jagged stone wall), and the result was merely ok. After several halting conversations at various electronics stores, I did manage to fine another tripod, so I´m ready for action tomorrow AM. The rest of the day has pretty much been devoted to doing a little sightseeing and shopping. I visited the gallery of an American expat artist who deals in arts and crafts from the further-out regions. Great stuff.

So, now that I´ve had my day for sightseeing, the rest of my stay here should be all action. I have 3 full days, so hopefully I can get some more good work done. Sean´s mother has been urging my to go to San Miguel De Allende, but there are so many things to paint here, that I might just forgo that.