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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Cry Me a River Over Bolivia

That old song came to mind when I was trying to think of a title for this post with "river" in it.  Why, I wonder?  Here is the song on YouTube I was thinking of sung by Julie London in 1964.

Nice version by Ella Fitzgerald, too.

We went for a walk by our western lake this morning and I stopped and sketched in my travel sketchbook with the Micron 02.  There is a patch of cattails on the side by the flat bridge and I decided that I hadn't sketched that view before.

Number 4, river - I substituted the lake for a river.  The sketch is slanted a bit going downhill on the left, so could be a river running that way, right?
Number 5, green - the trees, grass and cattails.  The long flat bridge keeps you out of the mud when you walk around the lakes after a good rain or two.  They are awfully low at the moment.  There is some sort of stuff floating on the water, brown color.  Not good.  The day was sunny but hazy, the water had green reflections and the sky color was pretty gray.

Joan Tavolott, wet canvas artist friend, sketched and thought of me! Thanks so much, Joan.  Check out her La Paz, Bolivia, music sketch.

The sketch does remind me of the market streets, narrow, uphill and downhill.  The large llama is made of reeds from Lake Titicaca, the flutes in the box are tarkas made of wood or heavy reeds.  The ones on the wall are pan flutes, sampoñas made of the reeds.  The guitars on the wall are probably charangos, made from armadillo shells or to look like armadillo shells.

Here's a song with a tarka and a sampoña.  I can't imagine how much air it takes to blow the huge sampoña at 12,000 feet above sea level!

Well, I'm homesick now.  We lived in La Paz about 13 years split in two tours.  It was my favorite place to live.  It is like living in the mountains in New Mexico only twice the altitude.  Temperature in the daytime about 70-75 and 45-50 at night.  Sweatshirt weather.  Loved the people, too.  Jennie and Larry are our Bolivian children.  Loved the bread and other food.  Ah, the memories.  Thanks, Joan.

Achocalla, oil 20 x 16 inches

Some of other paintings, sketches and stories can be found with a search for Bolivia at the top of my blog.

Not all of course, that is a lot of years to cover.  Would require a whole book.


Bag Blog said...

You make me want to pack my bags and head to Bolivia. Let's do it!

Joan Tavolott said...

That is one big instrument!! I can't imagine having enough breath to play it never mind lift it up. lol It does make lovely sounds. I'm glad you enjoyed seeing my La Paz post. It was fun to learn about the llama since that was what attracted me immediately to the scene. I thought of you during my entire "walk" through the streets of La Paz.

Jo Castillo said...

Bag Blog, wouldn't that be grand?? Not sure I could take the long flight and walk up and down at that altitude anymore, but would like to try.

Joan, the altiplano people must have the biggest lungs for just living. We saw a sampoña player in Cuzco, Peru, stand on a chair to play his, it had such long pipes. The altitude there is near 14,000 feet. Crazy. You would love seeing and hearing them.

ashok said...

Fantastic art

Jo Castillo said...


Joanna said...

Joan's post made me go "awww..." :-)

Jo Castillo said...

Joanna, yes, Joan's post brought back lots of memories for both of us. :-)

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About Me

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Bastrop, Texas, United States
I Grew up in a small town , Magdalena, New Mexico. I enjoy art and the pleasure other people get from my work. I always donate some of my sales and art to charities, especially for children. That started in Bolivia with Para los Niños. (Link on sidebar) "I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." -- Winston Churchill


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