Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Rough Beauty

This is a painting that hangs in the living room of my host family. It encompasses all of San Lorenzo. It's a beautiful, wild, rough place. There are mountains everywhere and people do not go for walks here...they hike. Everywhere is a hike. I love it and loathe it all at the same time. I love it because the nature is so gorgeous and raw and the sky is always a wonder to behold. But I hate it because my hip screams by the end of the day if I go too far. From a distance, the painting could be of any season in San Lorenzo. The snow covered fields could be mistaken for bodies of water and the brown of the tall grass could be taken as a sign of heat.

In this painting, all of that is captured with the monastery as the center. The mountains in the background look far off, but when you hear one of the mountain cows baying, it sounds as if they are right at your door. The sky itself is a palette everyday of fresh colors. Since I have yet to view a storm here, I have never seen the sky gray. The purples and reds I'm very familiar with by now. There isn't a lot of greenery in the painting because there isn't a lot of greenery here period. A few years back, there was a terrible drought that killed everything but the pines as demonstrated by the dead tree in the foreground. The people here now have turf as their backyards and front lawns. Easy maintenance, so that's a plus.

I really like this painting because it shows an attention to detail. This is not the San Lorenzo that I would have been living in had I come here 10 or even 5 years ago. The countryside was still rough but it was more lush. The mother of the children I am teaching tells me that the fields are green again the colder it gets, so I'm waiting to see it happen. As this is a depiction of winter San Lorenzo, I'm guessing that will happen in the fall.

1 comment:

Earl Grey said...

The images are wonderful and your discussion really transports us to this place. The visual analysis and contextual analysis allow us to see, through word and image, what you've experienced. Thanks for sharing, Breanna.