20 April 2008

Illustration Friday - primitive


cotton fabric, linen and cotton thread, bamboo batting, acrylic ink, printed mulberry paper, stamped letters and acrylic paint on 6" x 6" stretched canvas

After a few weeks' hiatus from IF, I'm back -- it feels good to have time for art again. I used thread and my sewing machine to sketch a "chapulín" or grasshopper in the Toltec style. The Toltecs were the (perhaps mythical) ancestors of the Aztecs and a pre-Columbian civilization of Mesoamerica. A favorite author of my formative years, Carlos Castañeda, uses the term Toltec with a different, shamanistic meaning. The sculpture and paintings of the Toltecs (and Aztecs and Olmecs) are highly stylized and powerfully graphic.

There is a beautiful park in Mexico City called Bosque de Chapultepec. The word chapultepec is a combination of Spanish and Nahuatl and means Grasshopper Hill. The park is home to one of the best anthropologic museums in the world, a zoo (with pandas!), a museum of modern art, a natural history museum and the residence of the president of Mexico. My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Mexico City many years ago and stayed in a hotel on the edge of Chapultepec Park. Grasshoppers are a pretty ubiquitous symbol in the area.

11 comments:

Traci Bixby said...

This is so beautiful. Such lovely colors!

ren said...

nice grasshopper!
thanks for your comments on my piece, too.
peace,
Ren

Terry said...

I love the grasshopper. I am always surprised to see that you and I choose the same motifs so frequently, but our work is quite different. I have a small printing block of a grasshopper I carved years ago, which I love. I need to pull it out and use it again.

We were in Mexico City just a year ago and it just continues to live in my mind's eye. The Anthropologie Museum was incredible.

carolineinckle said...

This is lovely!
I really like the calming colours
Caroline
X

Kat Hannah said...

Elegant and beautiful design - i enjoyed reading about the concept

Natalya said...

great grasshopper....

kay susan said...

Beautiful! Expertly presented.

my croft said...

welcome back.

Monica said...

Lovely, original mixed media piece! I love the simple outline of the grasshopper, very elegantly put together.
Thanks for your comment on my blog, much appreciated. :-)

AndyDoodler said...

Beautiful work!!! Can see in/by it that you love creating it.

steve said...

very nice little piece--looks like lots of effort went into this.