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  • By Jerry Ann Fenter

Coming Home From Paradise

The Beach at the North End of Melaque

I'm back home after a wonderful class in Mexico. The weather was beautiful and my students were talented and fun to teach. We worked from only the paints and paper we could find in Mexico and had fun looking closely at things on the street, shadows and details we might not have seen without making ourselves slow down. When we found interesting things around us we took pictures of them and then printed some of our favorites to work from on paintings. We worked in the abstract. We found a great paper shop in the square who did beautiful prints of some of our photos to work from. The people there were so skilled at doing this and I’m so glad we found them.

Inspiration from a wall in Melaque.

Two Photos of inspiring walls up close in Melaque

Later in the week we also had a hard fought and silly competition on Wednesday morning. I challenged all of the students to see who could go to the weekly market (a magical place close to our resort) and find the oddest and craziest t-shirt that they could find. The results were very funny and all of them did a great job. All of the creative, energetic students in this beautiful space had good results in their paintings. I’m so proud of them. I hope they all had as much fun as I had.

Contest Winning Tee-Shirt

Contest Winning Tee-Shirt

During the week of my class we also saw big opening celebration right across the street from LaPaloma Resort. The opening of The Center for Arts and Culture was held in its brand- new building. The opening was brilliant. There was great food, music, wine, dancing, a silent auction and lots of artists and their art. There was also a mime (who scared me a little) but did a good job of entertaining the large crowd!

Mexican Mime

My friend and inspiration, Nancy Lennie, artist, teacher and business woman, was a huge part of the process of building and getting community support for the Center. She has seen her ideas come to life with the help of the whole community! My time in Melaque as usual inspired my art, gave me lots of time to meet new people, made me try new and old favorite restaurants and got me hooked on Coconut Smoothies.

The New Center For Arts and Culture

Now I’m back in the studio and ready to work in Timber Valley. The second day home it was sunny and warm for the first time this year. We’ve had a strange winter, very cold but not too much snow. We didn’t even need to pay someone to plow our long driveway (usually we have to plow at least six times a year). Seeing the sun out, I had to go outside to putter in the garden. I pulled a few weeds and planted a primrose and raked up Douglas Fir cones and lots of downed branches. Just when I was really getting focused It started hailing, the wind picked up and Mookie (my cat) and I both ran inside. The weather seems to be unable to make up it’s mind if it’s spring or still winter. Of course, the whole world right now seems in flux. The world seems unstable, unpredictable and confusing. I feel strongly about climate change and the environment. I’m a long- time member of the Sierra Club and hope to use my painting to make some specific statements about endangered species and other disturbing situations.

I’m also back doing watercolor and the ideas have started pouring out of me. Doing my own take on challenging subjects using a bit of humor to make a statement. I want to help people see what’s happening right before their eyes.

Animals are coming back outside! Mookie…the hunter thinks he’s in Heaven. He loves chasing everything. Moles, squirrels, early birds, spiders, ravens, ducks and even the deer who always come back this time of year. We have lots more to look forward to. I can’t wait until the little frogs come to make their summer home in the small hanging vase made by artist, Linda Owen. As soon as I put it outside they come, climb in and make it their home for the spring, summer and fall.

Frog Shelter

Things I’ve been thinking about. (a short list of where my mind goes when I’m not working)

  1. Plastic army figures in yoga positions that I ordered from Metropolitan Art…soon to be sent to my son.

  2. Jackson Galaxy Cat Whisperer. What’s the deal with him?

3. Season 8 of Doc Martin that should come in the mail from Netflix any day.

4. The fact that they use old tractor seats to sit in at the counter at the Glenwood

Station. Restaurant. A Fact: They have the best peanut butter milkshakes in the

whole world!!

Famous Painters in Mexico

Now…back to work. Jerry

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