When my wife and I were on vacation in Sevilla, Spain, a few weeks ago, we saw several boutique shops full of colorful flamenco dresses. I imagine they all do a great business during the time leading up to La Feria de Abril (April Fair)! La Feria de Abril is a huge annual event held in Sevilla, known for its music, dancing, food, men dressed in suits and women dressed in flamenco dresses.
Flamenco music and dance is a passionate art form that originated in the Andalucía province of Spain from Gypsy, Moorish and Jewish influences, among others. This art illustration is inspired by a flamenco show my wife and I took in at the Caja Sol Theater in Sevilla, Spain.
The other day I was thinking that I have a fairly extensive body of work from the past several years, and I’m going to start sharing bits of it every Thursday on my Facebook fan page, on my Twitter page, and right here on this blog!
As many of you know, from 2006 to 2008, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Costa Rica, working in Community Economic Development. In my spare time (there’s plenty of spare time in rural Costa Rica), I enjoyed, you guessed it, painting.
Over the course of a few months, I sketched and painted a detailed world map onto the side of the local elementary school, where I taught Junior Achievement and English, and was a soccer star (until I played with other adults). The map had every single country on it, with the names in Spanish, as well as some inspirational quotes on the sides.
The quotes read (translated):
“The more we know the world, the more we love it.”
“The Earth is ours, let’s take care of it!”
“Almost always, the creative and dedicated minority has made the world a better place.”
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
Once the map was finished, we used it to teach geography through trivia games. The kids really enjoyed it. Most of them learned a lot, although one boy already knew the name of every single country in the world, where they were located, and some information about each country! He showed me his book one day that he studied to learn all of that. It was pretty impressive.
Since then, the school built an additional room, which enclosed the map inside.
We definitely had a good time at the school, both learning:
and having fun!
Lastly, I recently donated to the National Peace Corps Association and got this cool bumper sticker artwork to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps!
I did this painting several months ago when I happened to walk upon this band (Don Abundio y sus Traviesos) playing spontaneously at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC, which is where I took the photo for inspiration.
The band is an ensemble from the Caribbean side of Colombia that plays intoxicating percussion rhythms, together with singing and dancing.
This acrylic painting is painted on a 24″ x 30″ canvas.