In January of 2019, my wife, kids, mother-in-law, parents and I traveled to Ecuador for a week. I can’t believe a whole year has passed already! It was a special trip that included:
staying in a hotel that was a monastery for hundreds of years in Old Town Quito, an UNESCO world heritage site
visiting the highest elevation volcano in the world, Cotopaxi, and seeing wild horses nearby and picking eucalyptus leaves
seeing the beautiful Andes mountains
bargaining for handmade goods at a large indigenous market in Otavalo
touring a biologically diverse coffee farm in the rainforests of Mindo
visiting and remembering family in both Quito and Ambato
What really made the trip special, however, were the friends and family that served as our personal “tour guides” every day.
My mother-in-law’s cousin, whom we fondly call “Monjita” since she is a life-long nun, arranged our whole itinerary. This amazing woman is in her mid 80’s and is the director of a Catholic school by the northern coast city of Esmeraldas, yet still graciously did this for us!
She visited us here in the U.S. in October, and I gifted her this oil portrait that I did of her:
And also two brothers who drove all of us around every day – Marco and Luis. I learned so much about Ecuador from my conversations with Marco, who my wife, kids and I drove around with. I also did this portrait painting of them, which I gave to Monjita to hand deliver to them in Ecuador:
As I’ve written about before, the oranges on the streets in Sevilla, Spain, are one of the magical things I love about the city. Ever since the first time I went there almost 11 years ago, in February 2004, I always think of the scent of oranges by the time February rolls around here in the United States. Every time I eat an orange, the smell reminds me of Sevilla. It’s just a beautiful thing to have fruit trees planted all over a city!
This watercolor painting is of a sunny street full of oranges in Sevilla:
Coffee is a daily pastime of mine, which is probably why I love to paint cafes and coffee so much. This watercolor painting shows a sunny street, a parked red bike, and a cafe beckoning you to enter, sit down, take your time, and sip on a coffee. Now that sounds like a day well spent!
The original 9″ x 12″ painting, on archival, acid-free watercolor paper, is available for purchase, as well as 8″ x 10″ archival prints. Just visit the “Buy Art” page for more information.
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.