Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Art from the Nicaraguan Countryside

Nicaragua is a small Central American country with 48 volcanos, picturesque lakes, and simple, hard-working people.

Primarily an agricultural nation, it is very poor and has a long history of turbulant governments.

The folk art of this small country can be colorful, intricate, and detailed.

Once, in the poor but artsy town of Masaya, we saw a man painting on pieces of wood in the yard of his house. His name was Juan Rodriguez. The paintings, while crude and simple, captured our attention. When my husband asked if he'd sell us his work, the artist seemed surprised. We had to ask him to sign his name in the corner of each painting.

The two paintings we bought that day are alive with details of life in the Nicaraguan countryside. There are primitive huts, bright, red blossoming "malinche" trees, marimba players, a couple dancing, and even a drunkard under a tree! Talk about realistic details.

Women in colorful blouses and skirts stand at a long table making what looks like "tortillas," flat circles of dough, often made out of corn or white flour.

Nearby is a woman stirring a pot over a fire and whispy smoke hovers above in the air. There are babies and typical countryside animals such as chickens and pigs. A man is shown cleaning a dead carcass that is going to be meat for upcoming meals.

In another painting, women carry fruit-filled baskets on their heads, perhaps going to market. In the background, a man is milking a cow. Two more carry machetes and another is in a donkey-pulled wagon.

In tomorrow's blog, we'll look at some additional detailed paintings including one of the Nicaraguan city of Granada, and some "straw" works of wall art.
What, if anything, do you like about today's paintings?


diane stetson said...

I bet the folk art is not quite as entertaining as the REAL Nicaragua...Culture shock times Susan, remember? Very colorful artwork. I know others will appreciate it as much as I do!

Carolyn said...

I love the colorful details of a more simplistic life style.
It must have been very interesting to go there.

Susan Wicker said...

Hello Carolyn: Oh yes, it was definitely a life-changing experience to live in countries outside of the USA. So happy you stopped by! Sincerely, Susan

Susan Wicker said...

Hi Diane: Yeah, the "real" Nicaragua is definitely something to see. Thanks so much for your faithful visits! Sincerely, Susan

Andrea said...

What a blessing to be able to travel to new places and experience the difference in cultures. What a fantastic artist. I love all of the bright colors. My youngest son went to Brazil on a mission's trip this past year and I'm sure that he saw many wonderful things also.

Susan Wicker said...

Hi Andrea....I love exploring, too. If I had a lot of money, I'd travel all over the world! I'll bet your son has a lot of stories to share about his experience! That's great. Have a super day, Andrea. So glad for your visit! Sincerely, Susan

Related Posts with Thumbnails