Searching for Tlaloc

When visiting Mexico City we were determined to find a massive fountain Diego Rivera  had designed for Chapultepec Park. The mosaic fountain depicted, appropriately for the city’s water-works, the rain god Tlaloc. Finding this fountain proved to be difficult, we encountered blank stares when we discussed what we thought would be a well-loved emblem of civic pride.

Sadly this great work seems to have been largely forgotten. Time has moved on and much of the elaborate fountain schemes are dry and neglected. Rivera’s work has been restored (click here for info concerning its renovation ) but there is a sense of desolation to the place. That and it was fast approaching dusk, we were lost as hell, in a strange city, in a VAST park without a clue as to how to get back to the b&b-thank the old gods for Google map apps.

But we did return and now safe and sound I have crafted a relief print of the great god, he should be our deity in sun parched Southern California. Happily I have found a small press available for use at the local Art & Craft Museum on Wilshire Blvd.

IMG_4510Blessed Tlaloc

artist’s proof, relief print

I hadn’t realized it at the time but I was influenced by Rivera’s playful interpretation of this most fierce god; a god so relentless for tribute he demanded the blood of tearful toddlers.


Rivera’s take on the god, magnificent image NOT my own but that of National Geographic from the article above.

My own, far lamer images follow:



Intricate aquatic themed mosaic work covers almost every surface.


Difficult to capture from the angle, but a detail of his face.


The back of his head features a different face.

This trip established for me a profound respect for Diego Rivera and his work, I hadn’t much of an opinion before, but the breadth of his work astounds me.

Must get cracking’, I have three canvases in various states of completion.

Until next time, take care,


Snooping on Frida (& Diego)

Our recent trip to Mexico City was meant to be a pilgrimage to the Old Gods and the New Goddesses, namely Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington. Sadly we were unable to see any of their  work, most on loan (Posado’s work was equally elusive , partly due to our lame Spanish I fear).  

But as my friend Rosa loves to tell me when a door slams shut a window opens. This trip if anything was a Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo extravaganza.

I am new to loving Frida, having been overexposed to her ominous brow  plastered on everything from coffee mugs to mouse pads. But since exploring the woman surrealists of Mexico I have fallen passionately in love with her. A trip to the Casa Azul was a necessity , tourists be damned. Fortunately Mexico City is not an early bird town and we had the place to ourselves in the early morn, a great luxury in such a metropolis.

 Italian Vogue has some exhibition going on concerning her clothing, again my Spanish is so lousy that I missed most of the point; but her clothing is fantastic .

Some of her costumes will be familiar to those who love her sell portraits.






As frothy and candy colored was her wardrobe, the corsets and crutches added a dark element. 


As fashion isn’t really a burning passion for me, I was more interested in the domestic life the two shared.

Although much of the Casa Azul is now devoted to gallery space one gets a sense of how well they lived, with taste not ostentation.  A Bloomsbury south of the border.

I was thrilled by the kitchen with its bright yellow furnishings, so inspirational.


Every artist has to peak into her studio, I was impressed that it wasn’t huge (Diego had a large studio of course) , but it was so well lit. Their favorite architect Juan O’Gorman, a great artist in his own right, added sensitive additions to her family home. 




Fun note, she stored excess paint in empty nail polish bottles, a glamorous touch.


Another interesting note is that her enviable easel was a gift from uber capitalist John D. Rockefeller; amusing that such ardent Marxists could be friendly enough to accept such a wonderful gift. For those interested it was made by Windsor and Newton, and it is fantastic; my own pitiful easel pales in comparison.

The gardens of Casa Azul are equally inspiring, generally I avoid the soil, but I’m tempted.


exterior view of the O’Gorman addition with charming dove-cots built from embedded clay jugs.



Rivera’s idea of a garden folly, a miniature pyramid; a perfect altar for Dia de los Mortos.


If I am going to work in the yard I must paint the walls blue as well because my husband looks so handsome against them.


That’s it for now, back to work, but until next time be well,