ARTIST RESIDENCY IN CHAPALA, MEXICO
18 February - 18 March 2023
It has been a long time since I updated this blog, and a few months since my return from Mexico.
While I was there, I wrote an article for a magazine. I hope it and the photographs successfully describe the joy I felt when, following the cold and grey of a particularly bitter English winter, I was transported into a beautiful world of colour, warmth, wonderfully friendly people, bird song, and the inspirational company of other creative people.
ART RETREAT AT 360 XOCHI QUETZAL, CHAPALA, MEXICO
I arrived at Villa QQ, dizzy with jet lag on 18th February. This was to be my creative home for a month and despite the tiredness and disorientation, I was very excited. My accommodation was beautiful; a simple but lovely room, entitled “Birds, Beasts and Flowers” led out to a large plant-filled patio that was shaded outside the entrance. I wondered how I would be able to paint freely in such a lovely environment. When I realized that if I could get hold of plastic to protect the floor and request an easel and a table, I knew I could set up my studio under the covered awning. After several months of cold winter weather in Britain which made my Woodbridge studio too uncomfortably cold to work, what a joy to be able to paint outside in the glorious sunshine, with a background of birdsong and Mexican music.
This complex, close to Lake Chapala is historically known for having once been the home of D H Lawrence. All the rooms are named after the feature that they showcase and have a unique identity. Birds Beasts and Flowers is named after Lawrence’s collection of poems. The original room inhabited by the writer is on the ground floor, it is said that he wrote the draft for “The Plumed Serpent”’ in this space.