Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Explorations

There was so much to explore in Costa Rica and fortunately for us new local friends, Marva Dixon, her husband and Consuelo Taylor Anderson made it possible to trek around Puerto Limon and move south to Puerto Viejo on our last Sunday in the country.  Our friendly and knowledgeable guide David Carnegie of Caribbean Costaricans Tours gave us quite a treat.  In a long established spiritual tradition the tour began with a prayer following by all of us of joyously singing "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" as we motored toward our first stop in the original community where Blacks settled.  David's grandfather was a minister in this church.

The church is very important in this seaside community.  David advised he no longer attends the Episcopal Church as he likes much more lively music and participation in the services.  These are some of the churches we observed during our Sunday tour.
Additional view of the church

 Church Interior above and framed drawing of  larger downtown Episcopal Church.

Exterior of downtown St Mark's Episcopal Church with adjacent school.

St. Mark's School

These ladies reminded me of my childhood in Texas but I never had such a beautiful and dramatic Sunday School teacher
Sunday School Teacher.  She is a beautiful subject for a portrait.

Episcopal Church on hilltop.

First Baptist Church downtown

Catholic Church in center of town
As you enter Puerto Limon from San Jose you get a striking view of the cemetery that is on both sides of the street.  These white monuments to family and friends is very touching and keeps us in touch with our memories of love and loss. I am reminded of my mother and so many others who have touched my life.

The historic tour would not be complete without showing the House of Culture downtown and a variety of houses as we steadily made our way uphill.  We learned about Jamaica Town, the start of the railroad service from Puerto Limon to San Jose.  The ancestors of present day Afro-Costa Ricans came from Jamaica to build the railroad for United Fruit Company and thereafter to work in the banana plantations. 
The community points with pride their connection with Marcus Garvey and the Black Star Line.

Love this stairway to the top floor of the Community Hall--Black Star Line Building  that was incorporated by Marcus Garvey who organized the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).

Downtown had many interesting and colorful buildings and street art.

This woman graciously let me take her photo.  She lives a block from the Episcopal Church.

I don't know what this building is but who can pass up a pink building.

We are in color paradise.  I'll be quilting for a long time because of this adventure.

We didn't get to try this restaurant but I sure liked the blue.

This is one of my favorite views.  With the heat I definitely would not be able to walk up those steps; who am I kidding, I might not be able to walk up these steps no matter what.
More public art even on the poles.

When we left the downtown area we traveled up the hill to get the scenic view of Puerto Limon.We were amazed at lushness of the trees and flowers.

 Scenic view as we move steadily upward.

Adriene, Marion, Marva, L'Mercie, EdJohnett and , Dr. Steele

Flowers in yard facing the hilltop view.

House with a view.

David and Adriene loves dog and couldn't resist trying to get a closer look at this puppy.

As we moved upward we observed this public art outside one of the high school.  Wish I could have gotten the images without the fence but it is still enjoyable to see.

Our helpful host Marva, her husband Rodolfo and one of their sons shared a photo for us.  Check the name art on the windows.

Kendall with his art

Kendall, Marva and Rodolfo

Next post we'll head out of Puerto Limon and travel toward Puerto Viejo.  See you then.

Book Alterations

                                            Altered Book Sample by Marjorie DeQuincy

A few weeks ago Marjorie DeQuincy and I lead an Altered Books workshop at Castro Valley Library.  The turnout was wonderful with parents and children of all ages.  The Children's Librarian, Denise Baker had boxes of materials for us to use as we went full speed ahead to create a variety of altered books.  It is always exciting to see young people embracing art making in whatever form.  Individual interests and personalities came forth with a variety of  altered constructions.

Some parent/child teams came with a vision and understanding of altering books. The student artist wore her favorite color  pink and continued the color theme in her altered book where she used papers, fabrics and ribbons.

What girl wouldn't love to have her choice of cool sun glasses to remember summer and wonderful weather.


Just a bit of beauty combined with beautiful flowers helped to fill out the interior.

We can appreciate the Egyptian Prince or Princess combined with holiday flair.

This student expressed his passion for sports with his altered book.

 His cloth cover used surfboards, so very California.  But he also seemed in tune our local team the San Francisco Giants.  I bet he was glued to the television during the World Series.  Way to go Giants!

We can imagine he is very proud to have this Giants information in a Championship season in his own very special altered art.

This prolific family team of artists stand proudly with their names adorning the covers of their books.  Marjorie made sure that name covers were made for any student who wanted one.

This extra firm book celebrates animals with each sheet having colorful papers.

We can see the large sea creature and the large Hippo who also loves to stay in the water.

This book is in anticipation of Christmas, sugar cookies and presents of course.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Marjorie with an active team of family artists enjoying their Saturday making their art..

There is music in his heart.

Students working hard to get all the pages altered until I mentioned they could take some of the pages out.  They gave them a sense of freedom to remove as many as they wanted while still keeping the theme and spirit of the book.

Proud siblings sharing their art with the world.

This young artist shared information about her other art projects at school and home.  She had the wonderful idea to tie her book with ribbons.  Her younger sister worked very hard on her own book and both appeared to thoroughly enjoy themselves.

She is pleased with her results.

Marjorie and I have found that students come to the workshop until the very end.  We often have to set a closing time just so we can clean up before the library closes.  No matter the time constraints students still manage to use their imaginations to create a variety of works that bring joy to our hearts when we see them.

I love this altered gingerbread house.  It was very clever to add the lace to the roof.

 This team of artists came to the workshop about 15 minutes before closing and got right to it.

These young artists were all smiles and extremely proud of their work.  Don't you just love our next generation of artists.  Pass it on!

I have to add a special thanks to Marjorie DeQuincy, friend and fellow artist , who continues to generously offer her time to help me with these local workshops.  The Friends of the Castro Valley Library provided a wide assortment of materials for us to use to change, embellish, cover and alter books.  As always Librarian, Denise Baker made us welcome, took photographs and provided books, magazines and other stuff for us to work with.

Until next time.