FOCUS ON ART
By Vera Sommers
The winner of the audience choice award
at the Chapala Basin Commission party fundraiser was hometown artist
Javier Zaragoza. I sat with him for a bit to mull over some of his thoughts
about the lake and then, inevitably, about art itself.
Javier was born right here in Ajijic.
My father was a fisherman for 25 years and I fished too,
he says. I understand these people.
What does he think of the chances
for our beloved Lake Chapala? It wont be easy, but we will
get our lake back. He escorts me over to see the painting in the
photograph below. See this man? I take in the brilliant
close-up of a fisherman, a genuine character, down to his hat. This
is a real person, I know him! Hes a fisherman all his life. I
call this painting Expecting a Miracle and its just
the way I feel too. When we all approach the situation with a positive
mind, we create incredible positive energy
the government will
respond to that. We are in a preparation period now; if everybody does
just one little thing, well that is a lot.
As I looked around, it dawned on
me how many of Javiers paintings actually focus on the lake and
the creatures who live close to it
with it. And always, there
is hope flooding out through every picture.
I went to the U.S. for a real
long time, he says, but I promised myself Id return
and then I would help the lake, Id do my part. You cannot imagine
how happy it makes me to keep that promise. I get up at 6 a.m. and fall
in bed at 11 p.m. and
its a great pleasure!
On the highway, two doors east of
El Sarape, is a studio where Javier and friends meet for life drawing
classes Tuesdays and Thursday from 10-1pm. All are invited; the 75 peso
fee just pays the rent and the models. I believe, he says,
when you draw from a live model you learn about five times faster
than any other method exactly how to draw.
You can view his paintings and meet
this extraordinary individual at his gallery on Constitucion #50. I
dream a lot! Javier tells me, smiling his smile. I look around
his gallery and I believe him.