About the third day of my isolation, when I had to cancel a visit by a friend who has in the past been a fun art playmate, I came up with a plan whereby we could sorta do art together without breathing on each other. The idea was to find a couple of other artist friends and for each of us to contribute a bag of “stuff” to each of the others. No rules except that the same stuff needed to be contributed to each of us. As it turned out, the participants were my friend Brad, my friend Candace, Candace’s friend Jean and yours truly.
After a week or so to collect the stuff, I said I would go collect Brad’s stuff in Ajijic, drive to Chapala to give our stuff to Candace and she could give me the bags from Jean and her, then I could take all of our stuff back to Brad, Now, you might have noticed that we live in three different towns ,and since I haven’t been out of my house for two weeks except once two days ago to drive less than a mile down the mountain to the tiny grocery store at its bottom., this was a big expedition! And I was going to see people! Albeit from at least 6 feet away.
I showered, washed my hair, put on makeup and clothes for the first time in two weeks, and compiled a list of things to do and buy in town: i.e. visit bank, paint store, pharmacy, Walmart and Super Lake–the best miracle all-and-everything-American edibles store in Mexico–and disperse the art supplies. All ready to go, I went out to my car to find the battery dead! Now I have an electric battery charger, but I also have a very small garage, so once the car is parked inside it, the front bumper is just about one inch from the door of the cupboard that the battery charger resides within. And, without juice in the battery, I can’t shift the car into neutral to roll it back to get the cupboard door open or to get the engine in a position so jumper cables can reach from it to another car. Luckily, my gardener Pasiano was there and we finally jerry-rigged three separate sets of battery cables end-to-end and using the car of a friend who just happened to start painting a mural on the outside wall of my house that very day, we tried to charge the battery but alas.it was dead as a, well, dead battery!
Suffice it to say that my big plans were changed and my self-enhancement procedures all in vain. I called my friends, cancelled my plans and st 9 at night, Yolanda’s son, who just happens to both be a mechanic and to work in an automotive supply store, came with a new battery, installed it, and finally today I was off again. (This time I didn’t bother with makeup but I did again don clothing.) The plan was that I would put on my mask and collect Brad’s bags in Ajijic, take our material to Candace’s house in Chapala, and when I arrived, call her on my cell phone. She would open the gate from her upstairs apartment and I’d set our bags inside the gate and collect the bags of Jean and Candace.
When I got there, however, Candace had a more creative exchange in mind. Taking isolation to its furthest extreme, she was on the roof of her house letting down an incredible pulley-fueled bucket within which to put our bags. She then pushed a button and up they went. Her and Jean’s MUCH larger bags were hanging on a hook on the wall. I took them and was off to Brad’s and then homeward. The last time Brad came to my house, he brought me an ECHO, to which I immediately became addicted. “Alexa, play John Prine.” This time when I put on my mask and called to let him know I was waiting in my car outside his house, he arrived with art bags and an ice cream bar! Some men just know what women like! Thanks, Brad.
So. I was off with a car fully-laden not just with art materials but with 5 liters of paint, groceries, appliances and animal food from Walmart, food from Super Lake and business taken care of at the bank, and when I got unpacked and the former”stuff” swept to one side on my dining room table, I opened the four bags to reveal the items that were to become the materials for my next art project. A mighty heap, to say the least. Hmmm. I think I’m going to change the rules to say you don’t have to use all of the material. Perhaps at least one of each category of things? Upcoming, I hope, will be photos of our projects.. perhaps at different stages.
So, if you are an artist, or if you aren’t—why not mount a similar project with your friends and show us your contents of bags and final results? It’s a Challenge! Or, choose your own media. Want to bake a Lonely Artist Covid cake? Great. Write a poem? Paint a painting? Do a mural? Make an intriguing mask? Snap a photo? Do a video? Sing a song? Do a dance? All are welcome. Just link your contribution via a link to this blog.You can go HERE to see my answer to the challenge, HERE to see Candace Spence’s piece and HERE to see Jean Mulleneaux’s contribution. We’d love to see your answer to the challenge.
Click on photos to enlarge.