A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Guest Blog: Ilse Hable
Guadalajara, Mexico

Ochre

When I think of ochre, two things come to my mind.
First, I remember the burnt grasses and the sun drenched mountains of Mexico during the dry season. They become especially beautiful late in the day, when the angle of the sun is low and cool, blue shadows reveal their structure. As if that were not an exciting enough color combination, in the State of Jalisco you can enjoy seeing them together with blue agaves, rows and rows of them, adding almost unreal looking patches of turquoise to the landscape.

I made these plein air oil paintings near the town of Tequila.





This region has a very, very long tradition of distilling the juices of the root or “piña” of the agave plant. In the past, tequila used to be consumed mostly in Mexico, but today, everybody knows the drink, which is produced by a long process of shredding, cooking, fermenting and double-distilling.

In a place called “El Tecuane” , also near Tequila, you can still see the open air, stone fermentation pots of the very first tequila factory. The place is hard to find, hidden in a remote valley. Not surprising, if you consider that the Spaniards who conquered Mexico did not allow independent, local production of alcohol that was not destined for the Spanish Crown.



My second thought, when I hear the word ochre, is about painting and mixing the colors to produce this hue. I always advise my students not to buy ochre in a tube, but make it themselves out of yellow, green, red and white. First, mix yellow-orange out of yellow and a little red, next make a dark version of yellow (like how yellow looks in the shade) by mixing yellow-orange and yellowish green together. Ochre is just one step away: Adding white. Depending on how much of each of the ingredients are used, dozens of different tones of ochre can be obtained. Doesn´t make sense to buy all of them, does it?!




Mountains and Agave (oil on linen)
Landscape with Volcan de Tequila (oil on linen)
Photos: El Tecuane Ancient tequila factory and fermentation pots.
Summer Heat (oil on linen)

Ilse's Blog



     

Previous Posts
Ilse Hable

De-Anthropomorphising Sophie

My Car Follies

A Shoebox Of Photos Not

The New Polaroid For The Old Man

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The Oily, The Laid Back, The Inscrutable & The Sca...

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The Vancouver Art Gallery & Its Future

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2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17

4/30/17 - 5/7/17

5/7/17 - 5/14/17

5/14/17 - 5/21/17

5/21/17 - 5/28/17

5/28/17 - 6/4/17

6/4/17 - 6/11/17

6/11/17 - 6/18/17

6/18/17 - 6/25/17