Day 4 (which was actually yesterday) we went to Ocotlan. Birthplace of the painter Rudolfo Morelos.
But before we got out of town I saw this set of signs and thought you all needed to see them as well.
Ocotlan is south of the city of Oaxaca. The biggest building in town is the church. Unlike many colonial era churches in Mexico, the church in Ocotlan has been restored to the way it looked in the 1880s. Much later than the usual 16th century. A lot of buildings in Ocotlan use the same blue, white, ocher, and black color scheme.
Inside the church is white, gold, and black. It’s much brighter than many of the churches. This is the main chancel.
While we were in the church I could hear a bird singing. It was a tough to locate the source. I was sure it was in the church but couldn’t find it until I realized that there the upper portion of the wall between the main chancel on the rosary chapel was open. I found this little guy perched on an angel’s wing.
The chapel has a collection of obscure saints in the spaces between the vaults.
This is a close up of one of the geometric designs that lines the chapel.
it wouldn’t be a church if there wasn’t a shrine to El Nino.
Next to the church is the cloister. Which before it was turned into a museum for some of the Morelos collection was the local jail. This is what you would have seen if you were spending your days in the jailhouse courtyard.
Among the pieces in the museum are these examples of sculpture by the Josefina Aguilar and her family.
This devil sits jauntily on the display case.
One of Josefina’s sisters makes these hysterical hookers. This one is wearing m0re clothes than most.
This is the whole history of the world. Or at least the part that we keep repeating.
The museum also contains a number of Morelos’ paintings but the rooms are too dim to see them decently, let alone photograph the installation.
A couple of blocks from the church — across the Zocolo — is Rudolfo Morelos’ house. This is the view of the gardens at the cnter of the house.
This walkway leads from the stairs across the top of the porch to Morelos’ studio.
I get studio envy every time I come up here. This long sky-lit room now houses some of his lithographs.
The house is full of little surprises. You can only see this fellow if you turn around and look backwards from the studio door.
There were birds singing in Morelos’ house.
Another fantastical beast.
A little further down the street we went to the home of Josefina Aguilar. She demonstrated how she builds her sculptures.
She has the most amazing hands. Most of her work is done by feel.
It took her a little over 20 minutes to create this sculpture of a market women carrying calla lilies and marigolds — the traditional day of the dead flowers. I don’t know how the little dog figures into it.
Josefina’s son Demitrio is also a talented painter. I bought this gem from him.
ObMoto. This mechanic’s shop was right next door to the Aguilar’s.
Jim found this inside. But there was no-one around to ask about it.
Our last stop for the day was St. Martin Tilcajete. We went to see two families of wood carvers.
Here are two masks carved by Isadora Cruz, one of the old men of wood carving in the valley.
Crafts in Oaxaca are family businesses. This is Isadora’s daughter Rosa holding a half finished Dia de Muertos mask.
There’s not a lot of straight timber left in the valley.
Leaving town we had to give way for this gentleman and his field workers.