Studio: international art — 60.1914

Page: 26
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The Colour Lure of Mexico

The colour lure oe


In these days of revolutions, Mexico may
seem sadly deficient in lures of any kind, but if
ever again the country settles so that there is
security for life and limb, its attractions as a sketch-
ing ground cannot be over-estimated.

“ Why go to over-painted Holland when Mexico
lies a virgin field at your very door ? ” was a sentence
that sent me hitherward. I expected to find it a
country of sharp contrasts and sharper edges, like
the accepted ideas in regard to Egypt, Italy, or any
other sun-drenched country. Instead, the colour
was of a lovely soft quality pervaded by a gentle
haze, and though colourful, wonderfully colourful,
it was a colour of mellow related tones, a harmonious
family of different but distinct individualities.

And now, if I try to give in a short space some
painter-sketch of that country, it seems to me an
over-crowded canvas of memory. Young women
in full white skirts, black rebosos or shawls, swathed
around them, pass with erect carriage—jug poised
on head—by an emerald-coloured door. Trailing
vines of magenta bougainvillea fall over picturesque
white walls. Rocky streets and laden donkeys.
Bunches of these fuzzy burros stopping by a corner

gay with flaunting awnings and ornamented door-
ways, while their drivers in white, loose clothing,
peaked hats, and scarlet serapes flung over shoulders,
tug at the sacks or load which may have slipped,
whisking the sulky, slow-moving animals around
by their tails in a most laughable manner. Some-
times the procession moves up a village street; the
ground beneath and the side-walks in broken tones
of grey melt in with the grey donkeys, their greyish-
brown loads, and the browner riders, who in their
white clothes harmonise with the white houses they
pass : all freshened by the delightful green of the
trees which shade the streets. Or there may come
a sudden sweeping rain in a dusky avenue of great
trees; figures muffled in serapes hurry along, the
huge hats, almost umbrella-like, held against the

Drive out of the city a little, and watch the
peaked-hatted shepherds driving their flocks of
sheep up a dusty road. Pass by village after village
of whitewashed houses—generally a soft tone of
colour is mixed in with the white. Little benches
are outside the door, which is always pink, green or
blue. Big-leaved green vines shadow these door-
ways very often, or if not, pots of flowering plants
give the gentle relief to the eye, made necessary by
the harsher lines of houses and rocky roads.


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