One new inspiration of this sort began in a hotel room where
there was a sample of the imagery of simple folk art—
cloth weavings of birds, animals, flowers,
(for Mexico) pale colors, playful, floating in free
patterns. Jill began to look into that tradition,
even, bothering storekeepers taking pictures
of pieces, large and small, in their shops.
Then she met Juan Vazquez Menor, from
the small town of Temalacatzingo in the
state of Guerrero. With painstaking craft,
patience, and intense integrity,
he and his
family paint delicate yet joyous patterns
in subtle colors on lacquered gourds
of various sizes.
It is a technique and
dedication that predate the Conquest.
The beauty of what he created and,
even more, his spirit in creating it
to recognize that this traditional art, so
simple on the surface,
is so full of life,
its pains and fears, but above all its
“The Peacock in the Garden,” based
on the wall hanging that Jill originally
saw, is the first in a series of works
inspired by and honoring this folk art.