Old Friends, Heavy Loads

10″x8″ pastel on sanded paper

Like the women of Peru, I carried my babies and toddlers on my back. I shared this joy with my, now, closest friends.  The women sitting in this painting don’t have babies on their backs, but like many Peruvian women, continue to carry heavy loads on their backs long after their babies are off on their own.  

As I have just completed a long backpacking trip, I know exactly how delightful it is to offload something from your pack to someone who is capable of handling the extra weight.  As I painted this, I thought of my friends, and the loads they are currently carrying: a fight with cancer, a miscarriage, financial problems, and a long and varied list of problems from the babies fledged from our backpacks.  The hills we sit on to share our burdens usually look like cell phone calls, and shared loads always become easier to manage.

Rio Urabamba

  10″x8″ pastel on sanded paper
This train is how most people get to Machu Pichu.  We chose to do the 4 day Inka Trek instead.  We had a great view of the train and the Urabamba River from our trail.

Baby and braids

10″x8″ pastel on sanded paper

I got to use every crayon in my box!  

I captured so many of these images, from a far, on zoom as life and color swirled around me.  The lack of detail and color is exactly how I want to remember everything from my time in Peru.

Wina Pichu: from memory and line drawing

Pastel on sanded paper 10″x8″

I just finished the Inka trek to Machu Pichu.  It took four days of hiking, with thousands of feet of elevation change.  We experienced breathtaking views, hot sun, pouring rain, wind, freezing clouds, archeological sites, and amazing floura and fauna.  Words and pictures can’t quite sum up the experience.  This painting is my first attempt at hinting at Inca ruins.  I wanted the effect of dabbing people into a beach, a few strokes without every complicated detail.

  I hiked to the top of that super steep mountain, Wina Pichu.  At the top I laid on my back and felt the earth, just as our guide told us to do.  On the way up it poured rain, and every now and then the clouds would part in and out giving us sneak peaks of the city of Machu Pichu below.  This morning I rested, and painted what I remember in hopes of capturing some of what I experienced.