CIMG1046Calle Pino Suarez, near El Llano

You’ll notice right away that “signs” in Oaxaca — and not just here — are not free-standing factory creations attached to walls, but are individual bits of artwork painted right on the plaster surface.  For weeks I wondered how it all happened since I never saw the work in action.  And the picture is a bit complex — don’t you think? — with ombre shading, fine lines and fat ones, different lettering styles.

Finally one day, we encountered an artist in action.  With real paint mixed on site, and real brushes .  (And thus carried around to each job.)


The guy is up on a ladder painting directly onto the wall from a design on a little paper he holds in his hand.  He enlarged this one by the old-fashioned grid method, drawing a larger grid from the paper onto the surface with a pencil, sketching in the forms.  The orange-to-yellow shading there is painted by hand, with a master’s eye.


It is a joy to behold this.


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