While the world celebrated All Hallows’ Evening, we celebrated the Day of the Death, where pumpkins and candy treats are featured by “Bones of Saints” (marzipans) and Buñuelos (fried dough balls). No eye friendly pics available in the whole internet. In the whole Google, I mean. I ignored the costumes thing and went for eating buñuelos as if Death herself was visiting me at any moment. But 53squaremeters is at an area where people comes from many countries, and in the end you can´t help mixing up with witches and zombies in all races and shapes. To be honest, all Madrid goes for costumes today. I´m just too stubborn. The coolest I saw was an old short latin woman in mummy disguise heading to the underground, with the attitude of just going to the market to get some yuca and fresh mangoes for dinner, aware that she might kill half the neighbourhood on her way, by scaring them to Death. Occupational risks… And I loved to live here, feels exotic. You know, Chinese witches, East-European zombies, Latin mummys (but any yummy mummy) and buñuelos aplenty. Who needs travelling to get a weirdest combination?
And I felt like drawing something in the mood of Mexican Día de Muertitos (Day of Dead), all cheery and sweet and full with good memories. And my sweetest memories of my favourite dead person are very alive. Memories of my grandfather. From now on, Paco. We never called him abuelo, cause he hated it. He was Paco. He was a lawyer and a politician, he was a deputy for the Spanish artisans at the Court. He was this, he was that. But our piece of the pie was the juicier. We, all his grandchildren, were the ones who better shared his inspiring funtastic personality. I could spend days speaking of him, as I can spend nights remembering his words to teen Amaya. Like “draw and write, and do the crafts, because those things are your only real patrimony. You can loose all money, death will steal friends and couple away, but as long as you know what to do with a pencil, you will find support in your inner self” . Or like “draw whatever you have in front of you, so you get better at it”. Also “you need to wear a mask, don´t expose your fragile self to the world, so it doesn´t get hurt”. This last “don´t exhibit yourself” one was useless. As you can read.
He showed me how to use watercoulours by taking me to draw donkeys, and cows, and ancient villages walls; how to melt metals to make jewels; how to craft baskets with reedmace; how to get exquisite mayonnaise using just the yolks and olive oil, whipping it up with a wooden spoon, while breathing pure air under the trees shadows, and after we had picked up the salad tomatos and potatos from his ace veggie garden; how to paint glass; how to mould ceramics; how to mend broken things with different glues and tools (although I break things so wildly that I usually need to go for replacing) ; how to enjoy together every single minute I spent with him. Me, or anyone. Fairness in treating family members was another virtue. He was Paco for all of us, and he was so special you could never get angry at him. I never had a fight with him, even if my opinions were just the opposite than his. He cracked it. Till really old, like 92, writing and drawing everyday. Well or bad, he did it for fun.
Paco was very generous. When I liked a pen or a brush, he would give it to me, if I would use it. He used to ask for it back if I did not. He gave me these things in my drawing. Conté pencils and a funny brush, hand-made, with a plastic holding the bristles to the stick, and a wire tying them both together. Could be crafted by Japanese or by Paco. And these blades to sharpen pencils and do crafts. Giving you the right tools was vital for him.
Muertitos means “little dead” and is used by Mexicans. Muartistas means muy artistas, “very good artists”, and I made it up. Paco taught me to. And we had a great day of Muertitos drawing together.
Here the black and white version. Considering this is a special long post, I would also like you to tell me which one you prefer.