Thursday, January 17, 2013

Supporting Local Artists

While Jesse and I were in Mexico back in December, our resort had a market set up with local artists and vendors out on the walkways around the beach and pools. Some things were obviously mass produced while others you could tell were handmade. I knew I wanted to buy something handmade to bring home with us.

We walked about half way through the market and stopped at one table in particular. A man was hand painting his work right there at the market. He didn't haggle us or try to get us to barter with him. He told us his prices and went back to his work. After being haggled at every other booth, it was nice to stop and watch this man work. He painted every painting with his fingers and finger nails!

I knew right away one of his paintings was coming home with us. The hard part was deciding which one. After much debate, we decided on the one that most represented our trip. I will most remember the blues and greens in the ocean, the palm trees and the white sandy beaches. I think this painting shows that well :)

It is pretty common tradition in Mexico to barter with the vendors and haggle them down to the lowest price. In fact, they expect it. But I couldn't bring myself to do it for this piece of artwork. Being an artist myself, I know how much love and work goes into each piece. How could I haggle on something like that? So I paid his asking price and walked away with a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork that will forever remind me of our trip to Cancun :)

 My only regret...not getting a picture of him while he painted!

23 comments:

  1. What an amazing piece of art! Especially since the artist painted it with his fingers and nails...wow. I once saw an artist paint with his feet.
    I don't like haggling at all.
    You made the right decision :)

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  2. It is so beautiful! I always like to get one special item when I go on vacation. This looks like yours! {:-D

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  3. Gorgeous! And agree it is wonderful to pick up something that will remind you of your trip to put on the wall at home. And you picked a beautiful one!! I hate to haggle. I usually leave that to my husband :)

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  4. What! He essentially finger-painted that?! It's amazing! I've come across a few handmade markets during travels, too, and I always get something to take home. Way better than a souvenir from the airport, amirite?

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  5. Just beautiful and incredible he could actually do that with just his hands. That's some real skill! I love picking up artwork when we travel too, then you always have that special memory when you see it, and it's something personal versus the mass produced travel souvenirs.

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  6. Amazing! It's incredible the detail he puts in that piece using only his finger and fingernails!

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  7. What a beautiful piece! I'm wondering what his other works looked like. And congrats to you for not bartering, because I'm sure this artist really appreciated it too.
    ~Kim

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  8. Awww, what a great story and beautiful souvenir of your trip! My husband and I go to Mexico every winter as well because his band puts on a festival down there, and there are vendors set up at our resort too. I've always avoided it because I don't like the haggling, but maybe next time I'll stop and see if I can find something like this. :)

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  9. Beautiful! He did a great job capturing the vivid colors. How fascinating that he paints with his fingers.

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  10. Beautiful, and such a special reminder of your vacation to Mexico!!

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  11. The painting is so beautiful! Can you imagine seeing that very every single day of the year? I don't like haggling either since I feel bad and feel like the other person does too so I would've paid what he wanted too.

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  12. Painted with his fingers and fingernails??? How cool! I think collecting local art on your trips is one of the best ways to not only support the local community you are visiting, but to remember your lovely vacation!

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  13. Whoa! Great!
    I love to get something special on holiday for myself too! Hopefully you can go back to Cancun and see the painter again ;)
    I don't like haggling too.. It's handmade and special so I do not mind buying piece of art with high price..

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  14. Looks like you brought home a real treasure! I'm sure you will enjoy it for years and every time you look at it, you will have great memories.

    I wouldn't be good at bartering either and I understand what you mean about being an artist yourself.

    From now on, when I take a trip, I'm going to try to purchase something from the local talent. What a great tradition!

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  15. What a beautiful way to remember your trip. I'm sure that painting will take you back your vacation whenever you look at it.

    I'm with you on the haggling. I can never bring myself to do it.

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  16. Thats awesome! The painting looks amazing. I really hate haggling. I'm not good at it and basically if you say it's going to be a certain price I'll pay that price or not. Haggling is not my thing at all.

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  17. Gorgeous painting. It really catches the beauty of the Mexican shore. I am amazing that created this with his fingers and fingernails! Good for him too sticking to a price and being different from the other artists.

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  18. Edi, your painting is so gorgeous. What a wonderful purchase for a remembrance of your wonderful trip. I'm glad you didn't try to haggle, paintings are a lot of work and it was very respectful of you to pay what the artist was asking. Enjoy it.

    Ruth

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  19. What a lovely reminder of your wonderful trip! It must have been special treat to watch the artist working on the painting and then be able to take it home.
    Valerie
    Everyday Inspired

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  20. What an interesting way to paint! I'm glad you bought this picture as a remembrance, but I agree with you--too bad you didn't snap a photo of the artist.

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  21. I love this painting! It must have been fascinating to watch him paint.
    I'm not interested in haggling either when I know these people make so little money. A few dollars is not that much to me but very meaningful for others.
    Besides, you now have a gorgeous painting and a wonderful memento of your trip.

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