Beyond Doodles!

When I was in Oaxaca, we took  a trip to San Martin Tilcajete to see a village of woodcarvers who made exquisite alebrijes, (Spanish pronunciation: [aleˈβɾixes]) which are fanciful hand-carved wooden sculptures made out of soft copal wood.

The hand-painted patterns were amazing on these fantastic creatures!  It required a steady hand and good eyesight to create such stunningly beautiful designs such as these finished pieces:

I thought you might enjoy seeing how they were made by these very skilled artists.  First the soft copal wood is carved using a machete, a chisel and a knife  – such as this carver using a knife:

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Details of bulls that were carved and waiting for the next step:

Once they are carved, the cracks in the wood are filled with a putty.  These have been sanded and are waiting to be painted – you can see samples of the copal wood behind them.  There are male and female trees with different scents and softness.

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The sculptures are painted a base color(s) before the patterns are meticulously hand-painted.  It was wonderful to watch them steadily paint such amazing details using vibrant colors with skilled hands:

I thought this bull was fantastic:

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We got to try our hand at painting a small animal – here is my rabbit on the left – not easy to keep a steady hand!  So I purchased this small lizard that someone else created…

One of the many things that impressed me about this place was the beautiful gardens that surrounded the artisans:

It was a paradise of beauty in itself – so many colors, shapes and patterns:

I hope you enjoyed my little tour!  And if you would like to find out more about the alebrijes, check out this link from Wikipedia at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alebrije

Happy Doodling!  🙂

 

29 responses to “Beyond Doodles!

  1. amazing creations having details captured and with beautiful art! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved the tour. What a wonderful trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a fun place! And what a gifted craftsman. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kerfe gave me a beautiful book about the Oaxacan woodcarvers. I’m jealous that you got to see them in person! Great post. N.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds like a wonderful book, Nina! 😄 Yes, it was the most amazing experience to see them work. The patterns were so beautiful and perfect. I would have liked to purchase a more expensive piece – maybe some day! 💙

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  6. Thank you for sharing these beautiful artworks Jill. What a beautiful trip you experienced.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy you liked it, Sharon! 💜😄🎨 I hope I can paint some of the flowers – it was such a beautiful and calming place! And watching the artists work was an experience I will never forget. 😍

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Fascinating! Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fabulous! I love your creative rabnit with long ears. Thanks for sharing these lovely pics.

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  9. Thanks for sharing. That looked like an amazing experience and I loved the painting you did on that long eared rabbit!

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    • Thank you Susan! I have a new appreciation for these artists who have such a steady hand! 😄 They go through many hours of training before they can paint the larger animals. 💙

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  10. I’m so glad you went on this trip; you got so much out of it! Thx for bringing us along. 💜

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  11. Nice woodwork but would love to have a patio surrounded by the lush greens and flowers 👍🏻

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  12. Oaxaca seems to be a place of endless inspiration! Too bad it is so far away….Thanks for charing, Jill!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow! I would have been very inspired in Oaxaca such colours and distinct design. Bet you wish it was just down the road Jill.

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