My father has done just that throughout his career. In the early 1970's my father saw something in the way the light hit the templeques of the pollera dancers (the national folkloric dancers of Panama). He saw the gracefulness in the way the dresses moved and most importantly he recognized the absolute beauty in the girls who wore the dresses with pride. He had to open the window for everyone else to see what a beautiful tradition was right before our eyes.
Over the years, my father continued to paint the beautiful girls in their cherished dresses. He spent many weekends at Old Panama taking photos of the dancers that he would use as material to produce these wonders. An Al Sprague pollera became a "must have" for many in this small country. He traveled the country to capture the many types of dresses and dances. His favorite place, still today, is the small village of Santa Domingo just past Las Tablas on the way to Pedasi. He says the light is perfect and the dresses are the prettiest.
|"Galinda" is one of my father's paintings using the polleras from Santa Domingo.|
|"La Reina" is another painting of the beautiful dancer from Santa Domingo.|
I guess one can say my father's career of painting Panama is a love story. He fell in love with the people and the culture a long time ago. And now, he continues to nurture that love through his art which opens our eyes daily to the beauty of a country and its people.