Tiza means chalk in Spanish, and for several years the local Rotary Club in Atlántida has held an event called Atlantiza, where they close off a street and provide chalk and a 3 x 3 meter artist’s space. Some people use the chalk to draw; others mix it with water and paint.

Atlantiza 2017

With rain threatening, this year featured a significant number of no-shows. While some of the creations were nice enough, I saw nothing outstanding. I expected at least one convincing 3-D rendering, but saw only unconvincing attempts, like the one in the photo. It might have been fun to participate; I indicated interest but when I got no response decided not to pursue it.

Incidentally, if you’re curious how artists create magnificent 3-D street art illusions, here’s a clue:


Dog Waiting for Walk, variations

Alas, I didn’t think to set the app to save the original photo. But look!

Dog waiting for walk

Dog waiting for walk

Dog waiting for walk

Dog waiting for walk

Dog waiting for walk

Dog waiting for walk

All variations crested in a few minutes using Prisma, free app on iPad/Android.

Here’s one from July in Cuzco, Peru. I thought this was a pretty dramatic shot.

Morning, Cusco

But look what Prisma does for it!

Cuzco sunrise (variation)
Cuzco sunrise (variation)
Cuzco sunrise (variation)

Is painting over?


The art gallery

We normally don’t spend a lot of time in art galleries.

Contemporary ceramics on display, Montevideo, Uruguay

Yesterday was an exception.

Contemporary ceramics on display, Montevideo, Uruguay

The current show features five contemporary ceramic artists,

Contemporary ceramics on display, Montevideo, Uruguay

Contemporary ceramics on display, Montevideo, Uruguay

each with a unique “voice,” as the introduction states.

each with a unique “voice,” as the introduction stated.

The gallery has a skylight, which casts dramatic shadows.

Mexican Embassy, Montevideo, Uruguay

The setting, an old building with exposed brick and very old beams, is quite lovely. Not a bad place to spend an hour when you have no choice.

And we had no choice. We were waiting for legal papers. Specifically, a power of attorney to sell some property in Mexico.

What’s that got to do with an art gallery?

All the pictures above are from the ground floor of the Mexican Embassy in Montevideo. When we arrived, the receptionist remember who we were, and why we were there. The consul was gracious and welcoming.

Mexican Embassy, Montevideo
The Mexican Embassy in Montevideo: warm and welcoming.

Now, I have nothing bad to say about the US Embassy personnel in Montevideo. They were in fact surprisingly accommodating when I recently renewed my passport.

US Embassy, Montevideo
US Embassy in Montevideo. Not warm and welcoming.

But one can’t help but notice the contrast, even without surrendering all personal possessions and passing through several bomb-proof doors for the privilege of entering.

Construction symbolically started on July 4, 1966. US Independence day. At that time, the diplomatic pouch from Washington, DC, sometimes included fine wires that could be inserted between teeth, in order to apply an electrical charge to the gums. No, it wasn’t for oral hygiene.

Not a pleasant story, but essential reading: Uruguay, 1964 to 1970: Torture—as American as apple pie.

Giant ants


Espacio Ciencia is an interactive science museum next to the Portones shopping center in Montevideo. I had never noticed it before yesterday, when we made one of our “OK,we really need to go” trips to Montevideo. Because driving to and in Montevideo is not something I think anyone likes. But going by bus is worse.

Long ago I dreamed of making giant ants, and placing them in the trees of our property in North Carolina. Warms my heart to see someone else went through with it!

Flasher frog in Parque del Plata

Frog sculpture for tourists in Parque del Plata, Uruguay

OK, I’m just guessing. Maybe I should say “secret agent frog.” Or maybe it’s not even a frog. When I first saw it, I thought it kind of tacky, then realized it had a constant flow of people having their photo taken with it , with the lovely river Solís Chico in the background. Good idea!

Update 20170202: “One of the most striking features of [Parque del Plata] is the monument to Sapo* Ruperto, character of children’s stories created by the Uruguayan writer Roy Berocay, who tells us from his work that his birthplace is precisely the stream Solís Chico. The person responsible for the sculpture was Nelson Capote and the monument was placed there within the framework of the 75th anniversary of Parque del Plata.” (source)

*Sapo means toad, and yes, he’s a detective.