I came across this beautiful vine growing beside the doorway of a shop in Chapala, Mexico about ten years ago. Photos were taken with the idea that I might like to paint the scene someday. Well, someday has come, so here it is in glowing pixels on your computer screen or mobile device.
Although I am somewhat of a plant geek, I never knew the name or origin of this vine. I got curious while doing this project, and an easy Google search revealed that I was painting Thunbergia grandiflora, a semi-tropical vine native to India, China, Nepal, and other eastern locales. The plant is naturalized world-wide and can be quite weedy. It also goes by easier-to-pronounce names such as blue sky vine and Bengal trumpet. You can read all about it on Wikipedia and other sources.
Besides the pretty flowers, I like the bright tropical colors of the Mexican architecture. I tried to render these colors as accurately as possible. Here is a photo of the same building showing the orange walls and hot pink trim. I would say that the shop owners probably like flowers.
Chapala is located on the shores of Lake Chapala in the state of Jalisco. Apparently a number of U.S. expats have taken residence there. Lake Chapala is located near Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city, so there is access to a good airport and other urban ameneties.
Thunbergia at the Door was painted in artist-grade colored pencil on 100% rag paper and is approximately 14″ x 11″.
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