Aug 20, 2014

100+ YEAR MAYA TRADITION IN GUATEMALA: ¨Convite¨ costumed street dances illustrate the Maya, the Conquistador, Mexican Dances and mix in the contemporary world as it impacts the spiritual elements around us in Guatemala!


DANCING IN THE ALTIPLANO - K´iche´ Maya, 101 Anniversary in Santa Cruz, de Quiche last SUNDAY - Henry Leonardo Minas Veliz , my art assistant traveled there.



Every year in some of the towns in Guatemala, on regularly scheduled annual dates, we have ¨Convites¨ which are costumed street parades. These extravaganzas, and they really are, have groups who are invited to participate. These groups plan a year in advance their elaborate costumes and dancing messages. Originally over one hundred years ago (that we know) the ¨Convites¨ displayed the local cultural mix of Conquistadors and Indigenous interpretations of their mix into each phase of contemporary and local society, also there is a heritage of ¨Mexican Dancing¨ that was also ¨invited¨ to participate. The organizational approach of these ¨dance´societies¨ reflect the way they see themselves connecting with the outside world...it's a great a colorfilled mix. 





Last weekend my art assistant Henry and Glenda his wife traveled to Santa Cruz de Quiche for the famous annual, this year celebrating 101 year tradition. Henry returned home with videos and many photographs of the spectacular event...I will share some here so you can SEE how we have become inspired to paint ¨Convite¨ paintings, murals and even ceramics...they have already become a fascinating new direction for us because, like the dance groups, the imagination level is limitless...it's all about absorbing influence from NOW and centuries before NOW! 



I love the ¨Convites¨ and in our town of San Miguel Dueñas we will ¨ritual dances¨ after the procession of the VIrgin of the New Year, December 28th, mid-day, in San Miguel Dueñas...really fascinating and I think I will plan a lunch party around it and after the Virgin of the New Year passes my house we will then see the CONVITE FANTASTICO de San Miguel Dueñas, come visit ...vamos a ver, but for now, here is more of a glympse of what appeared before Henry, Glenda and their baby at San Cruz de Quiche last Sunday: 



REAL PEOPLE, REAL TRADITIONS, REALITY can be FANTASY, INTERPRETATION!  MORE CULTURAL WONDERS of the WESTERN WORLD in GUATEMALA!


Leonardo/Len

Aug 13, 2014

GENUINE - THE REAL GUATEMALA: The lushness, the delightful truth, the reality of the people and the great energy of everyday life among the MAYA! Leonardo Ricardo (video)



Visit Guatemala v.3.0 (Updated version) from skycamguatemala on Vimeo.

HERE WE ARE IN GUATEMALA, CENTRAL AMERICA!

Mira! 

Note: There are NO huge/wild gangs rushing around or legions of starving children in the streets/etc. What there REALLY IS here are a few fundraising crooks selling faux U.S. Green Cards and ¨safe passage¨ to the U.S.A.  

Most people, Guatemalans and guests (NGO's, the Peace Corps, Religious organizations) are adding positive acts building stronger communities with wholesome energy that simply add to the increased all-around everyday life of regular Guatemalan citizens.  There is a sincere and eager interest in cultivating improved education/health life in this beautiful and historically important part of the Western Hemisphere. 

Guatemala is a lovely place which is also named the ¨Land of Eternal Spring.¨

The very best thing you can do to help STOP illegal immigration is to help the economy here, visit here, add your expertise here, join in right here in my little town, San Miguel Dueñas, at the foot of Fuego Volcano (export flowers, vegetables and coffee farms) or ANYWHERE in Guatemala to educate and elevate..don't exploit or discriminate! One more suggestion is to evaluate the financial transparency of any volunteer group or NGO you  may wish to help...some are better than others in the trickledown department.

SAFE, SOUND, EAGER and HARDWORKING -- predawn into night, beat that!

Leonard Clark Beardsley. I am one of tens of thousands of U.S. citizens enjoying the great gift of living a full life and right NOW, especially grateful to be a guest in Guatemala.  Please come visit us, you'll love it.  As a longtime Guatemalan friend once said to me ¨Guatemala, you either ´get it´ or you don´t¨...I think I do and I think you will too.

Thanks to SkyCam, Guatemala
Thanks to Visit Guatemala
Thanks to The Maya culture
Thanks to The Land of Eternal Spring


Aug 4, 2014

INFINITY and LEONARDO RICARDO: ¨As a child my mind drifted far away into the vastness of not knowing¨

The way I see things makes the world be things

I feel drawn to write/blog a few of my recent thoughts/feeling.


I have always lived beyond the boundries of what I was expected to see and who I was expected to be.  As a child my mind drifted far away into the vastness of not knowing, into trying to make sense out of infinity.  Often I tell my Summer stories of sleeping in the outdoors and staring up at the stars...then beyond the stars.  I sometimes wondered how it could be that I didn't know where infinity would end?  Then, what space or place would come next?  Beyond the finish of infinity scared me a little.  It wasn't the not knowing that frightened me it was the stark understanding that I was so physically present when gazing into the BIG *it*  The BIGNESS and who, why. what, where and WHEN of it all!  Would I fall in or jump in? Would I be blindfolded and do a back flip into wherever there was?

Early in my childhood I realized I was *different* than others.  I knew I had longings of the larger than life variety and I knew I was a person  with different  longings than most of you-s.  What was the spell binding thing that took me far away? What was  the close-inside-of-me place lusting for space in my own safe backyard? Why did I have the built-in freedom to imagine such beautiful and colorful things that were both real and not-yet-seen in my early life?  Was I different, foggy or the same?  I now think it was the extra romancing of the possibilities of life that was perking inside of me.  My life and my eagerness to know about yours too.  Silently I decided what I must do, both with and without your approval.  Very early I discovered things were, in fact, not what they seemed to be (or ought be?)...my reality and imagination went wild in a good way as I played and romped and laughed and fished and planted and tasted every little attraction to be had around me.  I snuggled up to life.  As a child I was fearless. Life liked me back (mostly).  I always knew that in order to thrive I would need to operate both in and outside of the box, the boundries, the rules, the shame game the snear and those wavy ¨good¨ lines.   Infinity gave me permission to go as far as life would take me which meant way past the end of it in my minds eye.

Infinity has, it does, it will and I thank the God of my vivid understanding. I thank that same wonderdrenched God for letting me share life with all of you.  Some more than others, some closer up than others.  Now and before now it is you who still shine brightly for me dead or alive.  You are still there and here and I know who you are even from afar...you validate my innermost passion for life and you have not gone far away from my heart. I kiss you back. 

I love you


Leonard Clark Beardsley
Sacatepequez, Guatemala

Aug 1, 2014

CONCERNED ABOUT RETALIATION: Ugandan court invalidates anti-gay law, ¨Null and Void¨

¨The anti-gay measure was enacted on Feb. 24 by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who said he wanted to deter Western groups from promoting homosexuality among African children¨
KAMPALA, Uganda — A Ugandan court on Friday invalidated an anti-gay bill signed into law earlier this year, saying the measure is illegal because it was passed during a parliamentary session that lacked a quorum.
The panel of five judges on the East African country’s Constitutional Court said the speaker of parliament acted illegally when she allowed a vote on the measure despite at least three objections – including from the country’s prime minister – over a lack of a quorum when the bill was passed on Dec. 20.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga , Parliament of  Uganda
“The speaker was obliged to ensure that there was a quorum,” the court said in its ruling. “We come to the conclusion that she acted illegally.”
The ruling was made before a courtroom packed with Ugandans opposing or supporting the measure. Activists erupted in loud cheers after the court ruled the law is now “null and void.”
The anti-gay measure provided for jail terms of up to life for those convicted of engaging in gay sex. It also allowed lengthy jail terms for those convicted of the offenses of “attempted homosexuality” as well as “promotion of homosexuality.”
Frank Mugisha, a Ugandan gay leader, said the ruling Friday was a “step forward” for gay rights even though he was concerned about possible retaliation.
Ugandan lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, an attorney for the activists, said the ruling “upholds the rule of law and constitutionalism in Uganda.”
Lawyers and activists challenged the anti-gay law after it was enacted in February on the grounds that it was illegally passed and that it violated certain rights guaranteed in Uganda’s constitution...please read it all:

Thanks to Nicholas Opiyo, Esquire/Uganda
Thanks to Stephen Kavuma, Judge/Uganda Constitutional Court
Thanks to Frank Mugisha, Ugandan gay leader
Thanks to Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi,, Esquire/Uganda
Anglican Archbishop  (emeritus) Henry Orombi of Uganda,

WHO IS MORALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MURDER OF  ANGLICAN INTEGRITY/UGANDA OFFICER DAVID KATO?

 http://leonardoricardosanto.blogspot.com/2011/01/attn-archbishop-henry-orombipresident.html


¨The religious leader called on Parliament to expedite the passing of the Anti-homosexuality Bill into law to combat same-sex marriages which threats the moral fabric of the Ugandan society...¨ HERE   (There already IS a NO SAME SEX MARRIAGE Law in Uganda)


http://leonardoricardosanto.blogspot.com/2012/06/archbishop-orombiuganda-his-dangerous.html

Jul 7, 2014

THE FIVE A.M. EARTHQUAKE WAKE UP CALL: Good Morning from Guatemala, America Central!

Garden at the Foot of the Volcano, 4´x 4´ , painted on stretched panel
Good Morning friends and visitors,

This morning I had a roller coaster ride and it didn't leave my bed.  It was a 7.1 Earthquake that presented itself up near the Mexican border (150+ miles Norte).  Dogs barking, we have four, birds chirping and flapping and Gold Fish acquariams splashing.  I have an adjoining bathroom to my bedroom (on the second floor) and I always dash in there because it feels safer, is over the laundry area downstairs and only has small windows at the top of one wall...I met Juan Carlos there.  Juan Carlos said DID YOU FEEL IT (the bathroom has a door that opens to the second floor corridor too)? YES, I felt it as it was probably the longest/strongest terramoto/tremblor that we have had in a very long time. 

Somehow I am not very afraid when the ¨shake ups¨ happen.  I don't know if it is because I grew up in Los Angeles, went to college in the San Francisco Bay Area or experienced big ones in Mexico D.F...it's just that I don't become terrorized, I seem to go with the flow as I wait for them to stop...grabbing on to walls as one does on a boat. Juan Carlos doesn't seem afraid either as he laughs about being tossed out of bed...DID I FEEL IT, yes, Juan Carlos, I DID!

All is well.  Above please note my painting ¨Garden at the Foot of the Volcano¨  just to reassure you that the sun is shining, the birds are back to full-fledged chirping, the doggers have had breakfast and we have had our morning coffee...the blossoms are opening and our garden continues to grow.  I love life, thanks for checking on us.

Leonardo Ricardo
San Miguel Dueñas
Sacatepequez, Guatemala
Central America

Jun 12, 2014

THE CALLE REAL/THE STREET WHERE I LIVE: San Miguel the Archangel and the municipalidad protects us - 'Viva il Papa' !



I live in a smallsized Guatemalan village that is well populated with Roman Catholics, around 80%+ RC's. The charming old church on the main square has just added a large addition doubling the size of the nave with a side chapel...the masses are always overflowing with people standing outside the entrance and there are speakers that deliver audio mass to the square



At San Miguel we celebrate every major Holy day,  Semana Santa and many minor religious feast days too. Our Patron Saint is San Miguel the Archangel and September is combined with great festivities for him and the National Independence Day (from Spain) of Guatemala. 



We have parades, rodeos, costumed ¨convites¨ , religious processions (drums, flutes, incense) and every villager has their own special tribute when they die as their coffin is shoulder carried from their home to church, to the cemetery...off they go, right down the middle of the street with a brass band following the black clad mourners on foot. Even the funerals seem full of loving respect and community here.






This modest community has an atmosphere of industrous living and beliving at it's best...no big deal. it's the way that it has always been and continues to be as heavily loaded handcarts and donkey carts pass up and down the street and finca workers go off at dawn to pick coffee, or plant minature vegetables for export.  The ¨viveros¨ grow long stemmed roses in every color for the World to enjoy...this is a hands-on, quietly energized community with corn tortillas being made over fires ¨los tres tiempos¨ daily and ¨pan francese¨  baked in brick ovens that seem more like kilns.





The people of this town clearly express the virtues taught by the Roman Church at its best in their daily lives. There is also a tiny Order of Spanish Nuns who have a orphanage at the edge of our town...they work their own version of miracles and bring up well mannered, well groomed, well educated children who would otherwise be lost to the street in Guatemala City.

There are miracles going on everywhere.  Quiet ones, determined ones, kind ones.

We have few ¨incidents¨ of illegal behavior here. There
are street cameras that work and help protect innocents. Every principal street is monitored for our safety. 

The town mayor, Dr. Quiñonez, is a strong willed medical doctor who is community service oriented and the town sparkles in many ways.  There is a buy-your-own-home community complete with water, light and sewage systems that is a masterstroke in helping low-income citizens to own their own safe/secure homes and raise families away from dangerous shanties.  The Vice Mayor, Don ¨Chepe¨ officiates at legal/free wedding services on Saturday afternoons (and also teaches catechism on his own free time ) Still, the needs are many.

The community services go on and on with a full-time health clinic staffed with a medical nurse and vounteer Doctors/medicos (they usually come from abroad) and a nutrionist too.  Vaccinations are often available free of charge for people and even ¨pets¨ .

This town will have a new mayor soon who will no
doubt carry-on the tradition of excellence in goverance as full tranparency in management is the standard.

I am more than comfortable as an Episcopalian/Anglo-Catholic living among Roman Catholics. They add much to my physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

I don't feel the same way about some of the ¨catholics¨ who sit on the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States..Scalia, Alito, C. Thomas and Roberts. I suggest they learn a thing or twenty about reality,humility, human decency, respect for ones sisters and brothers and dignity/equality from a little ¨Catholic¨
town in Sacatepequez, Guatemala, Central America.

Leonard Clark Beardsley
Leonardo Ricardo
San Miguel Dueñas

Jun 8, 2014

LEONARDO RICARDO - THINKING/BEING: Portraying colorful thoughts and developing NEW artistic concepts for apparel, home and accessories (at the foot of the Fuego volcano)!


Leonard Clark Beardsley




I've known since art school that multi-colors are harder to work with than monochromatics...yet, I always lusted for blasts of color as I never liked subtlety or anything that seems understated or ¨safe¨....my colors like to be noticed (and appreciated)!



I realized during my fashion buying career in department stores that quite often the seasonal ¨fashion colors¨ (like the strong pinks, greens and oranges we have been seeing) sold well but didn't approach anything like the consistant volumn of basics in basic/mono colors (white, beige, navy for Summer, black, brown, wine mostly for Fall and GLITZ (usually on black, gold, bronze or silver) at Holiday and a sprinkle of classic Spectator¨ (navy/red/camel on white) for Spring 1-2/Cruise..



,,.not much has changed, not really (a little gray crept in as a basic, light gray into Summer and dark gray into Fall) but I always invision my multi-colors one day to become fabric prints...either Decorative for furniture coverings/draperies or Fashion for stunning new apparel (also stationery prints too or printed leathers/urethanes for handbags/slg).




I want to connect with someone, or a fine firm, who wants freshness and newness and variations of stong color in their ¨line/collection of couture or ready to wear or Softlines (sheets, towels, table linens) or Hardlines (table top, cookery, or pictured above, lamp bases) in Home Furnishings are sensational! 


Come out, come out, wherever you are!




Who are you? Where are you? I am READY to be REDISCOVERED and to work with you and do all-new color collections on all new products... (I am fully experienced in Retail/Wholesale and Product Development too and travel is no problem)! 



Leonardo/Len 

Guatemala

502 countrycode 56568295





Come visit, let´s talk, I am ready to work making/correcting samples and/or doing finished art for any classification of merchandise and can be done in any factory of your choosing.  






Mil Gracias

May 26, 2014

LEONARD CLARK BEARDSLEY - 2014 ART: ¨It's the way that we see things that makes the world be things¨

Oversized painted apaste/ceramic 
Greetings to friends, collectors and visitors to Antigua/Guatemala,

¨Convite¨ (costumed street dance) 4´x 4´
I have been working as hard as I can at the foot of the Volcan de Fuego/Guatemala on another collection of art work for me and for you.  

Fuego #1, 4´x 5´ (painted on panel)
During the past year(s) I´ve had several eye surgeries and they scared me. I was afraid that I would lose my eyesight, or have it so lessened, and  I may not be able to continue doing the art that seems to spill from my heart as it gives me great pleasure. Having had seperated retinas in both eyes, different times, was a little daunting. However, I am glad, grateful and plain amazed that I was able to continue to work in my studio between surgeries, post surgeries and during the various times of healing.  I have a very capable assistant, H. Leonardo M., who keeps both keen eyes on me and my sometimes smudges  

Oversized ceramic pot, painted/polurethaned
Helping me see was/is a very good and kind thing and I now have a greater appreciation for the challenges that many with sight-problems face...a very brave lot they are!

¨Carnival¨  4´ x 8', painted on panel
I was helped by several dear friends as my last surgery, past November, was done in a up-to-the-minute fully equipped eye clinic in Northern California. 

Painted table, Orchid chairs
Big thanks to my niece, Jennifer Fisher, for being such a great nurse, eye specialist (bravo Dr. Wendel) locator and  hostess who offered reassurance, transportation and extra comfy accommodations to the coward in me. Thanks to Laura Fisher for being a great companion, chef and personal shopper and thanks to FENIX the giant dog who guarded my bed. Thanks to my longtime friend Kelsie Reed in Orlando who aided me from afar as well as many of you here in Guatemala who helped me during my time of urgency: Elizabeth Bell travel arrangements, Burt Pasternak got me to the airport shuttle and Juan Carlos Castillo, Mark and Illsy Creelman helped me, with eyes dialated, get up to ¨emergency speed¨ organized, packed and up, out and ready for travel!  


Maya Geometric lamps, handmade lampshades
Mil gracias!


Lamps, Wall decor, High table/chairs (set of three), bench

A few weeks ago I was able to get a new pair of glasses, my third  pair, since the eye problems began. I am relieved, and very happy, to report that my corrected vision is better than it has been for quite a long time.  I can see better, work better and my close up work is better than before.  Thank you for your support, each of you and thanks to Letty Manne and Burt Pasternak for the welcome home from surgery party in December!
¨Saints and Sinners¨
Fiesta, lamp and handmade lampshade
(featuring the ¨Gossip Lady¨ and the ¨Mostess Hostess¨


In the past year, at the request of a friend, I revived a style that I once called Maya Cubism.  This collection  largely represents the Maya world around me from several personal views...lots of spiritual and emotional REAL goings on that weave their way, like the vivid tapestries created and merged into my life in Guatemala.  There are many colorfilled cultural, and vividly costumed, customs that are downright dazzling in Guatemala. Most everything here is laced with passion, color and creativity. Among the most exciting folklore events are the carnivals, rituals, shaman ceremonies and ¨convites¨ that are held in many of the villages on a regular calendar for each place.  
36¨ high, ceramic ¨water saver´ painted/urethaned
I witness joyous and festive parades, street parties, costumed/orchestrated street dances and processions often that are complete with bombastic fireworks and color-extravagant ¨fuegos artificiales¨ , incense, drums, flutes and sometimes full fledged marching bands.   

4´ Bench
I believe I have captured much of the mystery, vitality and passion that touches my life in Guatemala with the Maya Cubism and Maya Geometric collections. The pictured pieces are either ¨in work¨ or ¨finished art¨ and I have many others too.  If you would like to see photos just ask.


Looking from above:  Coffee table/round, Ceramic apaste
I am continuing with my ¨pointalism¨  painted furniture (both custom or displayed in the studio as finished), painted ceramics and table decorative accessories plus  NEW lamps (gorgeous new lamps with all custom shades).  I  paint in all the styles I have developed for decades including various landscape texture ideas with all the geometric style accents that people/yo enjoy.  

4´ x 4´ Volcan de Fuego #4
Inspiration appears daily before me thanks to the lushness of the landscape and hospitality of the people in Guatemala. My inspiration comes from all the people, what they do, how they celebrate and cultivate their land and lives in Latin America.  The people of Guatemala and Latin American countries are amongst the ¨happiest people in the happiest countries in the world¨ according to recent surveys...with good reason. 

The Bar, five bar stools, on rollers/moves easily, fully fitted with wine rack, inside/back

Enjoy!

Large Rolling Table (table top view)

This is the update on some of my work.  If you have questions telephone me at country code 502 and cell number 56 56 82 95.  My most longtime email, santosiempre at yahoo dot com and/or  leonardoricardosanto at gmail dot com  (or leave a comment/message here at the blog and I will read it when ¨moderating¨comments).





Leonard Clark/LeonardClarkBeardsley aka Leonardo Ricardo and Len
4´x5´ Volcan de Fuego #5