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PA Profiles

Artists return to Sunday Centro shows after snowy Eurotrip

Posted 2/6/2011 by Pelican Paulie

Parisian-born and bred Michel Brown, at one time the only foreign artist shown in a Russian museum, and Mexico City native Lourdes Ortiz Rubio de Brown, whose grandfather was president of Mexico from 1930-1932, may be accomplished artists with intriguing backgrounds but none of that could temper Mother Nature’s fury when they made a holiday season trip to Europe in December. They are back at their usual Sunday location between The Pub and Café Ole on the Dolphin Walk displaying their impressionist and realist art and talking about their flaky adventure to Paris, via Amsterdam, Brussels, thence London.

Pelican readers who follow the weather already know that Europe was in the deep-freeze over the holidays, hosting multiple snowstorms whose accumulating flakes crippled air and ground transportation. The Browns’ expedition was impeded right from the beginning at Cancun Airport where their scheduled 5:30 a.m. flight didn’t leave until 2 a.m. the next day, arriving in Amsterdam for a connecting flight to Paris only to learn all flights to anywhere were grounded.

“We were told our luggage had gone ahead to Paris and that we’d have to wait in a long line for a free toothbrush and accommodations for the night. After waiting for too long in the line, we decided to get our own hotel room and went out into the snow with only a sweater to ward off the cold,” said Lourdes. Michel had brought a heavy jacket, but they had to shop for some outer clothing for her. By 11 p.m. they had retired to a hotel but had to be up again at 5:30 a.m. for a flight to Paris, which didn’t take off either. After hours of waiting and battling fatigue, they hopped the fast train to Paris. “We got a seat but other people came up to us, showed us their tickets and said we were in their seats. Lourdes was so tired she told them she wouldn’t move. And she didn’t,” recalled Michel with a smile that said only a woman could get away with that.

After 17 days of traveling Europe and London visiting relatives and friends, they returned to PA. “Our luggage followed us a few days later in Cancun airport after we arrived here…17 days without our luggage,” Lourdes said. Was the trip worth the effort? Michel raises forefinger and thumb to his lips in a singularly Euro-gesture and made a smacking sound. “It was beautiful”he said. They were in the city of his birth, renowned for its art, architecture and cuisine; the city where he had learned to paint at his father’s knee, as his father had learned from his father.

With many exhibits to his credit in Paris, Michel, who studied fine arts in Paris, moved to the southern part of France where he tutored art students. He became director of a an art house there until he befriended a traveling couple from Mexico. The couplelured him to Playa del Carmen, and, in a display of artistic temperament, “I left everything, everything behind and came to Mexico.” He and Lourdes met at a serendipitous event to which they had both been invited and seated next to one another. That event became, they admit while looking into each others’ eyes, a match made in heaven. They’ve been married seven years now. They live the fulfilling life of the artist contented with his lifestyle and the opportunity to create canvasses with skilled strokes of the hand guided my the eye of the soul. “I am an impressionist,” says Michel. “I paint what I see, and I see everything.”

Lourdes was born and raised in Mexico City, studied architecture, the history of art and landscaping at Anahuac University. She was childhood friends with the ubiquitous architect Roman Rivera Torres, mega-developer of Puerto Aventuras, but while she was am equestrian, he was a diver. “My family bought a summer home in Cancun when it was just beginning to become popular.” Later in life she moved there, then to Playa del Carmen where she met Michel, who both preferred the more quiescent lifestyle of Puerto Aventuras.

“My grandfather was president of Mexico from 1930 to 1932 ( inaugurated Feb. 5), and I wish so much that he would still be here so I could talk to him and get to know him better. I was just a little girl when he was president, so I didn’t get to know him as an adult.”  President Pascual Ortiz Rubio, an engineer and surveyor in civilian life, was the immediate target of an assassination attempt and was shot in the facial area, recovered, and went on to lead a government of accomplishment including the separation of the Baja into North and South His administration enacted federal labor law, established the National Commission for Tourism, and joined the League of Nations among other significant achievements.

When Michel, an army veteran of the Algerian struggle, was studying fine arts in Paris, he was invited to St.Petersburg, Russia, to display five paintings of Paris. He remained there for six months and was the only foreigner whose work was displayed at the museum there.

Today, Michel, who has graced thousands of canvasses with his touch, has completed contracts for paintings in the rooms at the Omni Hotel here and is half way through a similar contract with the Omni in Cancun. Both artists have had numerous shows including in Mexico City and New York among other places and now occupy themselves locally in their home studio and with contract paintings, wall and ceiling murals in PLaya, Cancun and Mexico City. Lourdes has a son in PA who replenishes beaches, owns land with cenotes used by cave divers, and experiments with organic and early Mayan gardening techniques. Her daughter lives in Cancun where she owns “a hotel for dogs and is very busy,” says Lourdes.

We might say that Michel and Lourdes and PA embody the words of poet Allen , who wrote in his journal, Mexico and Return to U.S”: “Fortunately, art is a community effort – a small but select community living in a spiritualized world endeavoring to interpret the wars and the solitudes of the flesh.”

BRIEFLY SAID…

THE MYSTERIOUS MACHINATIONS of Gringo Dave continue to mystify PA’s pundits as the eatery, a prime contributor to local gossip, now sports a new name emblazoned upon a large banner at the entrance heralding “Gringo’s Cantina”…SPEAKING OF RESTAURANTS, guests of residents are reporting increasing satisfaction with the quality and apparent flourish of diversity of the menus among Dolphin Walk restaurants, a surefire way to increase business….THE SIDEWALK from the highway underpass near the Main Gate to Chedraui’s supermarket on the Poblado side of 307 is completed. It apparently was an endeavor of Poblado officials and Chedraui since no entity on this side of the highway claimed credit for it. Two resort bikers reported the narrow walk is OK for bikes, except where three light poles are smack in the middle of it, so be careful…THREE CHEERS FOR THE CANADIAN MEDIA for its work in exposing the flawed responses and the cause of a recent explosion that killed Canadian nationals and a worker at the Princess resort in Playa del Carmen. It may lead to improved disaster [preparedness…CARNAGE KILLING TOURISM in Acapulco, according to businesses there and wire reports. Little wonder. On Jan. 9, 25 bodies, 15 of them decapitated, were discovered there. Notes attached to the bodies reportedly claim responsibility on behalf of a drug cartel. A few days later, a story headlined “Amid Drug Violence, Acapulco watches Tourism Recede” – businessmen there deplored the carnage that has scared away visitors, although officials insist rourism is robust in Acapulco…PIZZA PANIC occurred a few weeks ago when football fans ordered pizza from a local vendor then waited about two hours for the pizza, not specifically the ones ordered, to arrive. The panic was remedied for the Super Bowl when two of the fans opted to personally go buy, check and carry the pizza back themselves just before the game started. Brilliant!!…SPEAKERS bearing good information have been well received on two recent occasions in the Colonos Hall, one concerning banking and the other visa and police policy regarding traffic violations.The latter filled the seats as some confusion reigned over the new FM3-2 processes….WHAT’S NEXT? Cook book author Maria Dolores Beatriz and her book, “Latina Lite Cooking” will be offering demonstrations using local produce between 9 and 11 a.m. Saturday, FEB 19, at the produce stand in Centro Comercial…

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