Thursday, December 16, 2010

On the Camino Real...

Field trips. Typically dragging a car load of kids somewhere for a short period of time..and feeling wiped out afterwards. I tease my mother that she only went on ONE field trip of mine..and that was in pre-school. I have tried to do better, but now after fulfilling more than my duty- I pick my field trips carefully. So, when it was time to sign up to drive the nearly 2 hours south to the  Mission San Juan Batista--I jumped in.

I love the California Missions. They are plum with history and so beautiful in their Spanish, Mexican and Native American triumvirate of aesthetics and spirituality. This one is particularly special--as it is mostly intact including the vast land and plaza around it. You almost feel as if you were back in 1800's California -although minus the intensely obvious conflict and true grit of those times.

Alfred Hitchcock too, must have inhaled this authenticity when he chose to film part of his landmark film Vertigo here. In deciding to film a feature film actually in the out of doors--he picked classic San Francisco and San Juan Bautista to film this ethereal and favorite film.

I am always inspired by the patterns and the images laid out in these missions. The crudely painted borders.  The religious icons piled up to bring hope. The magical gardens.
These images are haunting and beautiful and ultimately worth sharing in photos and on clay. Look for some of these images on future plates.