We drove along the mountain side streets above the Quito, Ecuador suburb of Cumbaya, looking for the home of Miguel Betancourt, a famous Ecuadorian painter and friend. It had been several years since the last visit and the area had changed.
Finally, there it was. The guard greeted us at the gate and showed us to the front door. Sculptures, a well manicured lawn and bushes, as well as the view across the valley, produced the environment in which one would imagine a successful artist would live.
Inside, Miguel greeted us warmly, and an employee promptly offered glasses of wine and hors d’oeuvres.
Other guests included the French ambassador, a TV personality whom Miguel quipped was the most famous person present, and an Italian art collector with a history of buying Miguel’s art.
We stood and chatted; then, we explored the main floor, admiring the many paintings that covered every wall. Not all were Miguel’s. There were also those of other world-class artists whom he greatly admired.
Designed by Miguel and an architect, the interior was open and spacious. Well-positioned skylights contributed to an even distribution of daylight. Only a series of coordinated, hand painted, hung tapestries divided the vast space.
Sometimes large, open, day lit, spaces appear cold. This was not the case here. Miguel’s paintings are bright and colorful. They communicate a happy feeling, a spirit that evidently filled all those in the room.
After chatting about art, world markets, and his last exhibition in Beijing, China, we made our way to the studio. It, too, was well lit via windows overlooking the valley.
Miguel told us about his paintings and creativity as we admired what lie before us. The Italian collector maintained his serious searching, expressing disappointment that a couple of paintings, that he took interest in, had already been sold.
The pleasant, life loving character of the artist radiated throughout his creations.
One by one, the visitors took their leave; the exception being the Italian collector who stayed.
I left inspired; motivated to try harder in my own creative endeavors.
Here are a few of the photos that I took during the visit to the studio. Do you see the vibrancy that I do?
Miguel has website that includes photos, a video and his blog.
Visit Miguel’s website at www.miguelbetancourt.com
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