©2020 by Van Lefan 

Painting Boats in Bacalar

Updated: Mar 25


During my travels around Mexico I was fortunate enough to be able to fund most of of my living by finding random work along the way. One of my favorite jobs was working as an artist painting murals on a catamaran sail boat that was being repaired. The boats were owned by captain Ramon, who's house in the jungle I lived at for a month and a half in the jungle of Bacalar, right beside the magical lagoon.

He had rescued these boats and was in the process of repairing them to be ready for the water again, and he wanted some artwork inspired by the theme of "The Girl with Flowers in Her Hair", with the boat being like a young girl blossoming like the flowers in the warm spring breeze.

After some discussions to get a better idea of what his vision was, I went and did some pencil sketches in my notebook using both pictures and real plants and animals as reference. Then I used some burnt pieces of wood as charcoal and outlined on the surface of the boat where the layout of everything was going to be. After that I just started painting, without too much rhyme or reason, learning as I went. I have never done anything like this before, so it was quite the experience figuring out how to work with the waterproof paint (which was only removable by paint thinner, so my hands were stained for weeks!).

These birds were inspired by the golondrinas that would fly alongside the boats as you sailed on the lagoon, making you feel like you are straight out of a Disney movie. They typically flew in pairs, and someone told me these birds choose each others as mates and stay together! How cute right?! I loved it when they would stop on the boat for a rest or try to build a nest in the pontoons.

#travel #travelblog #painting #art #mural #birds #koifish #flowers #lotusflower #artist #catamaran #sailing #laguna #livingabroad

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