"Riviera Morning View" 9 x 12 oil on canvas by Terry d. Chacon
Mark Schooley of the Riverside Community Art Association organized a group of artist from the Riverside area to go to Ensenada to paint the Ensenada Cultural Center. An exhibit from the works created there and from photos taken there will be on exhibit in Ensenada and in Riverside this coming year. The program is through the Sister Cities program and Mark is in charge of the Arts program.
We left early Saturday morning on a tour bus from Maxi Foods in Riverside. Eight of us boarded the bus to travel to the boarder where we would be picked up by van from our hotel The El Cid BEST WESTERN EL CID ENSENADA BAJA CALIFORNIA in Ensenada. Seven other people from Riverside (artist and photographers) would join us in Ensenada. Ensenada - So Much to do! Baja California Mexico, The Official Website of the Ensenada Toursm Board
After arriving in Ensenada Mark first took us to eat at the Fish Market. We set at a little cantina and enjoyed fish tacos and beer. The cantina was filled with people enjoying the mariachi music and the cook was delightful. She reminded me of Eddies grandmother who just wanted to keep cooking and serving us. She was great.
After touring the fish market
we headed to the Riviera Cultural Center where we were treated to a tour of the grounds by the director. Riviera del Pacifico. Ensenada, Baja California.
The center is one of Ensenada’s most beautiful buildings first opened as a gambling casino and hotel during the 1930s gathering movie and sports celebrities from that era. It has had it trials and tribulations over the years and was remodeled in the late 1980's and then opened as a social and cultural events center. Complete with beautiful gardens and decorated walls by infamous artist Alfredo Martinez this cultural center is now being used for the arts, weddings and gatherings for special events. Riviera Cultural Center hosts interest sites such as Ensenada Historical Museum, City Gallery and Bar Andaluz. Speaking of Bar Andaluz! After our tour we finished up in the bar.
Our bartender who had worked here for many years shared stories about the center and that it is known for being the birth place of the Margarita. Let me tell you this was indeed the best Margarita I have ever had and I brought home the Tequila and recipe so we can share with our friends.
We then headed back to the motel to get ready for dinner at Marisco's where we were serenaded by a Mariachi band and had some of the best fish imaginable. Some of the artist got together later for a night stroll and to hit up the liquor store, but I was exhausted and went to bed.
The next day after a wonderful Mexican breakfast we headed to the cultural center for a day of painting. The mayor of Ensenada met us at the center and greeted us with open arms. We all went our separate ways to start painting. I chose the very front of the property as far off as I could get as I wanted to paint the beautiful gardens leading up into the center.
Later in the afternoon I set up in the garden in the rear and painted the painting below. When I started it was getting chilly and before long the fog was rolling in. At one point when I looked from my canvas to the building it was hard to differentiate between the white building and the sky. The gardens were still beautiful.
9 x 12 Oil on canvas "Riviera Garden" by Terry d. Chacon
Roy Dietrich and Mark Schooley on the balcony in the court yard. This court yard is used for local artisans to set up their wares during special events and to be there when the cruise ships port for the day.
Adeola-Davies Aiyeloja painting in the garden.
Can you imagine how excited I was to see this Afghan Hound strolling down the street. I spoke a little to the gentlemen about his dog but he didn't speak any English and my Spanish is not great. I gave him my card and hopefully he will contact me so I will know more.