This is Carolina Weiss
On New Years Day 1991, Carolina and her husband, Raymond crossed the border into Mexico, and after 70 miles of driving, they reached Ensenada… sighed happily… and continued south. They traveled for a much longer time than anyone else I’ve ever known. A dog-eared copy of “The Hidden Beaches of Mexico” was their guide, and a small travel trailer, their home. Carolina and Raymond stayed in a host of seaside towns and camped along the coast, until they arrived at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
Carolina says the beauty of those secluded hide-aways made her more attentive to colour, texture and composition; and eventually she thought she might like to try painting what she saw. “Painting fills my heart,” she says, “and I like plein-air painting because it encourages me to be fully conscious; it is like meditating.”
Meditating with a paintbrush in hand, I’d add.
A while after reaching the Isthmus, the couple drove towards the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Playa del Carmen became home until friends told them about Bacalar, a combined fresh/salt water lagoon, close to the Mexico-Belize border. When Carolina saw that the water had the same crystalline colour and clarity as the Caribbean, she and her husband bought a small house on the shore of the Bacalar Lagoon. I did not know Caroline during the years she and Raymond lived in Bacalar, but from what I’ve been told, everyone considered her their friend.
Raymond died in 1999, and Carolina was faced with not only with the grief, but also the huge question of whether she should sell or stay put. She opted to open a guest house in the home she had shared with Raymond in Bacalar. “Casa Carolina” was always full whenever I wanted to reserve there, but I’ve heard that guests felt like favourite family members while staying with Carolina.
And in the fall of that year, Carolina and three friends signed up for a water colour retreat in Colorado, where they painted the aspens. She enjoyed the bracing fall air and she loved the energy of the group. “If I do a workshop like this, but in Bacalar during the winter, will you all come?” “Oh yes!” they said and her annual Watercolour Rendevous began.
For many years, the guest house and the water colour artists’ rendezvous were Carolina’s life; but the responsibility of solely running the business became too much. Carolina owned a small property in Merida as well, and she began spending more time in the capital city of Yucatan. And when she sold “Casa Carolina”, she moved into her sweet little house. She missed Bacalar and her Rendezvous; although she could no longer live there, what was stopping her from continuing with the plein-air art week? Nothing at all, she decided, and that is how we lucky painters from Merida can now enjoy her wonderful event each year.
This will be my third yer, and tomorrow we start… I am so excited and happy. It is one of my year’s highlights. For the rest of the week, I will post a photos and vignettes of our time painting in five of Merida’s inspiring locations.
And on Sunday February 9th, we’ll host a finale fiesta… a party with drinks, snacks, music and of course, we’ll show you the paintings we produce during our Merida in 5 Days Watercolour Artists’ Rendezvous.
Thank you Carolina for this gift…