Granada Host Leo
It’s true that you can see through people if you look at them in their eyes long enough.
It was an amazing experience.
I was drawing my host in Granada, Leo.
I was so tired when I start to draw this picture. So I just tried out the easiest and fastest way to finish this drawing. I just add some colors on paper and sketch the detail out directly without any outline.
I took a few minutes staring into Leo’s eyes and trying to remember every detail and recite them on paper.
Leo was cool even stared by a stranger like me who just first met. She looked straight back into my eyes.
I saw tender in her pupils and yet toughness in her wrinkles. She has a strong heart under her gentle appearance. She might be a gentle lady at the first sight but I was sure she had gone through a lot in life when I looked close to her eyes.
I couldn’t help to ask her, ‘Were you a punk?’
Leo laughed, ‘Oh, why do you ask?’
I really had no idea why I asked. Leo’s dressing was very casual and she was very gentle. Her appearance and attitude really did not have any clues of a punk. But the longer I looked at her eyes, the stronger I felt she was somehow punk-like in her early days.
A stream of furious lava was flowing silently and slowly under her gentle face and vigour eyes.
(Leo only spoke Spanish and I only spoke English and Chinese. Alicia, Leo long-time friend, was our translator. I met Alicia in Okinawa a few years ago and we became good friends. Leo generously hosted both of us in her apartment in Granada for one night.)
Leo’s story was indeed fierce.
She was born in a remote and conservative small village near Granada in 50s’. She was not happy there. It was hell for her after she found out she loves women. The conservative villagers couldn’t and didn’t understand her and her days in the village were miserable.
She worked hard and moved to the city. The life in city was not easy but she love the city life, away from home, away from family, she was FREE.
She met someone who loved her and she loved someone. Time flew and people came and went. Her parents were not there anymore and she gained the ages.
She went back to the village once she called home and looked at the empty walls.
Nothing changed and yet everything has changed.
She took one last look and closed the door and went back HOME.
‘Oh, why am I talking about this…’ Leo was waving her hands high in air and blushed a little.
‘She didn’t want to talk about this now…Can we see the picture?’ Alicia tried to smooth things over.
Leo LOVE the picture. She wore her happiest smile in that day when she looked at the picture.
I still couldn’t control my brushes well. The Leo in the picture seemed 20 years younger. It seemed I have drawn the ‘real’ spirit of Leo who is 20 years younger. I am sure a 20 years younger Leo would have the exact same pair of eyes in the picture.
Drawing is really amazing.
Art would always lead me to someone/somewhere/somewhat unexpected wonders.
Leo brought Alicia and me to her favourite outdoor restaurant. Street singers were singing in the restaurant and it was fun.
Granada is a Spanish southern city. Morocco, a Muslim country in northern Africa is just across the sea from Granada. That’s why Granada had a great influence from Muslim. Lots of souvenir in Granada painted with geometry pattern which is popular in Muslim culture. I love the Turkish-like colourful ceramic, super beautiful!