View Full Version : Bicycle Snack Cart of Jose Luis

08-19-2009, 04:45 PM

Title: Bicycle Snack Cart of Jose Luis
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Board
Dimension: 6x8
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

On holiday in Peru, I found some time to plein air paint. This is a snack cart affixed to a bicycle which shows up every day in front of our hotel in Cuzco (the San Blas). Jose Luis, age 15, is the proprieter. He's a tough kid. The streets are very steep and at 12,000 ft altitude, there's not a lot of oxygen around. <br><br>I've generally found that when painting outside, "in public", in the US, people passing by don't pause or say anything. In Peru, you get an audience of Peruvians with lively art criticism. The most interesting group is teenagers who are selling "paintings" to tourists. There are dozens of these kids if not hundreds. It's a scheme I haven't seen elsewhere. Each vendor is trained to say, "this is my work" and represent himself as an art student. The "paintings" are ink jet prints of watercolors taking advantage of the fact that you really can hardly tell the difference these days. The vendors also carry cardboard tubes so that the purchase can be easily packed. <br><br>But while actually painting, I found that many of the painting vendors took a professional interest in someone really doing it and it was fun to hear their comments and talk to them.<br><br>Jose Luis was amazed that someone would paint his cart. Once I get some criticism, I'm mailing the panel to the hotel staff who promise to give it to the boy.


D.W. Flint
08-19-2009, 06:13 PM
I really like this one Bob, and nice of you to mail it back down there. There's nothing quite like that plein air look...

08-19-2009, 09:36 PM
I like this too - especially in tandem with the story. I'm wondering if you might tone down the colour of the snacks to indicate some shade - especially towards the back of the cart. I do like the brights in the front though - really pop against the cool background. Just out of curiosity - how does one steer this thing?

08-20-2009, 03:12 AM
The space between the back wheels is impressive so the cart holds more things. Kid must have a lot of stamina at 12,000 feet TGsloth the bright colourful items in the back . What are they? Does he stands up for traveling . I see no seat but possibly i,m reading it wrong or Peruvian ingenuity. I always glad when you paint plein air lively colorful pictures as this one.................john

08-20-2009, 07:24 AM
Thanks to Chia's comment to dim the snacks more in the shade. I'll do it.

And as to how this contraption works, I watched Jose Luis take it down. All the unsold snacks go into cabinetry which is part of the wooden structure. The struts come off and the canopy folds down so the whole thing gets much lower. When he rides to take his cart home, he's got no handlebars; he puts his hands on the rear of the wooden box. I should have asked him how far he pedels. I'm thinking it's a tough commute.

Some comments on visiting Peru. It's a wonderful spot. You get terrific people, good food and tourist infrastructure, fanstastic natural beauty and unmatched historic sites. What you don't get is oxygen. It was tough for us to see that the world is in recession as many venues were sold out and mobs of tourists lay heavy on the land. We were told that the four star joints were suffering but two star tourism (our level) were roaring along.