Reader’s Choice

Choice A.


When I was working on Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands back in 2007, author Nilda Callañaupa asked, at the last minute, if we could include a painting done by her brother. Well, the book was all photography and line art, and it was hard for me to imagine how it was a good idea to suddenly stick in acrylic on canvas, by a relative no less. Until I saw the painting.

It was a remarkable and striking interpretation of what weaving means in the inner creative life of an Andean woman. The book’s subtitle is Dreaming Patterns, Weaving Memories, and that’s not just sentimental verbiage. It reflects how deeply integrated a weaver’s work is with her feelings and life experiences. And the painting expresses this mystical relationship vividly.

Angel Callañaupa as a young artist.
Photo by David VanBuskirk.

And what about this brother? Angel Callañaupa Alvarez grew up, like his sister, in a traditional Quechua home in a village near Cusco. The clear expectation was that he would be a farmer, like his father and older brother. To his parents’ credit, he was given the latitude to follow his inner urges. How he came by the ability to portray Andean life so accurately and imaginatively with paint and brush is a mystery. Without formal training—but with keen powers of observation and intuition—Angel has produced hundreds of original works, each one an eye-stopper.

You will have an opportunity to enjoy a great many of these in an upcoming book of traditional folk tales, retold and reimagined by Elizabeth Van Buskirk and illustrated by Angel. But more about that later.

Choice B.

Back to the original painting: When readers saw it, they wanted it! They wanted to hang it on their studio wall. They wanted it big. It cried out to be a poster, but I never got around to making that happen. I think it’s time.  There are so many choices, though, so I’m asking you to help me out here. The differences between these two are subtle. If you were going to choose one for yourself, which would it be?

—Linda Ligon

17 thoughts on “Reader’s Choice

  1. Eric says:

    Full disclosure, Elizabeth is my mother and I’ve had the incredible good fortune of seeing Angel Callañaupa’s work around my parents house for many, many years.

    I like B more. The composition is more subtle.

  2. judy anderson says:

    I would chose A, The weaving, textiles and baskets are part of my life. The texture and colors
    make me happy

  3. Gloria Ross says:

    A gets my vote. Flows better, like the symbolism, more unified. But both are fantastic.

  4. Jeannine says:

    I choose B. I see balls of yarn and woven bands along with the spindles sent from heaven–the gifts given to the woman—but then I’m a spinner first. 🙂

  5. Erin says:

    Such a hard choice! I think I would have to go with A; the image of the warp tied to the moon is one I find deeply moving, while the image of spinning the clouds is pure joyous playfulness.

  6. Linda says:

    You are all helping me see things in these paintings that I hadn’t noticed before. Attacked by spindles! AAACK! And yes, those are guinea pigs, aka groceries, under the bed. Don’t you love it?

  7. Mary Holm says:

    Choose A because of the weaving attached to – inspired by – aspiring to – the moon. But B is wonderful because of the cui under her bed!

  8. Linda says:

    Choice A! Her expression is happy and serene; she is spinning the clouds to use in her weaving.
    In Choice B, she looks troubled, or perhaps is merely concentrating. I love all the furry friends, though not quite sure if those are puppies on the floor? Or guinea pigs?
    Both are absolutely wonderful.

  9. Naomi says:

    I have to go with A, as much as I love the kitties and piggies on B. The smile on her face as she dreams of weaving to the moon on a magic rug is much happier than the nightmare of being attacked by spindles.

  10. Barbara says:

    I would definitely choose A. I think it would not only speak to weavers but non weavers as well.

  11. Margaret says:

    Ohhh.B for Sure! Much more interaction w dream inspiration, furry pets, complex patterned piece on wall. Beginning, middle, end – as in art, lit, music… if it were bigger than my cell phone screen, I’d offer more.

  12. Marcy Moffet/Habetrot says:

    Oh, Linda! Must it only be one!? It must? Then I suppose I must choose A. The image of the loom tied to the moon is enchanting. But I’d really prefer to have both.

  13. Pattie Graver says:

    Hi Linda,
    Choice B – probably because I can relate more to that dream. They are both great.

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