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Book details
  • Genre:TRAVEL
  • SubGenre:South America / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:234
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9780578900100

Adventures on the Gringo Trail

An Artist's Awakening

by Leeann Lidz

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Overview
In 1974, at the height of hippie culture, women's liberation and sexual freedom, the author set off on a journey that lasted nineteen months through Central and South America and included the birth of her daughter in the Andean highlands of Ecuador. As an artist, she kept a journal of over 100 pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations of the places she visited. Traveling with her eccentric boyfriend by train, plane, bus, ship and hitchhiking, she encountered many unusual situations and people and even a tropical disease that a local healer called leprosy. She tells the unique story of her travels and her evolution as an artist and mother living in Ecuador in a time before technology.
Description

In 1974, at the height of hippie culture, women’s liberation and sexual freedom, the author set off on a journey that lasted nineteen months through Central and South America and included the birth of her daughter in the Andean highlands of Ecuador. As an artist, she kept a journal of 100 pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations of the places she visited. Traveling with her eccentric boyfriend by train, plane, bus, ship and hitchhiking, she encountered many unusual situations and people and even a tropical disease that a local healer called leprosy. She traveled to many exotic places including Oaxaca, Mexico; Panajachel and Tikal, Guatemala; Belize and Caye San Pedro; Costa Rica; San Andreas Island, Cartegena and Popayan, Colombia; Caracas and Merida, Venezuela; and finally to the Andes.  She learned she was pregnant in Popayan and found a house to rent in Otavalo, Ecuador. The author set up an art studio on her glass-enclosed front porch and created acrylic paintings of the enchanting landscape surrounding her home. Although her partner and father of the baby wanted to keep traveling and did not want to be a parent, the author was a liberated woman and committed to having and raising the child on her own. This book displays in color the artwork she created and tells the unique story of her travels and evolution as an artist and mother in a time before technology.

About the author

Leeann Lidz has been a painter and artist for the last fifty years. She has worked in pen-and-ink, watercolors, acrylics, mosaics and more.  Her style developed from apprenticing with Baila Feldman, a California artist, who specialized in “naive, primitive” paintings with bright colors, hard edges and interesting detail. Leeann’s goal as an artist is to spread love and peace through the world with her own artwork and teaching others to be creative. Leeann spent years traveling through Europe, Israel and Central and South America. She took art supplies with her while traveling through Latin America and the drawings and paintings she did there became the basis for this book. She found that creating art on location was a spiritual experience like meditation and looking at her completed work would bring her back to its place in time. Living in Ventura, California, for thirty years, Leeann worked and raised her three children as a single mother while continuing to pursue her passion for painting. She had numerous shows in Ventura, Ojai, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles and won many awards. One of her dreams was to paint a large mural, and in 1991 she had that opportunity.  She painted a 500 square foot mural on the side of a gymnasium in Ventura with local children and gang members. She was instrumental in developing a creative arts program for foster children and youth-at-risk, called Kids’ Arts. As a teacher in the program, Leeann inspired many children and teens. She has continued teaching in her grandchildren’s elementary schools and for eight summers at Camp Winnarainbow. Leeann is currently retired and lives in Ferndale, California. She continues to paint and write.

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