Photography and Text

By Ann Conway and John Do

La Joya Hotel San Cristobal

San Cristobal de Las Casas

Chiapas – Mexico

 

 

 

Reception area at La Joya Hotel: Romanian dowry chest, vintage Mexican pickle jar, Saint Joseph figure from the Philippines, green Mexican vintage bowl atop books on Chiapas, Ming Dynasty powder boxes excavated in the Philippines, Mexican candelabra, against the original adobe wall.

Reception area at La Joya Hotel: Romanian dowry chest, vintage Mexican pickle jar, Saint Joseph figure from the Philippines, green Mexican vintage bowl atop books on Chiapas, Ming Dynasty powder boxes excavated in the Philippines, Mexican candelabra, against the original adobe wall.

 

 

 

La Joya Hotel San Cristóbal

Living Still Life – Chapter Three

 

 

 

La Joya Hotel is an elegant home for travelers. Only two blocks from the center of San Cristobal de Las Casas, it is close enough to explore this magical town and far enough away to enjoy the serenity of the patios and beautifully appointed suites. Each of the five rooms boasts fine linens, original art, and bouquets of fresh flowers. Ann Conway and John Do created this oasis in Chiapas, Mexico, after traveling the world. They chose San Cristobal for its perfect combination of natural beauty and cultural riches. www.lajoyahotelsancristobal.com

 

 

Copper Art Deco vase, camel bells from Turkmenistan, silver plate champagne bucket from Guadalajara, with lithograph by Madeleine O’Connell.

Copper Art Deco vase, camel bells from Turkmenistan, silver plate champagne bucket from Guadalajara, with lithograph by Madeleine O’Connell.

 

There’s something electric about putting on the glam with elegant silks and jewels, whether or not the sparkles are inherited from a long line of ladies and the silks come from exotic lands.

 

Just as exciting is creating a living still life of treasures, vignettes of beauty that exclaim, “Look at me!”

 

Family Heirlooms with Guatemalan clay bowl and painting by Ravi Rajcoomar of Suriname.

Family Heirlooms with Guatemalan clay bowl and painting by Ravi Rajcoomar of Suriname.

 

The ancient Egyptians painted still life so that the deceased would have what they needed in the afterlife. Still life mosaics depicted bowls of fruit during the Roman-Greco eras. Artists through the centuries expanded their repertoire and painted natural and man-made objects in their realistic and abstract forms. The paintings captured permanently the ethereal and evanescent nature of their subjects.

Like fashion and paintings, living still lifes celebrate beauty. Unlike hung paintings, they claim a three dimensional space and are temporary. They can be created from possessions long hidden in cupboards, a Chinese vase, a silver chalice, a Steuben bowl. They can include a bouquet from the backyard, a favorite book from the shelf, and a remembrance from travels past. They can mirror the flare of vintage or contemporary times. They can be monochromatic or splashed with vibrant colors, an eclectic array or a group of related objects.

 

Pottery dove from Amantenango and pineapple pottery from Michoacan, Mexico; Russian samovar, Mexican candelabra.

Pottery dove from Amantenango and pineapple pottery from Michoacan, Mexico; Russian samovar, Mexican candelabra.

 

Living still lifes are impermanent. They reflect our transient moods, memories, and desires. Creating still life continually tantalizes our creative genius as we tell the stories of our passions and adventures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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