Solbit Sees Tricky Art

Dear Nicalai,

We saw some tricky art yesterday. We went for a walk in our neighborhood in Quito.  What could be more boring, right?  Wrong.

Only a few blocks from our hostal, we found a little neighborhood park surrounded by colorful buildings.  Some painters went wild, but just with color, not playing tricks on us.

When we go for walks, we expect to be surprised, and, rarely, are we disappointed.

When we go for walks, we expect to be surprised, and, rarely, are we disappointed.

“Wow, I wonder who lives here?” Papa wondered aloud. I replied, “I don’t know, but they sure love colors.”

All around the little public square the buildings are painted bright colors, some with intricate patterns.

All around the little public square the buildings are painted bright colors, some with intricate patterns.

Then, after a walk around the square, I learned a new word “trompe l’oeil,” when Papa tried to sit down at this table.

Papa walked over to that chair on the left, backed into it to sit down, and -- surprise -- hit his butt into the wall.

Papa walked over to that chair on the left, backed into it to sit down, and — surprise — hit his butt into the wall.

That’s when Nona told me about the painters’ trick. “Trompe l’oeil” refers to a way of painting to “trick the eye,” and Papa’s eyes were definitely tricked by that painting on the wall.  Even Nona — a painter herself — has made these trick paintings.  She painted a floor canvas and made it look like a carpet was crooked.  People who walk on that painting try to straighten the rug!

Oh, hey, this is really cool news.  It’s not just human beings who trick the eye with art.  Nature does it too.  Nona took this photo of a creature with a big eye that got on Papa’s shirt.

On first glance, you might think that's an animal with a big eye, but look again. It's a pattern on a butterfly's wing!

On first glance, you might think that’s an animal with a big eye, but look again. It’s a pattern on a butterfly’s wing!

I wonder if that butterfly knows the word “trompe l’ceil” or speaks French? It sure knows how to make a tricky picture on itself.  Papa says the artist for that butterfly’s wing is “Natural Selection.”  That’s a weird name.  Who wants to be named “Natural Selection?” Maybe some artists would like the name.

I discovered that butterflies and I have something in common. We both like bananas.

I discovered that butterflies and I have something in common. We both like bananas.

Butterflies, Nona, and I — we girls — like bananas, and Papa hates bananas.  I wonder if that’s just Papa or if its all guys who don’t like bananas?  Guys would be missing out on a good thing if they all hated bananas the way Papa hates them.

Now you can see how our ordinary walks get me to thinking about all kinds of interesting questions that I didn’t have when I started my walks.  I have come to the conclusion just now that bananas and walks are good for me and, probably, for you too.  Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

June 2016

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

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