A Master of Color
Anado McLauchlin is a colorful guy. Not only is his art packed full of every hue imaginable, his entire life glows with a vibe that taps into every corner of the spectrum and beyond into the unseen.
I first came to learn of this visual wizard from a mutual friend from Chicago who went to the same high school with Anado in Oklahoma, Sallie Douglas-Gordon, who moved up to Chicago and became a student at the School of the Art Institute at the same time as my hubby, Mike. Small world stuff yet again. Here in San Miguel de Allende he and his partner, Richard Schultz, of over twenty years have set up shop creating an environment every bit as wonderful as any I’ve seen.
With a name like “McLauchlin” we can’t say Anado has that same background as those Norwegian and German farmers throughout Wisconsin who built fabulous folk-art environments, (great article with resources here) often at the polite dismay of their proper families, but who upon their retirements had too much drive and now too much time on their hands to be content merely house-puttering as is more typical. But he and Richard share a sensibility with these self-driven almost manic world-creators!
Eye Candy for the Soul
Just outside San Miguel in a town named La Cineguita, they have repurposed a what was dilapidated old warehouse type building and created a series of outbuildings meant to delight and transform the soul, the heart and any eyes that delight in whimsy and color. They call it Casa de las Ranas (House of Frogs, lol) and it is a sight for sore eyes, aching hearts and weakened motivations. One walk-through and you’ll be thinking of ways to add some color into your life if you haven’t already.
I recently had the joy to be invited for a tour of this cartoony compound and meet its principle prophet with a small group of appreciators. Mr. McLauchlin escorted us through his colorful world and shared the inspirations behind each major installation and highlighted projects still in the works.
Anado is a Master Mosaicist and dimensional collage artist with several assistants who has a fascinating story to tell with each and every piece he turns his upbeat attention to.
I LOVE This Kind of Home!
I feel personally indebted to people like Anado and Richard as well as Steve Korhmer and Tim Sullivan (See Timlandia) who pursue a passion to its fullest expression in creating these one-of-a-kind wondrous homes. For starters, as they fulfill their artistic visions with this amazing architecture something is added to the world that makes it just a little bit better than it was. For another thing, because they have made these environments and executed them so perfectly it takes all the pressure off of me to do the same – I wouldn’t be able to improve on their work and since they have already created these places, my doing so would be completely redundant!
Because let’s not kid ourselves, creating these genius showplaces takes huge effort and tons of resources. Mind you, I get it that these artists are driven; I understand the impulsion of creative Drive – and how! But I feel like I’ve tapped into my drive for creating a fun filled, completely personalized home in several of the places Mike and I have rehabbed and made our own over the past twenty-something years. My drive is more outward focused now, rather than on addressing my desire to recreate yet another nifty nest. Maybe because most of what we created that was unique (in our Chicago loft, our kookoo Evanston home and at DogTrot Hill the 200 year old log home we lived in rural Kentucky) had to be completely dismantled when we readied our homes for market over the years to make it more sell-able.
Home is Where the Art is
Maybe that took some of the wind out my sails. Or maybe now I’m so into creating the worlds I invent in sketches, paintings and books I simply don’t have a whole lot left to turn towards my own home. At least I’m in no hurry with any of it. I love how my online presence and the books I create in particular fan the flames of my drive to reach out with creative energy and positively influence people thousands of miles away! I spend almost all my creative time with that as my focus these days.
It’s a weird new way of going for me. Our home doesn’t look much more put together than a college dorm room and I’m pretty much ok with that. At least I’m in no hurry to turn it into a showplace. It’s an interesting new twist in my work flow that’s for certain – but circling back to Anado and his world – how great that he pushes into his own drive and the results are so darn fun! I congratulate him and his partner, Richard and say “Bravo!”.
Resources for Anado
It is worth it to wander around Anado’s online world. He shares tales rich in insight and generous in spirit.
And finally a fun article about Anado’s and Richard’s lives here in Mexico here.