Tug Gilberto Guardia


This is a painting that, upon request of the American Society here in Panama, I donated to that organization for its art auction held on August 26, 2015. The theme for the auction is the Panama Canal, and it seemed to my wife and me that it would be appropriate to depict the tugboat named for Mr. Gilberto Guardia, the first Panamanian Administrator of the Canal. For those of us who had the honor to serve under Mr. Guardia, he was an inspirational leader. He continues to be one of the finest gentlemen we have ever known. This painting is a tribute to him.



I enjoyed painting the still life involving the coffee grinder, pot, cups and so forth, so decided to do another one.  Here, I'm featuring some typical Panamanian tools, the coa and the machete.  The former is used principally to dig holes for fence posts and to chop through stubborn roots.  The machete is used for practically everything else (although, I'm sad to say, it is now being largely replaced by the weed-eater, or as it is known here, the "wider").  The coa in this painting belonged to Esther's grandmother, so it qualifies as an antique.  The straw hat is worn throughout the rural areas of the country and I think this one may be from Penonomé.  I filled a blue plastic glass half full of cold water and put it on the collapsible stool with the machete where it has sweated a little and dripped down onto the terracotta tiles.  I photographed this setup in the midday sun so the shadows on the whitewashed wall and tiles would be dramatic.  The idea was to make the viewer feel the blistering heat of that tropical sun on his neck as he views the painting.  the canvas measures 24x36 inches so everything shown is about 3/4 actual size.

Coa y Machete
Coa blue glass

Coa Taburete