Robert X. Cadena

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Fabriano Watercolor Block

August 15, 2021

La Llorona

Watercolor painting of la llorona, inspired by the book Romantic Outlaws

I started reading Romantic Outlaws, a biography of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley after it was recommended by one of my favorite contemporary artists Colleen Doran.

It can be a difficult book to read because, with the benefit of hindsight and a distant remove from their situtation, you can see the problems the people in the book will get into. Sometimes these problems are difficult or impossible to avoid because of the situations and the era they were born into.

It is surprising to see how different things were and, yet, how echoes of those times can still be seen.

It is also incredibly to read how often and how many of their children died and how they dealt with the losses for the rest of their lives.

A little more than halfway through the book I had this vision in my head of Mary Shelley, wandering around a poor italian village on a tiny remote island, mourning her miscarriage and absorbing the news of the death of Shelley during a maritime accident. After I finished the sketch I decided to paint it with watercolors (not a very good choice in a drawing sketch book) and when I was done it made me think of La Llorona (particularly in Mexican folklore and origin stories), I guess because of the themes of motherhood, grief, and nature.

Play with NASA Perseverance Image Data

I wrote this Jupyter Notebook to query, load, and manipulate images from the NASA Perseverance Raw Image Pipeline. Feel free to copy and use to explore. Here's a colorized image from Sol 2.

Missing Sounds of New York: An Auditory Love Letter to New Yorkers

This collection of audio landscapes that you'd hear around New York was released near the beginning of the 2020 covid-19 pandemic, when the city was on lockdown. Created by the New York City Public Library and the creative agency Mother New York. Go Listen

Sample: Weddell Seal Vocalization

Taken from the video on twitter. Download the mp4.

Photography

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