Gabriel Roberts

Truth is Beauty

Tag: Bolivia

Cochabamba Numero Tres: Painting Pictures Ep. 47

Cochabamba Numero Tres

From Vermont, a solo journey into the present (Vermont) and the recent past (Cochabamba, Bolivia) of this pumpkin king: motorcycle riding, a political rant, boring license plates, fighting a cold, and the problem with sofpull paper towel dispensers.  Featuring interviews with Ping Pong Champion Eric Taylor and Commissioner Logan Pratico. Not brought to you by Cialis.

Click here to download the episode and subscribe to Painting Pictures via iTunes:

Here’s a permalink to the episode:

Cochabamba Numero Tres at

April 2016 Desktop Calendar Background

April 2016 Desktop Calendar Background by Gabriel Roberts

Hello my dear friends and Happy April! Just because “April” is capitalized, does that mean I have to capitalize “happy” as well? I didn’t just then. This perhaps shows that I’m a bit reluctant to capitalize the word unnecessarily.

In any case, welcome to a new month and a new image to look at when you first turn on your computer, or when you’re aimlessly tooling the landscape of your desktop. I spent a heavily-caffeinated hour and a half this morning organizing my desktop and BOY did it feel good. So many duplicate photos deleted, so many little files ushered into their proper little folders. Happily they went, joyfully taking up position in alphabetical order, relieved to no longer be floating aimlessly in constant fear of never being found.

The image above comes from Copacabana, Bolivia. Although less famous than Copacabana, Brazil, it is still very much called Copacabana, and it lies on the sunny shores of Lake Titicaca. I had the great pleasure of being a tourist in this beautiful place. I took this photo from the ferry, looking back at Copacabana harbor, en route to La Isla del Sol.

Please click on one of the following links to open a large-scale image and save it as your desktop background:
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Wishing you a wonderful 30 days of April!

February 2016 Desktop Calendar Background

Good day friends! Welcome to the month of February. Months like this one only come around every four years. That’s right, it’s a leap year! Wow. A whole extra day at the very end of the month. It ought to be a holiday. Or some sort of free-for-all all-you-can-eat two-for-one extravaganza. Well, we’ve got a whole month to make plans. Here’s a new background for your desktop:

February 2016 1920x1200

This is a photo of a pedestrian bridge here in Cochabamba, Bolivia. I’ve scrawled the dates of the month on the side wall like graffiti, and circled the Sundays in green. Sunday the 14th, Valentine’s Day, is surrounded by a heart. Admittedly, this is not a very convenient calendar. If you want a clearly legible calendar, please see below. If you never use this background as a calendar or appreciate the challenge of discerning which day of the week the numbers correspond to, click one of the following links to download the background:

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Here’s the legible version of the background, which I’m calling “February 2016 B”:

February 2016 B 1280x800

Here are the links for version B:

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For the record, this month marks five years of the desktop calendar backgrounds here at
Wishing you a wonderful month!

View from Cochabamba Studio

View from Cochabamba Studio

Here’s the first painting I’ve made here in Cochabamba: the view from one of the windows in my studio here at Sustainable Bolivia.

Below are step-by-step images of the painting in progress:

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I’m in Cochabamba


Cochabamba. I’m one week in to a three-month artist residency at the volunteer organization Sustainable Bolivia. How I’d ever have found this place on my own I have no idea.  Ever since spending a year in Barcelona and learning some Spanish, South America has been on my mind as the next destination.  As it turns out, I’m not as much of a world traveler as perhaps I thought I would be.  It’s been 8 years since Barcelona and aside from a brief trip to New Zealand, I haven’t ventured out of USA/Canada.

I’m in the “figuring things out” stretch of time here in Cochabamba.  One week in and I have figured out how to walk the city without getting run over, where to buy fruits and vegetables, and how to safely cook and eat without getting sick.  Everybody keeps telling me that I’m going to get sick at some point, but I refuse to believe it.

I can’t really believe that I’m here.  It seemed such a leap.  Bolivia?  I’d believe it when I was there.  It started to feel real when I got to Lima, Peru, and departing the airport, riding through the busy streets, I took in the bustle, the bright colors, the thick air, the sounds.  A whole world of life existing here of which I had no idea.

Briefly I wondered what I was doing here.  So clearly different: run-down, polluted, dangerous even. I’d launched myself into it as if on a lark: “Oh sure!  I’m going to Bolivia”.  Did I really take the time to consider what this entailed?  Was I ready to live in a 3rd-world country?  Since when am I a bold and adventuresome traveler?

I considered the effort I’d put in to get down here, considered the fact that I was already here, and I decided I’d better give it a go.

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