It has been a while since I posted on here. Summer visitors have been a pleasurable distraction. But some kind man lent me a couple of dog skulls which inspired me. A few sketches and an early morning walk looking at a post in a field of wheat, covered in snails and I thought, I could paint the skull on top of the post….so I did.
I am now continuing with my art course so won’t be posting on here much for a while. But thanks for dropping by and catch you soon!
The cork oaks have recently been harvested, or stripped of their cork. This always, to my eye, leaves them looking rather naked and vulnerable…. I imagined dressing them again. What would they wear? This cheeky cork oak tree has managed to get laced into a rather lovely red basque. The knickers wouldn’t go on and have been discarded on the woodland floor in disgust.
If you are interested in the whole (real!) process of the cork harvesting in Andalucia, my good friend and eloquent writer, Grandolfo, wrote about it here: https://grandoldfarts.com/2015/01/29/how-did-that-cork-get-in-your-bottle/
A2 canvas board. Acrylic and ink pen.
After a wonderful early evening concert held in the cloisters at the convento in Los Angeles, just down the hill from Jimena, I imagined a dead goat (I know, I am strange like that :-)) attracting down the griffin vultures we have here, looking for a tasty meal. I wanted to juxtapose the beauty of the church with the image of death, but showing the wonderful recycling that the vultures do here! I have no idea if they have ever in reality landed on the church roof…..This is an A1 canvas (a bit puckered in the corner – I must try and fix that!) with mixed media – mostly acrylics and felt pens for the detailed bits.
Acrylic on almost A2 canvas block. Study of a very tiny flower that is currently blooming down by the riverside here in Jimena de la Frontera. A bit like a ‘forget-me-not’ but don’t know what they are called. I wanted to try doing a huge version of something really tiny! I had to use a magnifying glass some of the time… I did an abstract background based on some seedpods that I had found before. I was thinking of Georgia O’Keeffe’s wonderful, huge flower studies (however I am not in any way comparing this to her amazing work! 🙂 )
Real flower to show size
Acrylic on A2 canvas block. Early morning red sky and mist pockets between the hills out to Gibraltar. Yes, I am fascinated by the storks 🙂 – just one more stork painting to finish…
At the north end of Jimena de la Frontera is a lovely wooded area, with some wooden platforms/viewing points that afford amazing views down into the river valley or back over the town. I snapped a photo of the stone steps leading up into the woods and worked from that using a pot of black ink and a couple of brushes. New year, new things to try! 🙂
I was going to call this post ‘The case of the missing gecko’, because I found a beautiful, tiny gecko up on the terrace; it was undamaged but dead and on its back. I was excited to have the chance to draw something like this and took it up to my room on a piece of paper. As I had promised to watch a program with the man that evening, I decided I would start on it first thing in the morning. By the morning it had gone….now, I know you all think it was the cat what done it, but I can assure you he didn’t go upstairs that morning, so I would like to think the gecko somehow revived itself and left! It is very disappointing when you have drawn something in your mind to then find you cannot draw it after all….so, I made do with the snails, or caracoles, that have attached themselves to the gate at the bottom of the yard. They are alive, I believe 🙂
Along side our river Hozgaranta is a ‘flume’, or canal as I have been calling it. It was constructed to carry water for the ‘fábrica de bombas’, the bomb factory, where cannon balls were made for the Spanish navy in the 18th century. This archway is right next to a dam across the river, where the flume seems to end. The dam was constructed in order to provide water for the waterwheel, which in turn powered the furnace. I have shamelessly lifted this information out of the wonderful Francis Cherry’s book entitled ‘A short guide to Jimena de la Frontera’. Francis knows so much about Jimena and chats effortlessly to all the locals in fluent Spanish and it quite puts me to shame.
I struggled with this sketch as it was so dark AND light down there, and to be honest I couldn’t see well with or without glasses…so I finished it using some photos. Anyway, that’s what it is!
I snapped a photo of this horse a few weeks ago up the north end of Jimena on the way up to the white cross (here I could put a link to my post from then if I only had the know-how 🙂 ). He was nodding his head up and down and swishing his lovely tail at me. Too hot to be outside sketching so I thought I’d work from a photo today. Anyway, horses don’t really keep that still…..
It’s very hot here in Spain at the moment. VERY hot. Therefore, and I am making excuses ‘tiz true, been spending a lot of time at the beach and by the pool and it’s not easy trying to finish a sketch properly when the cool water is calling and the next chapter of my book needs reading. So I am trying to make up for quality with quantity this time 🙂 Next week a very good friend of mine will be visiting us and what she doesn’t realise is that she is going to be modelling for me….
Various views from the beaches at Sotogrande and Puerto de Duquesa, and two lonesome pines at the pool.