Welcome to my  blog: Introspection!

As much time in my studio is spent on thinking about and looking at art as there is on painting. Here I'll write about some of the things that pass my mind during those hours, or the inspiration that makes me grab the brush .

Be sure to visit my Studio Storage blog too, where I sell some of my earlier paintings at (very) low prices.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Farrera, part 2

The full three weeks we have as an artist residency are progressing rapidly. As always, first you feel like you have a sea od time and then, before you know it the last week is on its way and the end of all this beauty, quiet solitude, flowing inspiration comes in sight.
First of all some photo's to illustrate the beauty of this place, if you look at the one with the church (from around 1600) we are in the building at the right side of it. It looks small but going downstairs it unfolds into a wide building that houses a double studio, an apartment with 3 bedrooms, kitchen and bath and downstairs a communal dining room where the most delicious meals are being served by Cesca, another large studio and a patio. The views are beyond believe and description, the one with the moon, taken early morning after full moon, is the view from my balcony.
The weather is still warm and nice, no jackets are required, on the roadside we find plenty of blackberries, the biggest mulberries I have ever seen and tasted and an abundance of bright orange rose hips. I can only imagine how these bushes will look and smell in May, reason to come back in another season.

I may have mentioned in my last blog that I initially started to work with the landscape - however, as I'm painting in acrylics here and on small panels, whatever I wanted to express did not come out. A day of contemplation was needed and after that I repainted the panels I did and used the remaining ones to create a series of small abstracts that symbolize Spain to me.
It's revisiting the Spain of Tapies, Picasso and Rafols Casamada that I visited several times before and that I'd never been able to capture in my work the way I wanted. Now I'm translating all that into my own 'language' of abstract signs.
Some are in dramatic dark reds and blacks referring to Spains certainly dramatic history, some have the sunny lightness of the seaside, referring to its recent prosperity. The acrylics, through there different consistency as the oils I use at home in the studio, have given me the chance to use a more pronounced 'handwriting' with visible movement and a little less subtlety, all of this very exciting.

Now the panels are done I'm working on a larger square paper format in acrylics, continuing the theme. Besides that I do almost one watercolor a day of the landscape directly outside. It's fascinating to be surrounded by so much texture, mass of rocks, an abundance of greens, hazy blue distant peaks, centuries old houses that are made of artfully piled rock, giving them the appearance of growing organically from the sides of the mountains. It does not stop to amaze me that every part of the world has its own unique characteristics, these mountains are completely different from the ones in New Mexico or Colorado where I was this summer. So much to explore always!
A couple days more here and then we're off to Barcelona, for museum visits, shopping and for me also some family time as my daughter will join us there before we return to Wisconsin!

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