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.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Late summer in Spain

A week ago we, my friend Rebecca and me, arrived in Barcelona and the day after here in the Centre d'Art I Natura in Farrera, a medieval village, perched on a mountain top with an unbelievably beautiful view, for three weeks of contemplation on our art. There is a wonderful studio or atelier as they say here, for us to use with tall windows overlooking the mountains, down below is a valley where people have their vegetable and fruit gardens and some meadows.
Up till now I have been doing water colors and small acrylics, mostly inspired by the landscape surrounding me but today is one of those landmarks where I started to contemplate on the work I was doing back home in the studio. It feels like I need to make a link somewhere and I feel like I almost know how but not quite yet..... That was bound to happen ofcourse. But it s very hard not to be overwhelmed with and inspired by these surroundings. So that makes today a day of more thinking than painting, sitting quietly in my room, on the balcony or now here behind the computer, all with the same great view.

I have never been homesick for Holland after my move to the U.S., but when I came here I knew that my roots are in Europe more than anything else. Walking through Barcelona or the small town of Sort where we went to stock up on groceries feels so familiar to me and all the vacations we took throughout France, Spain, Italy and Portugal while I lived in Holland, came back to me. The smells, the sounds, the way of life.
One thing in particular that always strikes me is that it is so much easier in Europe to find furniture or houseware of modern design, even in relatively small towns you can find amazingly modern things, while in the U.S. .......well, I am rolling my eyes here, there is only one store in Milwaukee, which is a large town, where design furniture can be found, for more choices you have to go to Chicago and even there you have to really know where to go while here you just stumble upon it. Ofcourse it is different in New York or on the West Coast, but I often wonder what happened to the heritage of Charles and Ray Eames, Frank LLoyd Wright and others that we are now stuck with the kind of cheap knock-off antiques or other non descript trash that go with these phony MacMansions that pollute every other subdivision in the U.S.
I had an interesting conversation with Rebecca about this, who confessed that she knew very little about either architecture or furniture designers, according to her, art school education in the US is more limited. Somehow in art school in Holland architecture and interior design were subjects that were discussed, even in the painting department, sometimes during art history classes and sometimes just so, it was just part of the package.
Anyhow, that was one of my thoughts strolling the elegant streets of Barcelona.

Today is a holiday here so people are off and the village is kind of busy, there were a mere 6 cars to be seen! It is a lazy late summer mood, thick flies are buzzing in and out, down below I hear the dimmed voices of people working their gardens and dogs barking, the swallows cannot decide whether it is time to move south yet or stay on for a while, they keep chittering and gathering on the electricity lines and then, all of a sudden one must say' let's go, because then they whirl up in a big move of wings and tails, only to return to the line a few minutes later. Ah, the entertainment nature offers!

Yesterday I was fortunate to find a recent catalog of the work of Catalan painter and poet Albert Rafols Casamada and the address where to buy it, thnaks to Google Catalunya. More than 20 year ago I found a book about him on sale at a bookstore in Rotterdam, that is how I first heard about him. being here I knew this was my chance to find out more about him and hopefully even see one or two of his paintings in person. And of course everyone here at the art center knows about him!
Cannot wait to get my catalog!

Time for more contemplating in the sun now........!

1 comment:

Christina said...

Marina, I found a catalogue online:

It contains essays and pictures.

Very interesting work. I can see why you feel a connection to his work.