We took off for the month of September 2010 and traveled to Spain. From Barcelona to Majorca, then Sevilla to Marbella, spending a week in each area. I can only express in paint how stimulated my senses and emotions were by everything I saw. Since then I have been working like a fiend on paintings from my photos, sketchbooks, and journals. I think it has been the most inspiring journey and series of my life. I have felt my style change and come into focus in a way that has been evolving for many years. It is as if the last pieces of the jigsaw have fallen into place and the picture is fully in focus - the meanings, expressions and reasons are in sync with the colors, composition and textures.
I wanted the movement to swirl and sway through the canvas like Spanish guitar music.
“Agave Beach” was painted of the area we stayed in Majorca. Everyday we went to Puerto Portals, a beautiful beach for the day. I felt so visually intoxicated by the depth and variety of colors, I felt like I was living a day dream of perfect contentment. The blues and greens of the water were a liquid version of the colors on the agave. The water was so clear and turquoise, you could really see the color changes from warm to cool as the water got deeper. The little island across from the beach was so inviting, I wanted to swim over there and explore! I painted watercolors on the beach all day of all the different views of the water and cliffs. When I got home I painted from my photos and sketches, notes in my journal and memories.
“Majorcan Pines at Puerto Portals” There was a little beach bar at the other end of the beach from us, that was quite popular. Yachts and speed boats would anchor off our little beach and then the people on board would jump in and swim over for a cocktail. On such perfect days of relaxation, that seemed like an entirely correct way to spend an afternoon.
“Grapes of Dance” is of the area outside Sevilla, where the wine country is devoted to producing Sherry. The rolling hills and lazy floating clouds created a rhythmic flow of light playing through the vineyards that reminded of dancing.
“Conga Line through the Vines” is also about the dancing movement of light and shadow, and the celebration of wine and warm summer days.
“The Courtyard” This takes place in the gardens around the Alhambra - in particular the sultana’s garden where the ladies of the palace lived. What I saw in this is the intertwined trees bearing fruit... while there I heard a tale of scandalous lovers meeting in the garden and being caught by the sultan. So in my story they are forever together bearing the fruit of their union surrounded by the beautiful sights, sounds and smells of this garden paradise.
“Strut” and The Joyous Noise” Take place in the water gardens around the Sultana’s palace, The Generalife, the waterways with trickling water make the most beautiful soft sounds. The rustling leaves, murmuring wind and shimmering bird songs are part of the pattern of sound while the light and shadow playfully chase each other down the paths of heavenly scented citrus, flowers and foliage. A true paradise of the senses.
From our balcony we had a view of this mountain, named by locals “the shell” as it look like a conch shell on its side. I loved looking at it and painting it in watercolor several times during our stay. It was fascinating how it changed in different lights, under the rising moon, golden hour afternoon, rosy dawn and brilliant noon.
“Underwater Sky” On our balcony it was cool and shady so comfortable to look out into that bright Spanish sun. My view was compartmentalized by the curving arches, in two arches the mountain in one arch the sea.
“Citrus Moon” One of my favorites from our trip to Spain! I saw the full moon rise on September 23 above the mountain outside our balcony. It was so large and bright it looked like a big orange hanging in the sky! It cast the most incredible light down the mountain and over the “Pueblos Blancos” - the White Villages.