Last Summer (2013), my and my partner decided to take some time out and we travelled overland to Northern Spain to house-sit a farm in Catalunya. We had 20 hectares of olive trees in our care, in addition to 2 dogs, a tiny cat, 6 hens, an extravagant rooster called Elvis (who certainly lived up to his name....) These are some of the paintings I did while I was there, during the rare moments when the searing heat and the local super-mosquitos weren't in force....
Catalunya - The Valley after Sunrise
Painted at sunrise almost every day over a few weeks, before the sun got too hot. I thought I'd cracked it my getting up early and giving myself around an hour each day just before the heat became too overwhelming.
It wasnt' so easy. It turned out to be the time the mosquitos were in fullest force. Having tried several strategies, including wrapping myself top to toe, with just my eyes showing but finding they still flew into my eyes, Sebastian found a long cable and set up a fan on the hill next to my easel.
With this on full power the mosca negras couldn't come near my face. It also provided a nice relief from the temperature. That's how I was able to finish this picture.
Oil on stretched canvas board original 8" x 8" (20cm x 20cm)
It was the night of the full moon, and we had heard say that it was going to be a 'supermoon' that month. Alone on the hillside, with the stunning expanse of the silent valley below us, we decided to have a full moon party, just for us, me and my partner (and any of the animals who cared to join us) We played music, danced, sketched and made art. The valley illumintated by the moon was a stunning spectacle, this painting recalls this moment.
Mixed media on 2 deep stretched canvases total size 150cm x 150cm
In Catalunya, Summer 2013, the sun was unforgiving. Having to do tasks that we needed or wanted to do outside, such as walking the dogs, tending to the chickens, watering the gardens, in addition to any
outdoor painting in the daylight, had to be done before around 9am or after 8pm. One of the only places that was 'safe' from the searing sun and the local 'super-mosquitos' - (serious f***ers!) was under the mosquito net on our bed, which was inside the converted barn - the coolest place on the farm.
Having come to this place to experience a Summer of freedom, and finding us prisoners of our mosquito netted bed did lead to simmering frustrations at times, and tempers did fray in this small 2m by 1.5m space.
There were many paintings that were crying out to be painted but the heat was forbidding. One day I gave in to the calling and stretched two big canvases, and laid them out on the terrace in the midday sun with a fan on full power by my side to dissuade the wasps and to attempt to moderate the temperature. I started out with a very different picture in my minds eye, but the heat of the sun was so ferocious, it was searing into my awareness, partnered with the craziness and frustration of the recent weeks, the painting totally changed shape and "Summer Madness" ensued.
Oil pastel on paper
If you're interested in owning any of these paintings, please go to purchase. All of these are available as high quality fine art prints on fine art paper or canvas.