Dolphin Dives

Dolphin Painting

… Animal Paintings Beyond Realism 03 …

In my last post I introduced my new series of “Animal Paintings beyond Realism”, inspired by a painting group recently created by Studio Tolere. The first of the series featured a dog, the second depicted owls. Today I present a new painting of the series, done in acrylics, gouache, China ink and pastel chalk. It is called

“Dolphin Dives”

My emotional connection to dolphins goes back almost 50 years (scary to think how long ago it is!) when the American TV show Flipper was broadcast. I guess just about any child in this world and of my generation, and perhaps of later generations too, knows and loves Flipper. I am no exception. I deeply enjoyed the show and since then have kept a very emotional connection to dolphins. A deep fascination too…

I had a few more experiences with dolphins in my life. When I was around 20 years old, I had a German boyfriend, who was a diving instructor on his holidays, in Spain and in Thailand. Where we spent our holidays in Spain, there was a Zoo not too far away, with a dolphin show. Once my friend was called to perform a special task in the pool where the dolphins swam. It was incredibly touching to see him swimming among them, and to witness how playful they were, and how they let him come closer and caress them. They seemed to enjoy it so much! It was again a very deep experience, confirming that Flipper did ‘exist’, that it was not only an American show.

Now I will make a jump of 20 more years. I was on a sailing boat, sailing with my brother from Gibraltar to the Canary Islands. I was on the deck, keeping an eye on everything while the captain -my brother- was reading in the cabin. In fact there was nothing to keep an eye on, as we were all alone on this immensity of water which is the Atlantic ocean. And suddenly HE appeared… he swam some seconds along with us, then dived into the water. I was in shock. To see dolphins on the TV is nice, to see them in a zoo is great, but to see them in the wild is  just… beyond words! I ran down to the cabin and told my brother that there was a dolphin outside. When I say “told”, it is wrong : in fact I was hysterically screaming. He looked through the porthole but he could not see anything. I had my eyes glued to the glass, but could not see anything, then ran up to the deck again, spent hours watching the sea, but my dolphin never appeared again… I was immensely sad, I had the feeling to have lost a very dear friend. I thought that my screams had probably scared him away…And to add to my sadness, my brother never believed that I had seen the dolphin..

Last but not least, about 15 years later again… In June 2013 my partner Kev Moore and me were on a little painting trip up the coast here, to a seaside town called “Aguilas”, not too far from our house. Just some days out to “restart the system” and find new inspiration. We went on a boat trip, on a boat called Don Pancho. And there HE was again… here is what Kevin is writing about the experience:

“… the whole crew were great, and clearly loved their job, or at least gave a superb impression of doing so. Smiles all round, and the guy tasked with the commentary on our jaunt up the wilder coastline to the north of Aguilas was passionate about his subject.  When the sleek dorsal fin of a dolphin broke the surface off our port bow, he was about as ecstatic as we were.  I can only say it was mesmerizing. Time after time it buzzed our vessel, playing with the wake, darting off, leaping out of the water to our cries of childish delight. Witnessing a dolphin in the wild makes one regress. It reduces life to a microcosm of simplicity, to something almost Utopian. It speaks to the very depth of your being, of freedom, innocence and sheer, unadulterated joy. I’ve swum with dolphins in Venezuela, but they were in captivity, more’s the pity. This is were they belong, and seeing one exuberant, dancing on the waves where it’s supposed to be, is a privilege, and something I’ll never forget…”

I could not say it better! The meeting with that dolphin was one of the deepest and most emotional experiences in my whole life! And this time, at least, I had witnesses…

The dolphin painting presented in this blog post and other animal paintings are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper, canvas or metal, and also as greeting cards. Please click on the painting to access my Shopping Cart Online. 

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating which painting you are interested in and in which size. Go to Goodaboom Boutique to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

 

I also sell A3 posters (297mm x 420mm) as high quality digital prints on a Heavyweight White 350gsm paper, each packed in cello with card stiffner.

Poster Price: 50 euros.

They are a great alternative to the Giclee prints, to a more affordable price.

(the prices for the Giclee prints and posters are not including packing&shipping)

Hand-signed prints incur a surcharge of 30 euros.

Thinking of Tolere…

Animal Paintings Beyond Realism

… Dogs …

Inspired by a new group in Fine Art America, created by Studio Tolere, and called “Animals Paintings Beyond Realism”, I decided to give it a go and try to create a series of animal paintings satisfying to following description and requirements, defined by Tolere in the group description:

“…The animal world, on land, in water, and in the air, painted with feeling and imagination, is the focus for this group.Rather than getting every detail down realistically.,this is a place for paintings incorporating abstract and more expressive approaches to depictions of animals as well as the human – animal connection. Humorous, emotive, visionary, and mystical work are very welcome…”

I love dogs, so I have started with a fantasy dog painting. I dedicated it to Tolere, calling it

“Thinking of Tolere”.

The dog painting presented in this blog post and other animal paintings are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper, canvas or metal, and also as greeting cards. Please click on the painting above to access my Shopping Cart Online.

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating which painting you are interested in and in which size. Go to Goodaboom Boutique to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

I also sell A3 posters (297mm x 420mm) as high quality digital prints on a Heavyweight White 350gsm paper, each packed in cello with card stiffner.

Poster Price: 50 euros.

They are a great alternative to the Giclee prints, to a more affordable price.

(the prices for the Giclee prints and posters are not including packing&shipping)

Hand-signed prints incur a surcharge of 30 euros.

Flags from Around The World 01

As I said in my last post, “Market Places from Around The World”:

“…I have recently been a little more active in my artists community “Fine Art America”, having found some more time and above all pleasure and comfort in participating in the social life there. I have to overcome some immensely deep sadness because of the sudden death of my brother, and the best way to do it, for me, apart from travelling, is to meet people… without really meeting them! I am more of a lonely wolf, but I love communication and exchange, so interaction on the internet and especially in a nice artists community such as FAA is, is very appropriate….”

Having enjoyed the contest about the market places I am hosting there, I decided yesterday to start a new context about “Flags”. I had just finished an artwork from Essaouira, that wonderful harbour town in Morocco, and I thought “flags” would be a great theme for a contest.

Essaouira Town 03 S

All media are accepted, painting, drawing and photographs. Paintings, drawings and photographs where flags play an important role. It can be the flag from a country, a state, an association, an event, etc…The winner will be featured in this blog, perhaps even interviewed if I get inspired by the winning work. You have to belong to FAA to be able to take part, and if you are, and fancy a go, you are very much welcome.  Here is the contest link, where you can submit your work.

“Flags”

but hurry up,  the contest ends on June the 14th.

I have in fact many artworks where flags play an important part. The one below was sketched in Lisbon, in a street market.

11 03 Flags Stand in Lisbon Painting Portugal S

It was in 2008, and while we were there, Portugal had reached the quarter finals of the Football Euro Tournament 2008  and Portuguese flags were hanging everywhere! Once we even saw a donkey crossing a street with a flag on his back, it was hilarious! That donkey though, made us decide to support Portugal, we bought a flag and travelled around with it on our Boomobile.

Vila Cha 03 New S

The scene above was sketched in Vila Cha, a parish in the municipality of Vila do Conde, situated in the Northern region of Portugal. Unfortunately they lost the quarter final to Germany, and the flags hysteria stopped… Well, speaking about football, I saw in Vila Cha another interesting motif with flags, a statue on the roof of a building in honour of FC Porto…

FCPorto in Vila Cha New S

Let us go to Italy now, more precisely to Tuscany. It was in 2011, I was on a long painting trip there, and I had made a series about shops and restaurants entrances.  In this particular one, I found it very funny how “the girl” is carrying the Italian flag, and wearing a hat and a dress in the design of the flag, but with a  panel on her chest saying:

“we speak Russian”

Welcome to Italy 07 New S

Let’s go to Cyprus now, in 2012, and get more serious. A very fast sketch of the local hero Archbishop Makarios III, and in the background three flags, and I  do not remember which ones they were, and the sketch is so basic that it does not give any clue! Probably, Cyprus, Greece, and…?

Archbishop Makarios III S

I certainly have many more paintings with flags from the countries which I visited, but for now I will go to another kind of flag, not from a country, but from a sports event, The Olympic Games. The following two paintings were inspired by two gold medals winners in London in 2012. First, the winner of the high jump competition, the Russian Ivan Ukhov

Olympic High Jump Ivan Ukhov S

And the next one is inspired by the winner of the  female 100 metres hurdles, the Australian Sally Pearson. In my fun artwork , I replaced her with Oly’ver The Kangaroo, jumping through the Olympic rings!Olyver S

Well, this will do for now, but I will do a second post in the next few days with more flags artworks. I thought I should just show you a selection of artworks featuring flags, to give you an idea if you want to participate to the contest. In any case, go and have a look at the images already submitted, they are really interesting!

The Brass Monkey

An Irish Restaurant in Howth

It was right at the beginning of my painting trip to Dublin in April 2013. To be honest, I was expecting rain all the time, but that day we woke up and the sun was shining and I got all excited. Our aim with that trip was mainly to visit the town of Dublin itself, but as I was preparing the trip at home and searching for lovely places around the capital, I had seen on the net photos from Howth, a peninsula to the North of Dublin Bay, and loved it. My intention was to visit it as soon as the sun would shine, and if not, well, when it was raining then! But here it was, shining bright and pure! I packed up all my sketching stuff and we drove to Howth.

I certainly was not disappointed, I found the harbour, the town and the landscape around very inspiring! One of the motifs which most caught my attention though was “The Brass Monkey”

I saw this scene while we were walking back to the car, from the other side of the road. I found it a very happy scene, and enjoyed especially the colours and the light falling on the people. Simply beautiful! I did a fast sketch from there, and took a photo, with the intention to try rendering justice to it when I returned home. Well, I just finished it.

It always amazes me to see the word “tapas” abroad (written on the blackboard on the right hand side). So many bars and restaurants serve them now, It seems to have become viral. Funny thing is that wherever “tapas” are advertised, we don’t go there: we live in Spain, and we certainly don’t search for Spanish food when we are travelling! But I understand that most people visiting and loving Spain do get nostalgic (and hungry) when they think of tapas…

I wonder if the group of elderly people sitting in the foreground on the terrace would recognise themselves if they see this painting one day? It would be such fun to hear from them! Well, people, I will give you a clue and then you can decide if it might be you or not: it was the 19th of April 2013, around 2 or 3 pm. If it is you, please say hello!

As for the couple in the background: the guy might look like the real one, but the girl looks totally different from the person who was sitting there, I guess. I couldn’t see her well, and for the painting I invented her face. But the real person was indeed wearing a green coat, I don’t even know if it was a guy or a girl. And I think a third person was sitting at the table too. But I preferred to choose a couple, I liked it more for the composition and clarity of the painting. I hope the painting won’t be the start of a dramatic ‘domestic’ though, in case the girlfriend recognises her boyfriend and thinks he was with somebody else there! 🙂

The painting presented in this gallery, and many more Ireland paintings, are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper, canvas or metal, and also as greeting cards. Please click on the widget below to access my Shopping Cart Online.

Photography Prints

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating which painting you are interested in and in which size. Go to Goodaboom Boutique to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

I also sell A3 posters (297mm x 420mm) as high quality digital prints on a Heavyweight White 350gsm paper, each packed in cello with card stiffner.

Poster Price: 50 euros.

They are a great alternative to the Giclee prints, to a more affordable price.

(the prices for the Giclee prints and posters are not including packing&shipping)

Hand-signed prints incur a surcharge of 30 euros.

 

Painting Tenerife: San Cristobal de La Laguna 01

Painting Tenerife: San Cristobal de La Laguna 01


In February 2013, I spent 3 weeks painting the Canary Island Tenerife. My first two posts about that island were referring to places called “Los Gigantes” and “Garachico”. Today I will present here some watercolour and ink sketches from San Cristobal de la Laguna, a town in the Northern part of the island.

We had visited the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the day before and were a little bit disappointed by most of the town. Then I had read that San Cristobal was the former capital and that La Laguna’s historical centre was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. Consequently, I thought that there might be some interesting motifs for me.

Unfortunately it was quite a grey and even rainy day and the light cast on the town really wasn’t motivating me to paint. As we began meandering through the town, I became worried that in fact it wasn’t going to present me with anything interesting at all, but as we happened upon the bustling Sunday market, I quickly found a number of motifs, the first ones being quite funny. I did the ink drawings on the site, adding the colours later at home. The first one represents a fish stand.

To be honest, I hate fish. I mean, I hate dead fish, and wherever dead fishes are, I run away, unable to stand the smell and the sight of them. It might be because I was a passionate diver in the past and spent many hours playing with lovely, living fishes in the depths of the seas, that I firmly believe that is where they belong! Anyway, that day I found that motif so funny that I had to draw it. But believe me, I did it very fast, as I gradually started to feel very sick in my tummy. But I understand that true art demands its sacrifices…

You might think that I exaggerated the size of the big fish in the foreground.. perhaps I did… but really, not that much, as it was exactly that which drew my gaze, the contrast between him and the hundreds of little fishes laying in rows behind him. That guy, although dead, really looked for all the world as if he was thinking: “How did I land here?” Which is what I am often thinking about myself on this Earth… that painting could well be a self-portrait!

You might also believe that I invented the next motif… I swear I did not!

So hilarious… and I would have given the world to know what was going on inside the head of the nun… and of the pig! The chickens had lost their heads, so at least they hadn’t any thoughts, presumed chicken usually think with their heads…

What attracted me in the flower stand above, besides the many flowers which I anyway love to paint, was the woman herself. She stood there for a long time, totally immobile. I myself stood quite a while there, sketching and observing, and I could not find out who that woman was. I first thought she was the shop owner, but would she have a bag in her hand if she was? Was she a client? But where was the shop owner then? And why didn’t she move at all? I am not even sure if she was alive!

Later that day, I painted some more motifs from the town itself, as it finally stopped raining and the sun came out, coinciding with our discovery of a pretty part of the town, and I will present these sketches in my next post. But for now let us end with a well-deserved “Churros and Chocolate” treat!

Now, for those who don’t know what Churros are, and still don’t understand it after looking at my sketch, here is what Wikipedia has to say:

“…A churro, sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut, is a fried-dough pastry—predominantly choux—based snack. Churros are popular in Spain, France, the Philippines, Portugal, Latin America (including Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands) and the United States. There are two types of churros in Spain, one which is thin (and sometimes knotted) and the other which is long and thick (porra). They are both normally eaten for breakfast dipped in hot chocolate or café con leche….”

Well, these churros from San Cristobal were a killer.. not only in quality but also in quantity!

The paintings of San Cristobal de La Laguna presented in this gallery are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards, in my FAA Gallery. Please press the link below to access it.

Buy prints online!

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating which painting you are interested in and in which size. Go to Goodaboom Boutique to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

 

Painting Lanzarote 02: Puerto del Carmen

Puerto del Carmen is located on the south-east side of Lanzarote and is among the most important tourist spots on the island. We visited it on different occasions during our 3 weeks stay in Lanzarote. The first time, we had the great -and exhausting! – idea to walk there, starting at our hotel in Arrecife. A combination of beautiful sea promenades and coastal paths wound their way from the capital to our destination, but, oh! it was a long walk! – partly circumnavigating the airport boundary with the excitement of having planes landing and taking off just above our heads. This gave me the opportunity of making a good play on words: seeing so many planes from the UK travel company Thomas Cook continuously landing, one after the other, and thinking of their advertising campaign with the great slogan:

“Don’t just book it, Thomas Cook it!”

I said:

“They obviously overcooked it!”

Anyway, as we eventually reached Puerto del Carmen, I was so tired that I could not do anything else other than consume loads of drinks and food! I could not do one sketch… a very frustrating experience considering that I had gone there to paint.. .. well, at least it had been a healthy day, except for my whole body aching and the headache due to the strong winds we had to fight against.

But we spent the final week of our trip in an hotel from Puerto Carmen, and I had enough occasions to paint then.

Being one of the most important tourist resorts of Lanzarote, I was not expecting too much of the place as I am normally not fond of tourist traffic. But I did love it there, it was something of a revelation to me, there was a wonderful atmosphere, everybody seemed so happy and all restaurants, cafes and shops looked extremely welcoming.

I found the harbour quite attractive and inspiring, and did some sketches there. I especially loved the contrast between the white buildings in the background and the bold coloured boats.

As usual, the sketches have been drawn with an ink pen on the site, and I added the colours later on at the hotel. Most of the time from memory, which might explain why the colours are not especially faithful to reality. They are rather a reflection of my good moods !

These paintings, as well as many others of Lanzarote, are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper, canvas and metal, and also as greeting cards. Please click on the button below to access my

FAA store

 

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating in which size. Go to

Goodaboom Boutique

to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

I also sell A3 posters (297mm x 420mm) as high quality digital prints on a Heavyweight White 350gsm paper, each packed in cello with card stiffener.

Poster Price: 50 euros.

They are a great alternative to the Giclee prints, to a more affordable price.

(the price does not include packing&shipping)

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Painting in Tarascon and Ussat

 In my last entry in this diary I was writing about a painting day in Saint-Lizier. Our next destination on our trip back home to Spain through Andorra was planned to be the famous town of Foix, but as we crossed it, we were unable to find a place to park. We went on and on, so far that eventually we were far away from Foix and we both didn’t fancy going back and searching again. I was very frustrated, I must admit, as what I had seen from the town was fabulous, and I really wanted to paint it. Well, this will be for another time…

So we drove a little bit further and arrived to Tarascon sur Ariège, which we found nice enough to have a stop , sketch a little bit and spend the night.

We parked the Boomobile in a nice place along the river and rode to the town.  Tarascon is formed by the union of the lower city – at the confluence of the Ariège and Vicdessos – and an upper town, once fortified, which leans against a hill surmounted by a tower. So of course we had to leave the bikes at the bottom, as, even worse for me than to climb a hill on a bike, is pulling a bike up the hill. Being quite small, it is not really easy…

I remember an incredibly lovely and very old lady, in the centre of the upper town. As I was drinking water from the fountain in the middle of the square, she called me and explained to me with many smiles where everything was to look at, and how to go there. She really made my day, and I thought how much I wished to be like her when I am really old, all smiley and open to everything new.

Next morning first thing, the sun was so beautifully shining and the region seem so lovely that we decided to have a little bike ride before heading to Spain. We originally wanted to follow the path along the river, being quite sure there wouldn’t be hills to go up. I don’t like hills  when I am on my bike. Not that I am lazy, in fact I do love physical challenge and efforts, and I am quite fit, but there  is something about climbing a hill on a bike which seems to be too hard for my little heart. Anyway somehow we lost the river and the path and ended climbing up a hill to the little town of Ussat.

We stopped a little while there, the time used for me to rest from the climbing effort, and to make some pencil sketches in my watercolour travel pad. As usual I would add the colours later on in the Boomobile, somehow trying to remember how it looked like there but most likely letting myself be carried away from realistic colours!

Looking at these two paintings, I would say that my taste that day was quite pinky… I doubt the house there were really pink, but does it really matter? It looks nice to me!

We then left the town, rolling down the hill, towards the lower part of Ussat, called Ussat-Les-Bains. A nice place with amazingly much activity. Curious, I just had a little look about it in the Wikipedia

“…From 1771 , Ornolac Ussat-Les-Bains is known for its beneficial water sources. But it is the Baron Louis de Ornolac fraxin develops thermal activity in Ussat-les-Bains. Great personalities will visit Ussat to cures the King of Holland, Louis Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon 1st and the poet Lamartine.

In 1845, Ussat-les-Bains know a large crowd and the Great Baths classified today become a very busy place. The baths are the property of the Hospices de Pamiers until 1982 . Today, private owners try to revive the thermal activity…”

I wished I had known all that when I was there, I certainly would have felt emotional about it…

Anyway, we rode a little bit further away, enjoying the beautiful scenery, and finally rode back home along the river. We then had a well-deserved milk coffee in the Boomobile, and then we had to leave, this time seriously heading toward Andorra without any more stops between.

These land- and townscapes from Tarascon and Ussat, as well as many others from France, are currently available as Giclee prints in different dimensions, on paper, canvas and metal, as well as greeting cards. Just click on the painting above to access my shop online.

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating in which size. Go to Goodaboom Boutique to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

I also sell A3 posters (297mm x 420mm) as high quality digital prints on a Heavyweight White 350gsm paper, each packed in cello with card stiffener.

Poster Price: 50 euros.

They are a great alternative to the Giclee prints, to a more affordable price.

(the price does not include packing&shipping)