Tag Archives: art

A sliver of silver

Until I lived here I don’t think I appreciated the beauty of monochrome colours. Previously I had applied the term ‘monochrome’ to the white/black/grey palette but in fact it refers to all tints, tones and shades of a single colour. Darken it by adding black, grey or a darker colour; lighten by adding white. So isn’t nature clever, producing this silver/white/grey display at dusk?

As the clouds moved and the sun set, the display was ever-changing. At times, the glint of silver was almost like liquid mercury, reminding me of a sculpture at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona: ‘Fuente de Mercurio’ by Alexander Calder [below]. The drip of liquid mercury seemed to defy reality: liquid? metal? The colour was so pure. 5 to remember
los colores monocromos – the monochrome colours
siempre cambiante – ever-changing
casi como – almost like
una escultura – a sculpture
el mercurio – the mercury/quicksilver

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A sliver of silver: like liquid metal? The sky at dusk in #Spain http://wp.me/p3dYp6-2dA via @Spanish_Valley

¡Aquí está! ‘Connectedness’ is here

Here it is, my new novel Connectedness is published today. And for my readers based in Spain, it features a lot of familiar things. Read it and see what you recognise!

Art✔
Romance✔
Picasso✔
Love and Loss ✔
Tapas✔
But most important of all, is Málaga ✔

Here’s what some of the early reviewers have said:
5* “Although this is a follow-on novel from the first, Ignoring Gravity,  it could equally be read as a standalone. Danby does not rely just on the story of the search carried out by her identity detective, Rose Haldane, but builds up a detailed and believable picture of the life of her main character Justine. Well written with realistic characters and the setting out of the story in a carefully and balanced way, I would highly recommend this novel.”

4* “There are deep thoughts on life and surroundings that are recognizable to all of us. Eventually all comes together in a heartfelt ending. Connectedness  is a gripping story of love, loss and the human struggle to be your one true self. An amazing read.”

To celebrate the arrival of ConnectednessIgnoring Gravity  is free to download here. TODAY only.

So what’s ‘Connectedness’ about?
TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD, ARTIST JUSTINE TREE HAS IT ALL… BUT SHE ALSO HAS A SECRET THAT THREATENS TO DESTROY EVERYTHING
Justine’s art sells around the world, but does anyone truly know her? When her mother dies, she returns to her childhood home in Yorkshire where she decides to confront her past. She asks journalist Rose Haldane to find the baby she gave away when she was an art student, but only when Rose starts to ask difficult questions does Justine truly understand what she must face.

Is Justine strong enough to admit the secrets and lies of her past? To speak aloud the deeds she has hidden for 27 years, the real inspiration for her work that sells for millions of pounds. Could the truth trash her artistic reputation? Does Justine care more about her daughter, or her art? And what will she do if her daughter hates her?

If you like the novels of Maggie O’Farrell, Lucinda Riley, Tracy Rees and Rachel Hore, this might be for you. Click here to read an extract.
Sandra Danby

‘Connectedness’ by Sandra Danby, [#2 Identity Detective series] [Beulah Press]

5 to remember
aquí está – here it is
una novela – a novel
un seguimiento – a follow-on
gratis para descargar – free to download
una lectura increíble – an amazing read

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
CONNECTEDNESS by Sandra Danby  #Kindle #Spain https://wp.me/p3dYp6-2k9 via @Spanish_Valley

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Connectedness: coming soon

I drank hundreds of cups of coffee in Málaga, walked the streets of the Old Town and La Playa de la Malagueta, I’ve sat on benches in Paseo del Parque and eaten plates of fried fish. As you’ll gather, it was hard researching the Spanish element of my second novel, Connectedness! Book two in the ‘Identity Detective’ series, Connectedness will be published on May 10, 2018. This tale of art, adoption, romance and loss moves between now and the Eighties, from London’s art world to the bleak isolated cliffs of Yorkshire and the hot orange blossom streets of Málaga. Sandra DanbySo what’s it all about?
TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD, ARTIST JUSTINE TREE HAS IT ALL… BUT SHE ALSO HAS A SECRET THAT THREATENS TO DESTROY EVERYTHING
Justine’s art sells around the world, but does anyone truly know her? When her mother dies, she returns to her childhood home in Yorkshire where she decides to confront her past. She asks journalist Rose Haldane to find the baby she gave away when she was an art student, but only when Rose starts to ask difficult questions does Justine truly understand what she must face.

Is Justine strong enough to admit the secrets and lies of her past? To speak aloud the deeds she has hidden for 27 years, the real inspiration for her work that sells for millions of pounds. Could the truth trash her artistic reputation? Does Justine care more about her daughter, or her art? And what will she do if her daughter hates her?

If you like the novels of Maggie O’Farrell, Lucinda Riley, Tracy Rees and Rachel Hore, this might be for you. Click here to read an extract. Sandra DanbyAbout the ‘Identity Detective’ series
Rose Haldane, journalist and identity detective, reunites the people lost through adoption. The stories you don’t see on television shows. The difficult cases. The people who cannot be found, who are thought lost forever. And each new challenge makes Rose re-live her own adoption story, each birth mother and father, adopted child, and adoptive parent she talks to, reminds her of her own birth mother Kate. Each book in the ‘Identity Detective’ series considers the viewpoint of one person trapped in this horrible dilemma. Sandra DanbyIn the first book of the series, Ignoring Gravity, it is Rose’s experience we follow as an adult discovering she was adopted as a baby. Read an extract of Ignoring Gravity here. Connectedness is the story of a birth mother, her hopes and anxieties, her guilt and fear, and her longing to see her baby again. Sweet Joy, the third novel, will tell the story of a baby abandoned during The Blitz, and how the now elderly woman is desperate to know her story before it is too late.
Sandra Danby

‘Connectedness’ by Sandra Danby, [#2 Identity Detective series] [Beulah Press]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
CONNECTEDNESS by Sandra Danby  #Kindle #Spain https://wp.me/p3dYp6-2jV via @Spanish_Valley

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Light and shade

The more I look at the blue sky through the bare branches of the acacia tree, which sits outside our kitchen window, the more the picture changes in front of my eyes.

To start with, the dominant colour is blue, but as my eyes rest longer I start to see the branches as if they are painted in lines of grey and white, lines of light and shade. The picture I see is not of a tree on a winter’s day, a beautiful blue sky, the yellow coin-sized dustings of lichen, but a piece of abstract art. The same branches will look completely different tomorrow if the sky is cloudy, but it is not the tree that changes. Only my perception of it. On a bright day the darker lines are not only the branches themselves but their shadows. When an object blocks the light, it casts a shadow. The ‘cast shadow’ is not a solid shape, it varies in tone, the farther it is from the object, the paler it becomes. The ‘form shadow’ is the less-defined shadow on the side of the object facing away from the light. As demonstrated [below] by Paul Cézanne’s ‘Chestnut Trees at Jas de Bouffan’.

[photo: commons.wikimedia.org]

[photo: commons.wikimedia.org]

Read this fascinating article about the use of light and shade in art, by Sheri Doty.

5 to remember
dominante – dominant
el arte abstracto – the abstract art
mi percepción – my perception
una sombra – a shadow
menos definido/a – less-defined

Yellow soil

The transition from red to pink to gold to yellow is so subtle in the fields which look towards the Sierra de las Nieves. Farrow & Ball’s yellow-toned paintcard reflects this too, from the pinky Ringwold Ground to the ochre India Yellow. Below, I’ve matched the Spanish soil to the English paints.

The parcelas here are ploughed in pleasing lines, the soil thin and golden = F&B’s Ringwold Ground dried golden soil in thin parcelas2 - road Canete to A367 12-10-13Ringwold Ground by F&B 20-4-14Pink dried earth, dulled I think by the line of limestone cliffs = F&B’s Farrow’s Cream. dry pink earth in front of Canete limestone cliff 12-10-13Farrow's Cream by F&B 20-4-14Definitely yellow-toned here = F&B’s Yellow Ground. golden fields of soil 12-10-13Yellow Ground by F&B 20-4-14At the palest end of the yellow spectrum = F&B’s Tallow patchwork of pink soil fields outside canete1 12-10-13Tallow by F&N 20-4-14Is this soil or dust? = F&B’s Hay. soil or dust 12-10-13Hay by F&B 20-4-14Sunflower field after harvesting = F&B’s India Yellow sunflower field after harvesting 12-10-13India Yellow by F&B 20-4-14To check out Farrow & Ball paints, click here.

5 to remember
la transición – the transition
el ocre – the ochre
en líneas – in lines
agradable – pleasing
crema – cream [colour]

Being versatile

I don’t think I’ve ever been called ‘versatile’ before so a big thanks to Debbie Vega who has nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. the versatile blogger award - logo 26-5-14Debbie has followed this blog for a long time partly, I think, because she misses Spain [she was born in Spain but now lives in Miami]. So, gracias amiga! She is a short story writer and movie lover, check out her blog here.

So I looked up ‘versatile’ in my dictionaries.

In English, it means ‘able to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities’, and ‘changeable, inconstant’. I guess that does sum up our life here over the last few years, we have certainly had to adapt and willing to accept change. Not sure about the inconstant bit though, maybe that’s the weather!

In Spanish, ‘versatile’ translates as versátil [person] or flexible [mind].

So here are the rules for this award:-
Include a link to the blog of the person who nominated you.
Nominate 15 bloggers to receive the award, with links to their blogs.
Share seven things about myself.

My 15 nominations are:-
Discovery Walking for guided walking tours in beautiful parts of Europe.

The Birthday Dinner, try her ricotta stuffed baby peppers!

Purfect Kitties, the photos of these two cats make me smile every day.

Crooked Tracks, for beautiful nature photos from Minnesota, USA.

Tiffany Imogen, a British blogger and student who writes about books, theatre and the movies.

Susan at Still Life with Tortillas, who writes from beautiful Alaska, USA [below].

[photo: Still Life with Tortillas]

[photo: Still Life with Tortillas]

Writer Elizabeth Melton Parsons, who blogs about books, writing, nature, art and gardening.

Another writer, Nithin Purple who wrote Halcyon Wings.

Richa, a food blogger and Rajasthani married to a Bengali. Check out her Indian recipes at Sweet Jaw.

Sophie Bowns, fiction writer and aspiring novelist.

Winston’s Dad, who reviews of the best in translated fiction, including Spanish.

Writer Barry O’Leary at A Novel Spain who writes about daily life in Spain.

You have to try Alice’s recipes at A Life Moment, particularly the Nutella and raspberry cupcakes!

Julie Stock, working on her first novel, blogs about the journey including useful writing tips.

And finally for Rough Seas in the Med, who has been in hospital in Gibraltar and is now convalescing. This is to make her smile!

Now, seven Spanish things about me that you don’t know.

I hate speaking Spanish on the phone, there’s something about being able to see a person’s expression that helps me to understand them;

I love Malaga, the art musuems there are amazing: the Picasso Museum, the CAC [the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo] and the Carmen Thyssen. And now there is to be the Malaga Pompidou [below], located at the city’s Port Cube at Murelle Uno, in what will be the first Pompidou outside Paris. 2000 sq m of art, due for completion in 2015. malaga pompidou 26-5-14The big question: which is the best of Mercadona’s fresh fruit juices? Naranja, mandarina, piña or manzana? For me, manzana. We have a promising crop of apples ourselves this year, see two of our applets below. baby apples7 22-5-14 (2)My second novel Connectedness, about identity detective Rose Haldane, is set partly in Malaga. The city is full of inspiration for artists [below], and Rose follows the trail of English artist to Malaga who was an art student in the city. Malaga - old door 27-10-10Last night, we sat on the terrace and watched 50 griffon vultures circle overhead as they lined up to land in the trees on the opposite hillside. It is like watching small aircraft lining up for the runway.

I have difficulty pronouncing ‘necessitamos’. It’s all those S’s.

My favourite poem in Spanish is Si el hombre pudiera decir lo que ama by Luis Cernuda.

Red soil

The colour range of soil is a paintbox of colour. With that in mind, I have matched shots of red soil with equivalent colours from the Farrow & Ball paint colour chart.

Mid-brown soil – F&B’s Dead Salmon [below]mid-brown soil - recently ploughed field on road to canete 12-10-13Dead Salmon by Farrow & Ball 19-4-14Pink soil = F&B’s Book Room Red [below]pink soil looking towards El Chorro 12-10-13Book Room Red by Farrow & Ball 19-4-14Ploughed field = F&B’s Blazer [below]ploughed field on the road to Canete 12-10-13Blazer by Farrow & Ball 19-4-14Red earth = F&B’s Rectory Red [below]red earth 12-10-13Rectory Red by Farrow & Ball 19-4-14Recently ploughed field = F&B’s Setting Plaster [below]recently ploughed field on road from Canete 12-10-13Setting Plaster by Farrow & Ball 19-4-14To check out Farrow & Ball paints, click here

5 to remember
una caja de acuarelas – a paintbox
equivalente – equivalent
un gráfico – a chart
muerto/a – dead
una habitación – a room