Tag Archives: art

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

Grey clouds, with blue

The title of this post is inspired by Rothko’s titles for his paintings. grey clouds with blue1 26-3-13I think I’ve mentioned Rothko here on at least one previous occasion. His paintings are interesting bands of colour which at first glance are abstract, but to me are organic. I look around the valley here and I see great swathes of colour which Rothko would reduce to wide bands of brown green and yellow, blue and grey. grey clouds with blue2 26-3-13These three beautiful sky shots were taken in March, on a windy day when the clouds literally swirled in the sky. Rothko, I think would like my title. Not sure how he would paint these clouds though!  grey clouds with blue3 26-3-135 to remember
el título – the title
un cuadro – a painting
una ocasión– a occasion
una cinta – a band
orgánico/a – organic

Morning sun and shade

My favourite colour is green, all shades, dark and light. So here in winter, when the trees are bare and the skies often grey like this… grey valley in january 3-1-14… I like to look forward to August when the valley looks like this…hills in the sun, valley in the shade 7-8-13 (2)

looking through poplar shade to olives in the sun 7-8-13 (2)ranks of olive trees like soldiers & shadows 7-8-13 (2)My antidote to this outbreak of SAD was to get out my watercolours, something I don’t do often enough. paintbox 3-1-14I spent a happy morning mixing tones of green, brown and blue, working my way along the tiny tablets of colour, combining tones which mirror the summer hillside. Viridian, Sap Green, Winsor Emerald, Cobalt Green, Oxide of Chromium.sketchpad1 3-1-14sketchpad2 3-1-14sketchpad3 3-1-14The deepest definition between the greens comes when the shadows are deepest, so the sun highlights the yellow tones and shade highlights the blue. sketchpad4 3-1-14

sun over paco's olives 7-8-13 (2)

5 to remember
lo que más me gusta – my favourite
a menudo – often
tengo muchas ganas de [algo] – I look forward to [something]
los tonos – the tones
las acuarelas – the watercolour paints