This is a watercolor of Billie the cat. He is a 20 year old black cat that we visited in Rayleigh, Essex UK this month. He is the sweetest thing, with a purry meow. He spends a lot of time napping, and was happy to pose for me.
Ta-da a Flowering Currant Bush. And I want to credit and thank my art teacher from elementary school, Karen Larrabee for finding the name of this flower for me. So, yes, I have given in … and painted more flowers. There are a number of factors playing into this extremely unusual activity of painting in watercolor … and painting … flowers.
First there is the fact that I am traveling abroad. I can’t take along my large canvases, oil paints and brushes etc. etc.. Ahhh to be at home in my studio, painting. I started a large painting in the fall that needs my attention. I hope I will have lots of time for that when I get back to Port St. Lucie in May.
Besides the limitations of traveling for 4 months, I have literally been bombarded with flowers. Certainly, that is no excuse to deviate from my normal themes. However, walking around England I am continuously drawn to the flowers. Maybe it the season (winter to spring), maybe it’s just my mood. But I think I will do a series of flowers while in Europe…. then that will be the end of it.
What an adventure! We arrived to Brecon from Manchester on March 4th 2019, very sick. We had picked up the flu in Manchester (even though we both had a flu shots in the fall). For the time we were in Brecon, I did think it was just a nasty cold. But in the end, it lasted way too long to be a cold. I got it first and passed it on to Amar. So by the time we arrived to Brecon Amar was getting very sick and didn’t feel well enough to venture out of the house until our last day there. March 9th.
Brecon was absolutely lovely! Green rolling hills. Flowers. Neat bushes lining most of the roads. It appears so manicured and at the same time wild and natural, as if nature herself is especially neat there.
The Alltybrain Farm was no less than amazing inside and out. That was not an act of nature, but 25 years of hard work by the owners Patrick and Rose. It’s hard to do it justice in photographs, but I will share a selection here.
Zip, AKA Scooby Doo (looked just like him in size and shape…) is an older guy…. very mild tempered and one might say helpful. A great farm dog! Puck, the short little fellow (who reminded me a bit of Scrappy Doo) is much younger and a pistol. We were warned that he has to be on a lead… or he will take off the the neighbor’s farm. And he did once. But we got him back! Though an escape artist… he is also adorable!
La Nucia is a little suburb of Benidorm, Spain…. it’s mostly in the mountain area looking down on Benidorm which is by the sea. I have never stayed on a mountain as high as this one… a very interesting experience.
We are staying here in a condo high up on the mountain with 2 lovely cats… which have their own album which can be viewed here. It’s a three week adventure spanning from the end of January to February 20th.
For anyone interested in finding a reasonably priced Spanish beach vacation spot, check out Benidorm. Coming from the United States, I had never heard of it. It sits between Valencia and Alicante on the eastern coast of Spain. We are here in February 2019 for around a month. The weather is pretty nice (50s at night and 60s up to 70s during the day), very similar to Florida in February!
This photo I took on February 10th. It is a typical view of the large and well developed boulevard on the Ocean. The afternoon sun is amazing – creating dramatic contrasts and light and shadows,
Amar and I are walking many miles on the shores of Benidorm and I’m taking hundreds of photos. But no artwork yet. Maybe someday when I am traveling less, I will have time to produce more artwork! 🙂
The Prices are great in Benidorm, food, clothing, shoes pretty much everything is cheaper than the USA. Wine is especially good price, and for good wine! Below are a few selected photos from out stay in La Nucia and walks in Benidorm.
Today I did a quick sketch of the Lagrasse Abbey. It’s wintertime and very cold. The colors are very muted – but I thought the dried tall grass (a nice yellow ocher) was the most interesting part of the image. I do have a hard time staying interested in images that lack people or animals, but this was very quick sketch. This Abbey is currently being renovated – thus the scaffolding around the tower. It was a good exercise to get back into the groove of creating on this long trip abroad.
I came across a sign to Notre Dame du Haut while driving from Zurich Switzerland to Troyes, France today. So, you can be assured this was an unplanned visit, but when I saw the sign for it along the interstate, I had to see it in real life! It cost 8 Euros to visit, and you couldn’t even see and photograph the outside without paying. Usually I find this extremely annoying, but I think this is going to the upkeep of the building, so I consider it both a donation as well as payment for photos I can use when I teach Art History.
Here are a few of the photos I took – quite nice I think. 🙂 Click on the photos to see them larger!