‘El Carnaval’ Group Exhibition

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Cádiz Carnaval is one of the best know carnivals in Spain. For two weeks every February the whole city is crazily vibrant with elaborately costumed groups, the most famous of which are the chirigotas, singing satirical and humurous songs they have taken all year to prepare.

Vejer Carnaval is a scaled down version and to celebrate it Arte Vejer are hosting a ‘Carnaval’ themed group art exhibition which opens today in their castle headquarters.

 

The exhibition space will be open on Saturdays and Sundays 12-2pm from 13th to 28th February 2016.

Click here to see photos of the event.

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Carnaval is traditionally an opportunity to indulge in alcohol fueled mass revelry before the more austere Easter celebrations begin.

Masks and cross-dressing are typical so I went with a drag-queen inspired cartoon style character who is wearing a ‘Nuestra Señora‘ virgin inspired headdress (right).

 

 

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I decided to crack open my new pastel set and experiment with bright colours and blending techniques. I used charcoal for the background and crumbled pastel dust over it to achieve a glittery effect.

 

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All in all quite a messy, dusty process, but fun nevertheless.

Recent Sketches

I’ve yet to find my New Year’s sketch rhythm but here are two pen and watercolour sketches I made during pre-Christmas outings.

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Hiking through San Ambrosio (left) from Vejer  it felt more like spring than midwinter….

…and the oranges shone like festive baubles in Cádiz (right)

 

 

 

Annie B’s Spanish Christmas Card

annie b, spanish kitchen, spanish cooking, andalucia, cooking courses, sherry, jerez, xerez, tours, lemon, pomegrante, orange, peppers, salmonete, red snapper, mussel, octopus, pulpo, pine, christmas, card, chorizo, pimenton, paprika, sketch, watercolour, pen and watercolour, pine cones, umbrella pine, paella pan, card, christmas card, drawingAnnie B is a Spanish food and sherry aficionado who runs cooking courses and sherry tours from her beautiful town house in Vejer de la Frontera. I was delighted when she got in touch after seeing my sushi sketch to suggest I paint a Spanish food themed Christmas card (above) for her business Annie B’s Spanish Kitchen.

I gathered sprigs of umbrella pine and Annie sourced local ingredients from the market before we raided Annie’s kitchen for extra props and spread everything out on the table in her patio.

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After finishing the pen and watercolour painting (which was punctuated by a delicious lunch) I scanned it into Photoshop, added Annie B’s logo, cropped it and added a festive red border before preparing the image for printing.

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The original (un-cropped and logo-less) watercolour painting (above) will be auctioned on eBay to raise money for Arte Vejer, a community group which promotes visual arts and creativity in and around Vejer.

Please click on this eBay listing link to make your bid!

Update 23.12.15 The auction was a great success, raising over 150 euros for Arte Vejer, with huge thanks to Annie B’s mum for being the highest bidder. That’s really made my Christmas happy.

Arte Vejer on the Move

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Arte Vejer has certainly had a busy few weeks. The community group which promotes visual arts and creativity in the Vejer de la Frontera region has really been going for it as you’ll see and read below!

 

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What is a mobile art exhibition? You might well ask…I had no idea before taking part on Sunday 13th December.

It turned out to be as dynamic, colourful and festive a procession through the streets of Vejer as the poster promised.

 

 

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Sol Muniain (right), a truly gifted artist and the inventor and driving force behind the Arte Vejer mobile art exhibition unlocks the door to the castle for a session of painting faces Picasso style prior to the procession.

 

 

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Sol paints the face of Ismael Virués, another dedicated Arte Vejer organiser and the banner bearing leader of the art parade.

 

 

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Having picked up the art works we were joined by a band of marching drummers and set off around town.

I was wearing a couple of my artworks as well as carrying one (right, centre); my cockerel skirt and my 2CV silk scarf

 

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The drive and energy exuded by the marching drummers was amazing, especially when the parade passed through the narrowest alleyways and the rhythm really bounced off the walls.

 

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It was also quite surreal to look back and see a view of Vejer within a view of Vejer.

 

 

 

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We made several stops en route, here we are in the Plaza de España for a photo opportunity…..

 

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…and enjoying being part of the back drop near the Arco de Segur within the old town walls for this, the first of several short flamenco dance ‘tablaos’ …

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…more flamenco dancing on La Corredera….

 

 

 

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….dancing to an African style drum troupe in La Plaza de San Francisco…

 

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…and returning to La Plazuela with tired and happy arms (and no, despite the crazed expression, I did not get arrested)….

 

 

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…before replacing the artworks on the walls of the Hotel Convento San Francisco where they will rest, for sale, until January 10th 2016.

 

I was delighted to have my artwork accepted for the mobile exhibition and feel priviledged to have taken part in such an extraordinary event. Many thanks again to Arte Vejer for the huge amount of work and good will which went into coordinating all the art forms so beautifully and happily.

Click here to see yet more photos of the event on facebook, thanks to Jackie Cornwall.

And there’s even more:

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On the 29th November Arte Vejer staged the first ever painting competition for young artists in Vejer.

I was honoured to be invited to join the judging panel and was really impressed by the high standard of the artworks produced.

 

 

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About 30 participants signed up to the competition in Vejer’s beautiful Plaza de España and then dispersed to various parts of the charming old town to work on their paintings and drawings for several hours.

 

 

Click here to see photos of the event and the impressive range of artworks; the overall winner has her painting included in the (previously mobile) Arte Vejer exhibition in the Hotel Convento San Francisco and the other prize winning works are currently displayed in La Bodeguita, a local bar.

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The 6th December was pueblo abierto (open village) day for Vejer, which coincided with the ruta de tapas. Arte Vejer celebrated its recent allocation of a room in the castle by the town council by mounting an exhibition of members’ work there and including the non-prize winning works from the young artist painting competition.

 

 

 

water colour, sketch, pen and watercolour, vejer sketcher, castle, patio, andaluciaI made this pen and watercolour sketch (right) of the castle patio while sitting on the doorstep of Arte Vejer’s room and then went up to the ramparts to make an abstract watercolour sketch (below) inspired by the lichen which adorns many roofs and walls in the old town.

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As well as an exhibition space the castle room will be used as a venue for creative workshops. I’m planning to host one early in 2016 for adult sketchers who are a bit rusty and lack the confidence to come and draw with the Vejer Sketchers group.

If that’s you, please get in touch!

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vejer, vejer de la frontera, arte, art, community, organisation, castle, exhibition

Bike in Barbate

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I had half an hour to spare before my lunch date with a friend today in Barbate so I painted this quick sketch of a bicycle looking out to sea….my friend didn’t show up (she’d had a diary malfunction) but I still had a delicious lunch of shrimp cakes and octopus.

Thank you Casa Oscar.

Beach Walk Sketches

I don’t usually remember to pack my sketch book and paints when I head out for a stroll along the beach in El Palmar but there was something in the gentle sunshine this Monday afternoon that reminded me…cows, vacas, el palmar, andalucia, vejer de la frontera,, watercolour, watercolor, sketch, drawing

I didn’t quite manage to capture the beauty of these Retinto cows in my pen and wash sketch above…

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…but there’s a softness that I like in this deserted beach scene painted with sea water

Rainy Day Sketches

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With the onset of showery weather it’s tempting to skip the weekly sketch meetings but these last two Saturdays I’ve been determined to persevere. For sure the white walls of Vejer don’t glow without sunshine but the brooding clouds lend a different atmosphere.

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Above, the old town of Vejer from a roof terrace in the new town.

Left, the church bell tower from my roof terrace in the old town.

Both pen and watercolour.

Hooray for roofs and brollies!