Chumbera!

chumbera, prickly pear, cactus, cadiz, vejer, vejer de la frontera, andalusia, andalucia, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, sketchbook, illustration

I’m delighted to have finally found a chumbera (prickly pear) with some lush new growth; the once ubiquitous and beautiful cactus is suffering an infestation of insects and slowly dying out here in Andalusia.

Moi from the gorgeous Ecléctica Deco shop in Vejer suggested that I sketch a chumbera a good while ago; he told me he’d seen a good one in La Breña national park so I set off for a hike on a really hot day search of it…needle in a haystack situation ensued. His next sighting was luckily closer to home and much easier to find.

I missed it in flower but hey-ho…the heart shaped leaf was a bonus…promise it was actually like that! 

Tajo de Ronda

ronda, tajo de ronda, malaga, andalucia, catalonia reina victoria, hotel, spa, view, valley, tajo valley, landscape, pen and watercolour, sketch, watercolor, watercolour, sketchbook, travel, illustration, paisaje, acuarela

To celebrate my 50th birthday on the 5th June I traveled to beautiful Andalusian town of Ronda in the province of Málaga.

I booked into the lovely Catalonia Reina Victoria Hotel and spa for a bit of luxury pampering…

….and it was lush. I think the anti-aging facial was a bit too little too late but it felt delightful!!

I painted this view of the Tajo de Ronda from the balcony of my room while I was sunbathing.

 

Dead Bird

I found this poor deceased little fella on the roof terrace yesterday morning and was struck by his dynamic pose so I decided to paint him.

dead bird, baby bird, still life, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, sketchbook, illustration

Emerson Radio Sketch

 emerson, art deco, antique, retro, vintage, radio, pen and wash, pen and watercolour, watercolour, watercolor, sketch, sketchbook

Another visit to the antique radio collection, this time to sketch an Emerson Erla art deco model made in the United States in 1934.

Today’s stormy weather added to the sense of peace and cosiness in the back room of Angel’s shop; all in all a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.

RCA Radio Sketch

rca, antique, retro, vintage, radio, pen and wash, pen and watercolour, watercolour, watercolor, sketch, inktober, sketchbookI am reliably informed by Señor Angel, Vejer’s proud and knowledgeable collector of antique radios, that this art deco style beauty was produced by RCA in the USA in 1933 and was modelled on the Empire State building.

Its name is Victor and  it’s brown in real life.

I was laughing to myself while I was painting as Angel was twisting the tuning knob of an old set and creating that glorious whiny crackle that one hears so rarely these days…joy!

Philips Radio Sketch

philips, antique, retro, vintage, radio, pen and wash, pen and watercolour, watercolour, watercolor, sketch, inktober, sketchbook

Continuing the retro radio theme for my sketch session this morning I returned to the radio shop / museum and chose a Philips model which was manufactured in Great Britain, Holland and France between 1930 and 1934.

Needless to say I took liberties with the colours…the actual radio was made out of Bakelite, the world’s first completely synthetic plastic, which was invented in 1907 by Leo Baekeland and is actually brown with reddish hues. I felt purple was a more interesting option so I used my artistic license.

Bagaly Radio Sketch

bagaly, antique, retro, vintage, radio, pen and wash, pen and watercolour, watercolour, watercolor, sketch, inktober, sketchbook

There’s a gorgeously eccentric shop in town which sells assorted hardware and houses an impressive and beautiful collection of old radios.

The owner plays classical music which spills out onto the street, inviting passers by to enter (worked on me).

I spent a very happy hour in there yesterday sketching this French example and intend to go back again, and again and again…